Open-Source Win: HP To Support, Sell MySQL, JBoss

In a move seen as adding further legitimacy to open-source computing, Hewlett-Packard has announced it will support MySQL and JBoss, two popular open-source programs.

The announcement helps round out HP’s open-source-based offerings but is seen as a big win for the two smaller companies involved in the announcement, The JBoss Group, a limited-liability corporation, and MySQL AB.

“Once you get a major company like HP to support a platform like this, it signals you’ve crossed a threshold into the big-time,” Julie Giera, vice president of research at Forrester, a market research firm, told LinuxInsider.

“A big part of HP’s business is services, maybe about 30 percent, and although they have a strong relationship with Microsoft, they will continue to look to open-source software to support their customers that want that,” she said.

Considering Open Source

Giera said that even large companies are starting to consider open-source solutions to run specialized parts of their business. “We recently saw an airline using it, and they’re definitely not a small company,” she said.

Kevin Strange, vice president of research at Gartner, agrees that open-source software is becoming more common, even in large enterprises, but cautions that software such as MySQL is still not generally used to run the core of large central applications that are crucial to big enterprises.

“We’re seeing it most often in departmental computing, in Web service and in data caching,” Strange told LinuxInsider. And, he adds, the HP announcement plays to HP’s existing strengths while underscoring weakness in competitors’ product lines.

“MySQL still doesn’t have the features that many large companies need at the high end, but it does encroach a little on Microsoft’s offerings at the lower end,” he said.

JBoss and MySQL

Under the new deals, JBoss and MySQL will be tested and certified for use on HP’s ProLiant and Integrity servers via the HP Partner Program, and the three companies will jointly sell their offerings on HP’s standards-based platforms, including HP’s recently announced Linux Reference Architecture.

“HP has long been the leading provider of open-source solutions on standards-based servers that allow customers to achieve greater value and return on investment,” said Martin Fink, vice president of Linux at HP. “We are pleased to build upon our robust commercial Linux Reference Architectures to now also offer open-source solutions with JBoss and MySQL, addressing a different segment of the market. We’re the first OEM to sign partnership deals with MySQL and JBoss.”

Reassuring the Many

The smaller companies’ executives hope the new agreements — and the size and stability of HP — will reassure many who are considering a move toward open-source products but want the stability of a large service organization before committing to large deals.

“JBoss’ relationship with HP gives companies extra assurance that open-source technology is safe for the enterprise,” said Bob Bickel, vice president of corporate development and strategy at JBoss.

“Joint customers will also benefit from expert JBoss support, with HP as a single point of accountability,” said Bickel. “With comprehensive services and seamless integration of open-source technologies available, companies can deploy commercial rollouts with confidence.”

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