Microsoft, Sun open interoperability lab

As part of last year's OEM agreement, focus will be on Sun x64 and Microsoft applications

Microsoft and Sun, which became a Windows OEM last year, opened an interoperability center Monday that will provide a test bed for customers who want to run Microsoft applications on Sun x64 servers.

The two also unveiled a Sun program to get Exchange 2007, which is a 64-bit application, up and running on Sun’s x64 platforms.

The lab, which is located on Microsoft’s Redmond campus, is part of a wide-ranging OEM agreement Sun and Microsoft hammered out last year.

The Sun/Microsoft Interoperability Center, open to joint customers of the two vendors, will focus x64 systems and storage, including virtualization, Java, management and identity. Sun has had a presence on the Microsoft campus for the past three years.

Analysts say customers have been asking the two for years to put aside their industry bickering and help them solve IT problems in their heterogeneous networks.

The lab includes a testing area and a proof-of-concept lab around Windows Server 2008 and x64 systems/storage. In addition, the lab will work on interoperability between their virtualization platforms, and to help certify Microsoft operating systems and applications with Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE), Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE) and Sun’s Java Runtime Environment.

The two also will work through to lab to ensure the Sun Ray thin client works with Windows desktops and other technologies.

The softening of the Sun/Microsoft relationship started in 2004 with a hockey-jersey peace offering between longtime foes Scott McNealy, then Sun CEO, and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. The two announced a 10-year deal to work together, which led to last year’s announcement that Sun would become an OEM for Windows Server 2003.

The company shortly thereafter began selling, supporting and pre-installing Windows Server 2003 on all its server hardware.

The interoperability lab was the second phase of last year’s agreement.

Microsoft has a similar interoperability lab in Cambridge, Mass., that is a joint-operation with Novell. The lab opened in September 2007.

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This story, "Microsoft, Sun open interoperability lab" was originally published by Network World.

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