Now I have read three or four takes on this Dog Sells Pony story but the funniest by far for its headline has been from Britains TheRegister -> IBM embraces – wtf – Suns Solaris across x86 server line!. And IBM is selling Solaris on some pretty good hardware lines including its blade servers. But astute observers like 451Group, eWeek, and Computerworld all have quite varying theories as to why Armonk is being so kind to their “good friends out West”. Here is my 3 sense worth.
1)Armonks stockholders, board and former executives can be none too happy with the fact that a)HP slipped pass IBM as the largest in IT revenues this year and b) with Mercury and Opusware, HP seems to be muscling into the same Enterprise Software track that IBM has reserved for itself. So the word must have come down from on high to Sam – forget the takedown matches with 1/4 size Sun – address the real competition, HP.
2)Speaking of competition – put this date on your calendar: February 27, 2008. That is when Microsoft makes its triple play:Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Visual Studio 2008. The consensus is that SQL Server is the tool that will have the hardest time making that date – but IBM is acutely aware that this will be the launch in which Microsoft attempts to get ENterprise IT to move to .NET more completely. Why not have the superior attributes of Solaris (128bit file system, impeccable reliability, advanced clustering etc out on the market for half-a-year to deflect IT Enterprises away from .NET.
3)The best place to have your 1/4 size enemy – close by as an erstwhile “partner”.