Sun Microsystems is to offer commercial customers a version of its Solaris operating system originally developed for military and government intelligence use. Sun intends to include the technology in its next version of Solaris, due in mid-2004.
The security technology, called Trusted Solaris, provides role-based access control at the root, dividing or limiting root access by user. It also creates audit trails. The technology supports both Sparc and Intel-based systems.
Although the commercial availability of Trusted Solaris is not new, the company has not yet marketed it broadly and interest has largely been limited to financial services companies.
Beginning this spring, Sun intended to market an offering that included firewalls and other access controls. Pricing will start at $999 for a standard desktop edition.
Because Trusted Solaris provides access control at the root, it allows companies to separate systems administration from operations at the most fundamental level of the operating system.
"Just because you are the system administrator and you have root access, I don't want to give you access to the payroll database," said Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president of Sun's software products group.