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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-02-26 Print this article Print

: Suns New Software Strategy"> The spectrum of software included in Project Orion has Solaris and Linux at the core, with a common Java runtime environment that integrates Web services infrastructure technologies such as application servers and portals; Microsoft-interoperable e-mail and communications; Liberty-enabled directory and identity; Grid engine, streaming media, storage management, availability monitoring technologies and clustering, he said. "In a year from now, products will be aware of one another and be able to respond to changes in one with appropriate adaptation in others. That kind of system-level functionality is not really in anyones operating system, not even Microsofts.
"We expect to do this at Internet-class scale and for a set of applications that are more horizontal in nature for large-scale service providers, enterprises and ultimately small- and medium-sized businesses," Schwartz said.
The goal is to deliver the Orion components with Solaris on a DVD, giving customers a number of configuration options, ranging from installing everything to installing just a few select components. Users will be able to bring up a customized My Configuration panel from which they can make any modifications they feel necessary, including deleting components. "There is already evidence of some of these components today. An application server currently ships with Solaris and customers can elect not to use it and to run one from BEA. "We expect that level of integration to increase as we move more user-oriented services, like e-mail, calendaring, directory and instant messaging, into the operating system. So we should have a unified management console, which will show up by the end of the year. "Unified installations, so you dont have to go through 17 different installation acts to make all this stuff work within the same system, will also be featured this year. Were responding to what weve heard from CIOs who are moving away from investing in features towards consolidation, integration and interoperability. "They have been leaning on Sun to make life simpler for them, so this is a fundamental shift in our software plan and execution going forward," he said. Sun will also offer a simple and uniform pricing model. All software will move to one distribution and three licensing models: traditional, predictable and metered, he said. Sun favors the predictable method, which involves a yearly licensing fee that offers "a dramatic saving on the cost of integrating all these separate elements. This new licensing model also allows us to move away from the chaos around the different licensing terms for portal servers, application servers, e-mail systems and the like. "No CIO wants to have a random bill that shows up at the end of the month that is dependent on the number of e-mail messages its employees sent. They want predictability, just like Wall Street does," Schwartz said. But Sun has not yet firmed up pricing levels, as its still trying to figure out the easiest way to deliver this solution to customers. While Sun does not believe Project Orion will necessarily help it harvest a lot of new revenue from existing Sun customers, the company does believe Orion will help it drive more revenue against Microsoft and HP, which has "abandoned its Unix in its zeal for Windows, which leaves a lot of customers feeling marooned," Schwartz said. Sun plans to deliver Solaris on 64-bit SPARC and on 32-bit X86. "While were agnostic with regard to 32-bit systems, were not agnostic with respect to 64-bit systems," he said. Search for more stories about Sun.
Search for more stories by Peter Galli.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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