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Sun Microsystems has launched a suite of new Solaris support subscriptions and restructured its reseller program as it moves to aggressively compete with its commercial Linux competitors like Red Hat.

“We are delivering a whole new suite of service packages that will make us competitive against our Linux competitors like Red Hat,” Peder Ulander, the vice president of software marketing for Sun, told eWEEK.

“We took a snapshot of what Red Hat offers today in terms of a support package, and took 40 percent off the top of that, mirrored the services, and embedded that with our support capabilities,” he said.

Sun plans to license OpenSolaris under the GPLv3. Click here to read more.

The new Solaris support subscriptions also include full indemnification and binary and source code compatibility, and provide access to free updates and upgrades to the latest Solaris technologies.

There are five tiers of subscriptions, which range in price from $49 per-incident support, which is targeted at developers, to the customized site-wide Solaris Everywhere Plan, and are integrated across Sun and non-Sun x86, x64 and SPARC platforms, Ulander said.

“This is extremely competitive with commercial Linux distribution pricing as well as the support offered for those customers who use raw, open-source code type of model,” he said.

Read more here Sun’s Project Mercury to make service just another product feature.

Sun is also aggressively going after the channel to build more availability of Solaris in its non-traditional markets, such as in the startup market, Ulander said.

The new Solaris Ready Program for Resellers improves the quality and quantity of support options for Solaris customers and accelerates the ability of Sun channel partners to deliver Solaris solutions on x86 systems.

“If somebody wanted to buy from Sun, we’re very difficult to buy from. So there will be new channel and Web programs to deliver our technologies and engage with customers better only makes it easier to gain access to our technologies,” he said.

Click here to read about the 128-bit Zettabyte File System in Solaris 10.

While Sun is recognized for its enterprise datacenter technologies, it is not known for building open-source operating platforms that enable customers to build out their next generation of Web servers.

“It’s not because the technology or capabilities haven’t been there, it is really because of a lack of awareness, a lack of support and partner programs and a lack of channel that has kept us out of having that true awareness there,” Ulander told eWEEK.

Sun is also offering a series of migration support programs, known as the Web Tier Advantage Program, which allows customers to move to a more efficient environment for Web-tier deployments, through a wide range of services and tools that will be available for free and for a fee.

Read more here about the release of the third update to Solaris 10.

Sun is also offering the Global Migration Program for IBM AIX, HP-UX, Tru64, VMS, Red Hat Linux and Novell SUSE Linux, while the Hats off to Solaris Program “capitalizes on the forced migration of Red Hat customers from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. It provides tools, documentation and services to help ease migration,” Ulander said.

The goal of all of this is to get Sun’s message out to the market loud and clear: “that we are going mainstream, and that Solaris is the ideal Linux on Intel replacement for the Web and edge tier, and is the ideal platform for Web 2.0,” he said.

“It is really going to be serving in this space, where we believe customers are being underserved by Linux. What it comes down to is demonstrating our partner viability on the more than 800 hardware platforms that run on Sparc, Intel or AMD chip sets,” Ulander said.

Asked about securing deals with OEMs to preload its software on their hardware, Ulander said that would be the target of a future wave.

“But you are going to see an aggressive push from the Solaris team over the next six months with new announcements, programs and components being delivered every month,” he said.

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