Suns Cobalt Server Software Gets Open-Source Life
Sun is giving its dying Cobalt server line new life by open-sourcing its software and ROM.Sun Microsystems Inc. is ending its Cobalt server product line, but thats not the end of the Cobalt story. Sun has elected to release the Cobalt RaQ 550 server appliance source code under a Berkeley style open-source license, thus giving the old product line new life. The release of the RaQ 550 code follows in the footsteps of Sun releasing the Cobalt lines ROM source code at the SourceForge developer site under the GNU General Public License (GPL). This ROM code is a custom BIOS for the x86-based Qube and RaQ products. This followed Sun open-sourcing its user interface and back-end software, formerly Sausalito, now called Blue Quartz. This was released in July 2003 under a BSD-like license.
The once popular Cobalt line is still used by many Web hosting companies and ISPs for low-end Web and Internet services: for example, for e-mail and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server. Despite the retirement of the line, Sun plans to maintain the knowledge base and support forum for the Cobalt RaQ 550 device for three more years, through mid-February 2007.