Sun Microsystems is to subsidise customers using Oracle database software on its high-end Unix servers.
The move is designed to allow Sun to compete more effectively against high-end Unix server rivals such as IBM and HP.
Oracle's Enterprise Edition database software will now be an option when customers buy Sun’s four-processor Sun Fire V490 systems or higher-end platforms.
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The platforms run Sun’s new UltraSparc IV or IV+ processors. Sun will pay the Oracle software licence fee, which comes with a year of support, although customers will be responsible for paying Oracle for further annual support and maintenance fees.
As Oracle licence fees are based on the number of processors a server is equipped with, Sun's subsidy could be potentially significant for customers.
The Sun E25K, for instance, has 72 dual-core processors. An Oracle licence fee for this system would be around £500,000, said Sun.