Media giant Viacom
will use Sun Microsystems'
hardware and the Solaris
operating system to run its interactive services division, the companies said.
Viacom Interactive Services is responsible for the online arms of the
company's popular cable channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy
Central, and Showtime, as well as the company's corporate Web site. They
will all run on Sun products.
The announcement comes amid a growing fight in the server market between
the Unix vendors, including Sun, Hewlett-Packard, and Silicon Graphics, and Microsoft, which is trying to displace
Unix with its PC-based Windows NT system. NT is gaining market share at the
low end of the server market, but it is generally acknowledged to be unable
to match the computing scale of large Unix systems.
Sun recently announced that RealNetworks' streaming media products are being developed for the Solaris
platform. The Viacom deal, which will add
more than 30 Sun servers to Viacom's network infrastructure, is also a vote
of confidence for RealNetworks. The Seattle-based company is looking to
corporate customers as the backbone of its business of selling media server
software and the development tools for customizing those servers on a
corporate network or commercial site.