HP is extending its partnership with JBoss to support the open-source vendor's entire suite of enterprise middleware.

HP previously resold and supported JBoss Application Server worldwide. As of today though, it will resell and support the complete JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite (JEMS) on a global basis, according to Christine Martino, vice president of open source and Linux at HP.

"This is a real enhancement to the relationship," Martino said. HP will support all JEMS products on the Linux and Windows operating systems as well as its own flavor of Unix, HP-UX 11i. HP's Linux support is for the two leading distributions of the open-source operating system from Red Hat and Novell.

Under the terms of the deal, HP customers will have "one throat to choke" when it comes to JEMS support, consulting and integration services, Martino said. Having a company as large as HP supporting JBoss products gives customers a greater level of confidence when implementing open-source software. "Users have reached a comfort level with Linux," Martino said. "They're now looking at the middleware space."

JEMS includes JBoss Application Server, Hibernate, JBoss Portal and JBoss Cache. The company positions its middleware against that provided by IBM, BEA and Oracle in the burgeoning market for tools to build service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Under its Linux Reference Architecture (LRA) program, HP certifies components for an integrated software, services and hardware stack for Linux and open source. "LRA is a blueprint for how companies put together an integration strategy," Martino said. JBoss Application Server was already part of that stack and, as of Tuesday, the JBoss software will also become a component of HP-UX 11i Open Source Reference Architectures for Web Services.

"We will build out different types of stacks for different customers," Martino said. HP has more than 1,000 open-source partners, according to Martino, and intends to add in more certification of other open-source software to its LRA over time.