Is Solaris The Same on x86 and SPARC

I received this email today from one of our sales reps in Australia, and I figured there was no better way to respond than in my blog. This will probably be a very boring entry for most regular readers of my blog. The following is a nearly exact quote from the email I received except the customer name and sales rep name have been removed for privacy.

"Hi Marc, Hope you are well! You may not remember - but we met when you were in Australia during the Friday afternoon Pizza session! I am the Sun account manager for a large bank in Australia. The client has been favorable to Linux - BUT the good news is that there is more "Solaris" talk at the bank going on! On Friday the client made the comment that they thought that Sun releases Solaris SPARC before Solaris x86 (ie a "Sun is not serious about Solaris x86 type comment").

I told him that I did not think this was the case - and would confirm.

What I am looking for is the Sun statement that states that we release equivalent functionality in Solaris x86 at the same time as Solaris SPARC - but I can't find anything definite. "

So for the record,

Dear Sun Australia Sales Rep and Large Australian Bank Customer

cc: The Whole World

Every release of Solaris 10 since it was introduced in January 2005 has shipped SPARC and x86 versions concurrently. We do not have separate versions of Solaris for SPARC and x86. Yes, the binary files are different because the CPU instruction sets are different, but Solaris 10 is Solaris 10. You can download the latest release for free, for either SPARC or x86, from http://www.sun.com/software/solaris. And, just to complete the latest news, Sun also ships a broad line of AMD and Intel powered x86 servers, all of which run Solaris and you can also buy x86 servers with Solaris from other vendors such as IBM. In fact, of the 906 systems currently on the Solaris Hardware Compatibility List, 831 are x86 systems and only 75 are SPARC.

Sincerely, Marc Hamilton, VP Solaris Marketing.

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