Sun Microsystems Inc.s Java Enterprise System will support a number of new third-party operating systems and hardware platforms beginning in the first quarter of next year—including Microsoft Windows for x86-based hardware, including AMD Opteron systems, and the Unix-based HP-UX operating system on the PA-RISC architecture.
The Java Enterprise System is currently available on Suns Solaris operating system for SPARC, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Opteron and Intel Corp. Xeon systems, as well as on Linux.
Last November, long before the billion-dollar-plus deal and cooperation agreement between Sun and Microsoft was signed this April, eWEEK first reported that Sun was considering bowing to pressure from customers and partners to broaden the platform base of its Java Enterprise System software.
At that time Sun President and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Schwartz, then executive vice president of Suns software group, said the Santa Clara, Calif., company could be ready for a change of heart about Windows. “The world is a very diverse place, and we have to recognize that diversity,” Schwartz said.
“Realistically, developers write code on desktops, and so if were expecting to appeal to those developers in the construction of these shared network services, we are going to have to make sure we meet them where they are rather than where we ultimately want them to be,” he said.
Customers will now be able to take advantage of the benefits the Java Enterprise System provides on the hardware platforms of their choice, John Loiacono, executive vice president of software at Sun, said in a statement released late Monday night.
“With [Mondays] announcements, Sun is opening up significant new opportunities for customers and partners, and giving them flexibility to mix and match systems to meet their technology needs, help reduce the costs and complexity associated with systems management and leverage Suns infinite right to use model,” he said.
Sun will also announce on Tuesday a new systems promotion, under which qualified customers who purchase the Java Enterprise System will receive a Sun Fire V20z AMD Opteron processor-based server (valued at nearly $4,000), the Solaris 9 Operating System and one year of SunSpectrum Silver support—all for $100 per employee per year.
Companies will also be upgraded to Solaris 10 when it ships at the end of the year at no additional cost, giving them access to new technologies like dynamic tracing, dynamic file system, predictive self healing and N1 Grid Containers, as well as optimized 64-bit Solaris support for Opteron-based systems.
This promotion is available through the end of the year.
This move follows Suns February announcement of free hardware for its U.S.-based developer network community. The Java Enterprise Developer Promotion, which ended June 30, included an entry-level Opteron-based Sun server, called the V20Z and was priced at $2,750, plus tools, support and services. That promotion cost $4,497, paid in three annual subscription payments of $1,499.
“Sun developers can now get hardware, software and development tools for a single, low annual subscription fee,” said Schwartz at that time, adding that Sun was considering making a similar offer on its enterprise SPARC servers.
Dana Gardner, a senior analyst for application infrastructure and software platforms at the Yankee Group, said the existing Java Enterprise System business model is steadily changing how companies evaluate and select infrastructure software. “This announcement will spur wider examination of the benefits,” he said.
Sun is also extending its existing special promotion for qualified small businesses through the end of this year. Sun officials first announced the promotion at the iForce conference in San Diego in April. Under this promotion, companies who qualify and have less than 100 employees will receive the Java Enterprise System software free of charge for one year.