Sun woos HP's AlphaServer base

Sun Microsystems is going after users of Hewlett-Packard's Tru64 Unix AlphaServer systems with a new program designed to migrate them to its Sparc-based servers running Solaris.

Sun's new migration program, dubbed HP Away, is offering a "no-risk alternative for customers fed-up with the havoc created by the end of development for the Alpha/Tru64 platform, and forced migration to Itanium-based systems," Sun announced last week.

In its announcement, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company refers to HP's "questionable track record and limited industry support," and declares that "Sun is taking advantage of this opportunity to aggressively attract new customers in the very lucrative Unix server market."

HP inherited the AlphaServer customers with its 2002 merger with Compaq; Compaq had acquired them back in 1998 with its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp. HP has been trying to move the AlphaServer users -- an estimated 400,000 of them -- to Intel Itanium 2-based servers running HP-UX (its own flavor of Unix).

Sun's migration plan includes a free two-week assessment, and said it would defer payment for the entire migration -- including Sun services, servers and software -- for up to 90 days. Sun said that it would also take care of application porting through its professional services group in concert with its ISV partners, systems administrators and Sun's iForce centers.

Sun's vice president of global information systems strategy, Larry Singer, said that the HP AlphaServer users represent a "golden opportunity" for his company. "It's not every day a competitor unlocks its vault and makes it easy to steal away their customers," Singer said. "We have a golden opportunity to grow our Unix server leadership position. We're fully mobilized to target the entire Alpha/Tru64 installed base, with the goal of moving a large percentage [of them] to Sun Solaris."

HP officials could not be reached by press time.

For more information on the HP Away migration program, please go to

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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