Sun Microsystems and Intel have announced a broad strategic alliance centered on Intel's endorsement of the Solaris operating system and Sun's commitment to deliver a comprehensive family of enterprise and telecommunications servers and workstations based on Intel Xeon processors. 


The scope of the agreement spans Solaris, Java and NetBeans software and Intel Xeon microprocessors, as well as other Intel and Sun enterprise-class technologies. The alliance also includes joint engineering, design and marketing efforts.
Sun has decided to complement its current offerings with platforms based on Intel architecture optimised for Solaris, beginning in the first half of 2007.
Sun plans to deliver a comprehensive family of Intel-based systems with uni-, dual- and multi-processor based servers and workstations supporting Solaris, Windows and Linux. Intel and Sun will also collaborate around greater than four processor scale-up systems optimised for Solaris.
"We're excited about Intel's long term Xeon road map and the performance we're seeing with Solaris and Sun Java on the Xeon platforms," says Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO of Sun Microsystems. "And Intel's endorsement for and agreement to OEM Solaris opens markets for both of us across the world. This is truly a landmark relationship for the industry."
Paul Otellini, presidne and CEO of Intel, adds: "We're thrilled to be working with Sun to make Solaris on Intel Xeon processors a great solution for our enterprise customers worldwide. Bringing together the best technologies from both Sun and Intel will result in innovative products for years to come.
As part of this alliance, Intel has signed a Solaris OEM agreement enabling Intel to distribute and support the Solaris OS to its customers as market opportunities may arise and consistent with Intel's product strategies.
Intel and Sun will strongly encourage independent software vendors (ISVs) and system providers to expand their offerings for Solaris on Intel-based systems, and Intel will support Sun in its efforts to optimise applications for Solaris on Intel Xeon processor based systems
Intel and Sun also believe that the combination of Sun's open source Solaris and Java development environments and the Intel architecture provide a solid platform for ISVs to develop and deliver applications and web services to deliver outstanding differentiated value to enterprise customers.
The Solaris platform is supported by more than 2 000 ISVs on more than 800 platforms that deliver the essential scaling, functionality and security capable of handling explosive network growth.
Both companies expect this alliance to expand the reach of Intel Xeon processor and Solaris OS based solutions. Solaris adoption will be driven by the Intel Xeon processor's significant market presence and in turn Solaris will give Intel a broader presence in the datacenter, virtualisation and high performance computing space.
The two companies will also work together on the rapid adoption of key enterprise-class Intel and Sun technologies for Sun's systems based on Intel Xeon processors including Intel Virtualization Technology, Intel IO Acceleration Technology (IOAT) and Intel Demand Based Switching.