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Sun sells mainframe rehosting business

Clerity Solutions snaps up Sun Microsystems' MTP and MBM business with plans to expand it beyond Solaris.

Sun Microsystems has sold its mainframe rehosting business to Clerity Solutions, which plans to expand the technology and support beyond Sun's Solaris.

Clerity acquired Sun's Mainframe Transaction Processing (MTP) and Mainframe Batch Manager (MBM) software, in addition to its mainframe migration tools and related services. The mainframe rehosting technology allows customers to use servers from Sun to run applications originally written for mainframes. The technology will soon be expanded to cover Hewlett-Packard servers.

"Customers have been asking us for this solution, because it lets them move (mainframe applications) as is," Jenkins said.

Clerity also hired 27 employees in Sun's MTP and MBM business, said Cameron Jenkins, the chief operating officer for Clerity.

The financial terms of the deal, which closed on June 30, were not disclosed.

With the lure of open source challenging IBM's mainframe market, customers are increasingly seeking ways to move their mainframe applications to other operating systems, Jenkins said.

Clerity, as a result, is working to help those customers move to not only Sun's Solaris, but also to Linux, HP-UX and IBM's AIX.

"The (technology) used to run on HP, Linux and IBM, but when Sun bought it, they collapsed it onto Solaris and won't support the others," Jenkins said, noting Clerity aims to offer support for HP-UX and Linux in the next month.

In 2001, Sun acquired a division of Critical Path that helped customers run their mainframe software on Unix servers. But by only supporting Solaris users, Sun left behind approximately 50 to 60 customers who relied on other platforms, Jenkins said.

Clerity hopes to capture most of these customers, as well as a third of the more than 50 new prospective clients who are currently conducting technical analysis on the former Sun technology, he said.

More than 80 companies worldwide have been using Sun's MTP and MBM migration technology, Jenkins said.