Sun Microsystems' software group said it will ship a version of its Java Enterprise System server software for Red Hat Linux within 60 days.
Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice-president of software at Sun, claimed that the performance of Solaris now is "at parity with or better than Red Hat" on low-end servers with up to four processors. That applies to systems based on Xeon or Opteron processors in addition to Sun's own Sparc chips, he said.
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Schwartz acknowledged that Sun had neglected the entry-level server market in the past and focused on large multiprocessor systems. But, he said, Solaris developers have spent the past two years working with users to upgrade the operating system's performance on low-end machines.
Sun is also offering Red Hat's software as well as Novell's SuSE Linux technology for use with its servers.
"We're committed to giving people a choice," Schwartz said.
The Red Hat version of Java Enterprise System will be the first non-Solaris release of the software bundle, which includes products such as Sun's application, portal and directory servers. The bundle, which can be licensed on a per-employee basis, was announced last September and began shipping in January.
Versions of Java Enterprise System for Windows and HP-UX are due to follow by year's end, said Steve Borcich, executive director of security marketing at Sun's software unit.
Sun also plans to lay out a road map and release schedule for an expanded set of identity management tools. The offering will be integrated into Java Enterprise System and include software that Sun acquired when it bought Waveset Technologies in December.
Sun will support for converting Microsoft Office macros so they can run on its StarOffice desktop applications. The company also plans to introduce a management console for its Java Desktop System bundle that will give IT managers the ability to disable imported macros for security purposes, Borich said
Craig Stedman writes for Computerworld