Dell To Sell Solaris Servers

Dell and Sun Microsystems, rivals in the computer hardware market, unveiled on Wednesday a co-opetition agreement in which Dell would sell servers preinstalled with Sun's latest Solaris operating system and then funnel customers to Sun for support and services.

The multi-year distribution agreement launched at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco is the latest example of how the computer industry is being driven by corporate demand for openness among technology vendors. Dell agreed to sell PowerEdge servers pre-installed with Solaris 10 after seeing an increasing customer demand for the OS on its servers. For Sun, the deal gets Solaris in Dell's high-volume sales channel, which could become a significant source of revenue.

Under the agreement, Dell would keep all revenue from server sales and resell Sun services and support packages. Revenue from the latter would be shared between the parties. Dell customers, of course, could go directly to Sun to buy multiyear support subscriptions, which include patches and upgrades.