IBM’s BladeCenter servers are to support Sun Microsystems’ Solaris 10 operating system to give users more options for handling their data traffic.
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Solaris joins Windows, Linux and IBM's AIX version of Unix as an operating system option on IBM’s blades.
However, IBM won’t sell Solaris or support for the software on its servers. Users will have to get Solaris directly from Sun.
Solaris is now an open-source operating system, unlike IBM’s proprietary AIX version of Unix.
IBM is the leading blade supplier ahead of Hewlett-Packard, and the support from IBM for Solaris on its blades is a coup for Sun, as it attempts to widen the use of Solaris beyond its own servers to other suppliers’ hardware.
HP is expected to add a powerful Itanium processor option to its own blade server line this week, allowing the blades to run the company’s HP-UX version of Unix.
Sun is set to launch a new range of its own blade servers next year.