Sun's New Slogan: HP Customers Should Try The Solaris Way

Sun is aiming its HP Away program at the thousands of HP customers it believes are still interested in 64-bit computing but are being pushed by HP to migrate to Intel's Itanium platform, said Larry Singer, vice president of global market strategies at Sun, Santa Clara, Calif.


>> Sun will offer HP's Alpha/Tru64 clients a two-week migration assessment service at no charge, even if the customer decides not to proceed with the migration to Solaris.
>> Sun will defer payments for the entire migration, including Sun services, software and servers for a maximum of 90 days or until the task is complete.
>> Sun will offer enhanced financing and trade-in programs for such companies.

HP's move to push customers to Itanium is part of the server road map it developed following the acquisition of Compaq, which received the Alpha platform through its acquisition of Digital Equipment.

Solution providers hailed the program for putting resources,including free migration assessment, deferred payments, and enhanced financing and trade-in programs,behind the move to grab potentially dissatisfied HP customers.

"I can already think of two clients who might be interested," said Pat Edwards, vice president of sales at solution provider Alliance Technology Group, Hanover, Md., which just picked up the Sun line.

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Ed Gogol, director of enterprise systems at solution provider Solarcom, Norcross, Ga., said HP Away will make it easier to talk with his customers about migrating to Solaris from Alpha. "Sun is not exaggerating when it says there are 400,000 potential migration [opportunities] out there," he said, referring to anaylst estimates of the number of existing servers based on 64-bit architectures.

HP customers face a multitude of issues when migrating to Itanium, including the relative immaturity of the platform and a general lack of applications, according to a white paper published in June by Clabby Analytics.

Intel, for example, has more than 300 applications ported to Itanium, while there are more than 12,000 applications running on Sun's UltraSPARC platform, the research firm found.

"HP is opening its vault of customers and saying, 'Here's new business, come and get it,' " Singer said.

HP declined to comment on the program.