Sun Extends Support for Java Platforms

Java Desktop System is now supported on all the main Linux distributions, while Java Enterprise Systems has support on Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and Windows 2000.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. is working hard to ensure that its Java Desktop and Java Enterprise Systems are supported on as many Linux, Unix and Windows operating systems as possible.

Last week Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., announced plans to offer its Java Desktop System on all the main Linux distributions available today, while the latest version of its Java Enterprise System, released last week, is now supported on the Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and Windows 2000 operating systems.

There are currently nearly one million subscribers to the product, John Loiacono, Suns executive vice president for software, said last week during a town hall briefing at its San Francisco offices.

One of those enterprise customers is broadband data and Internet services provider Telecom Ottawa, of Markham, Ontario, which chose JES running on Solaris to help it roll out cost-effective, mission-critical services to its business customers. Telecom Ottawa has a large Ethernet network, and it chose JES to help standardize the software required to run its numerous business applications.

The fourth, and latest, version of JES shipped last week and contained its entire middleware portfolio in one integrated suite. This latest version of JES is now supported on Solaris on Sparc, x86 and x64, on Linux, on HP-UX and Windows 2000, with support for Windows 2003 expected early next year, he said.

It also contains a new service registry, support for UDDI, an access manager that allowed single sign-on capabilities, as well as the Sun Cluster Geographic Edition. This cluster product allows clusters to be linked anywhere around the world and lets one of these clusters of mission critical systems take over from another to which it is linked to in a different geographic location in the event of a disaster.

"But the cluster solution is the one technology in the entire JES portfolio that is not available to all the operating systems as it is a kernel level technology, and is currently limited to Solaris on Sparc and x86 systems," Loiacono said.

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With regard to Suns JDS, Loiacono said that the company had decided to expand its play in that space to make sure the JDS was prolific on all Linux distributions. That is a big shift from earlier this year, when Loiacono told eWEEK that while Sun still fully supported JDS on the Linux platform, it was shifting emphasis towards Solaris as that was where the greatest future opportunity for JDS existed.

The move to making the product available on multiple Linux distributions comes in part to meet the individual needs of various countries around the globe that are looking to provide a standardized desktop to their citizens, but each of which is based on different, local Linux distribution.

Sun is also talking to a range of Linux software and hardware developers about this new program, which is known as the JDS Partners Program, Tom Goguen, the vice president of operating systems at Sun, said at the town hall meeting.

"We have taken the major components of JDS, mostly in the application space and including StarOffice, Java and Suns Java Virtual Machine, along with a specification and branding requirements, and made them available to this program. We will also be making a reference release of JDS on a Linux distribution available," he said.

All of this would be packaged up together as an OEM program and be made available to any Linux distribution that wanted to have a play in the volume desktop market and leverage the technologies and applications that Sun had been investing in over the past few years, Goguen said.

Among the biggest customer wins for Suns JDS is Allied Irish Bank, one of Irelands largest banking and financial services groups, which is migrating some 7,500 desktop users off Windows and onto JDS as part of the rollout of AIBs new branch banking platform.

Loiacono also used the town hall meeting to announce that IBM would be supporting Solaris 10 on its BladeCenter platform going forward, while Computer Associates would be porting its Unicenter and Britestor products to Sun Microsystems Solaris 10 on the x86 and 64-bit platforms.

Sun has also entered into evaluation for Common Criteria Certification for Solaris 10, and is going for Evaluation Assurance Level 4+, the highest globally recognized level of certification for any commercial operating system, Goguen said

Many of the features of its Trusted Solaris 8 product had been moved into the base level of Solaris 10 and had also met all of its binary compatible requirements. "That base level of Solaris is what is being certified.

"Trusted Solaris as a separate operating system release is going away, but we will have an add-on product that will be available next year, known as Trusted Extensions for Solaris 10, and it will bring the labeling capabilities to the Solaris 10 environment," he said.

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