Egenera adds Solaris support to BladeFrame servers

IBM confirms its BladeCenter servers will run on Solaris 10

Egenera announced its BladeFrame x86 blade servers now support Sun Microsystems' Solaris 10 operating system. The company made the move in response to customer requests, according to a Thursday press release.

Egenera's blades already run on Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell and Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 operating system.

Late last month, IBM confirmed that its BladeCenter servers will run on Sun's Solaris 10 operating system.

"We're thrilled about it," Doug Balog, vice president, eServer BladeCenter, at IBM, said in a recent interview. "It opens up a broad ecosystem of public sector, telecom, and financial companies who run Solaris. This industry creates some strange bedfellows."

While IBM will work with Sun to optimize the software for its blades, IBM will not sell or support Solaris, according to Balog. Customers wanting to run Solaris on IBM's blades will have to both purchase the operating system and obtain support for the software from Sun, he added.

Sun is widely expected to re-enter the blade market next year, probably with servers powered by its new UltraSparc T1 chip, formerly code-named Niagara, which was unveiled earlier this week. Fred Kohout, vice president of marketing for Sun's scalable systems group, said in a recent interview that the UltraSparc T1 would be "a good fit in the blade space."

The blade market is currently dominated by IBM and Hewlett-Packard, but other players including Dell and Egenera are looking to grow their market share around the world.

In September, Egenera announced a 3-year exclusive OEM (original equipment manufacturer) strategic alliance worth $300 million with Fujitsu Siemens Computers (Holding). Under the terms of the deal, Fujitsu Siemens will sell Egenera's blade servers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa under the dual brand Primergy BladeFrame. Primergy is the name of Fujitsu Siemens' server family.

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