Long time Rivals Sun Microsystems and Dell have announced that the x86 commodity server manufacturer is going to ship the Solaris 10 operating system on Dell PowerEdge servers.
The agreement is generally seen as a win-win situation for both vendors: Dell will provide support and aftersales for the Solaris OS to its customers and will provide a more complete portfolio of Operating systems to potential buyers.
Sun Microsystems on the other hand will get a much needed outlet for its business software and will use Dell to leverage its presence on the x86 market.
Sun will also get a share of revenues from the partnership with Dell although the exact details are unknown.
Dell represent a third of Solaris users worldwide - that's roughly 4 million licenses and it was only a matter of time before an agreement between the two giants was found.
Solaris has had a difficult time lately with Linux as a server OS capturing most of the attention as the main rival to the Windows Server family.
Solaris is a free download from Sun's website for anyone to try. Additionally, there's a 8-DVD expanded media kit which comes with a host of developer tools for only USD 30.
Sun has even open-sourced Open Solaris in a bid to increase its presence.
The Dell/Sun partnership is a strange but welcomed alliance where ultimately, their common customers will be the biggest winners.
Jonathan Schwartz, Sun Microsystems CEO went as far as to say, "The stupidest thing we could have done was go to those customers and say: 'You blew it. You made a mistake.' They would look at us and say: 'You obviously don't understand me,'"