Sun has joined forces with Fujitsu Siemens to produce a Solaris and Sparc-based server line that the two companies plan to standardise on in two years' time.
But analysts and resellers have said there are still concerns to be resolved before this happens.
The range, code-named the Advanced Product Line (APL), will replace Sun's Fire and Fujitsu's Primepower server product lines in 2006.
Sun said both vendors will use their channel networks to sell each other's products.
"We are actively pursuing distribution partners. Fujitsu Europe will also resell our product line through its channel. As a result of the agreement we will both have products that respond to the market better," said Elie Simon, vice-president EMEA at Sun.
But Simon added that the systems are naturally sold by certified partners, and the certification process is costly. "So it could be hard to get certification on the two platforms," he said.
David Kehoe, head of channel development at Sun distributor GE Access, said: "There's work to be done on training and certification but it's a lot less than if it was IBM or Hewlett-Packard.
"We are not anticipating that Sun VARs will be selling Primepower in the next few months. This is about future investment."
Andy Butler, vice-president of research at Gartner, said: "This should be good for Solaris users and for both vendors, but there are many loose ends that have to be tied up."
For example, said Butler, both vendors said they will keep their storage products separate, and this could present interoperability challenges.
"How can you collapse the server lines but have no storage differentiation?" said Butler.
Second, he pointed out that Fujitsu plans to produce a high-end Itanium server at the end of next year, to compete with Primepower. "This could cause concerns for Sun VARs," he said.
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