Six weeks after discontinuing its own version of Linux, Sun Microsystems will sell and support all three of Red Hat's Enterprise Linux operating systems on Sun x86 server hardware.
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The two companies said the global deal will also include plans for Red Hat to distribute Sun's Java technology.
Under the deal, Sun will sell and support all x86 versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES and Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS.
In April, Sun dropped its own Linux distribution based on Red Hat Linux after many users shunned it because they did not want yet another version of Linux to support in their businesses.
"The combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Sun's x86 systems affirms our commitment to the open-source community," Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice-president of software for Sun.
"This relationship is the first of many efforts we expect to drive together with Red Hat on the Linux and Java front."
In collaboration with Red Hat, Sun will provide global services and support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"Sun's decision to implement Red Hat Enterprise Linux for their hardware and software solutions furthers our goal to expand offerings to customers who want to develop and deploy integrated solutions on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Java, from the smallest of devices to multinode clusters," said Tim Buckley, Red Hat's chief operating officer.
Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at market research firm IDC, said Sun's strategy of partnering with Red Hat makes more sense than its attempt to go it alone with its own version of Linux.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be available from Sun by the summer and will be supported on the recently announced x86-based systems, including the Sun Fire V60x and V65x systems. Future x86 products from Sun will also support Red Hat Enterprise Linux.