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Hewlett-Packard Co. plans to announce on Tuesday that it will certify, support and jointly sell MySQL AB’s open-source database and JBoss’ applications server on its server hardware.

This is the latest in a string of open-source “firsts” HP is claiming. For example, it follows the recent announcement of the company’s Linux Reference Architectures, which HP claims are the first Linux and open-source-based software stacks. (MySQL is part of both HP’s open-source and commercial Linux Reference Architectures.) HP also recently offered customers Linux indemnification from lawsuits relating to The SCO Group Inc.’s ongoing litigation against open-source customers and vendors.

By packaging JBoss and MySQL products on its servers, HP is now claiming to be the first OEM to certify an open-source stack—something that rival Microsoft Corp. will never be able to achieve, according to Efrain Rovira, worldwide director of Linux marketing for HP, in Palo Alto, Calif.

“We’ll be the first and only vendor to offer an integrated, certified, supported solution on an operating system stack. HP is the only solutions vendor who can do it, because the other vendor has a vested interest in selling their own software,” Rovira said, referring to Microsoft as the “other vendor.”

Click here to read about HP’s recent move to become what it claims is the only major IT vendor to provide Linux systems from desktop to data center.

HP also plans to announce that both MySQL and JBoss have joined the HP Partner Program and will receive joint testing and engineering support on HP’s hardware platforms. Joint customers will receive joint service and support from HP and from MySQL and/or JBoss.

The HP announcement comes as another notch in the belt for MySQL, which is fast becoming the open-source database darling of the corporate world. Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing for MySQL, of Uppsala, Sweden, said that HP’s move shows that there’s a “big brother in IT to support and service a complete open-source stack.”

“In the past year, we’ve seen increasing use of MySQL in the enterpise, especially in retail, telco, [and] financial services,” Urlocker wrote in an e-mail interview. “This announcement gives us additional credibility for mainstream business customers. … We’re seeing increasing interest from companies that want to develop an entire open-source strategy that goes beyond Linux to embrace the full LAMP [Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP] stack.”

The combination of HP providing front-end support and both JBoss and MySQL providing 24-by-7 production-end support will ensure that MySQL and JBoss win out over competitors in the open-source race, according to JBoss’ Bob Bickel, vice president of corporate development and strategy. “A lot of open-source communities out there are not structured to deliver integrated support,” he said. “The market share of JBoss and MySQL is kind of overwhelming and dominant compared with other open-source alternatives.”

Not everybody considers the move earth-shattering, however. Charlie Garry, senior program director for Meta Group, in Simsbury, Conn., said that the HP announcement is nothing new, given that many Linux distributions already include MySQL’s database anyway.

But another large vendor said their standing behind both MySQL and the concept of open-source databases certainly can’t hurt, either. “No major vendor ever got behind PostgreSQL, [for example,]” he pointed out.

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