Open source can lower total cost of ownership

Sun Microsystems thin-client network computing model will be aimed at companies that are facing the pressures of scalability,...

Sun Microsystems thin-client network computing model will target companies that are facing the pressures of scalability, software licensing costs and remote working requirements, said Sun president and chief executive officer, Scott McNealy.

McNealy claimed Sun thin client model provides a lower total cost of ownership by running applications off a central server for many users.

"Having 20 users sharing one processor and a set amount of memory and disk, divides the cost of hardware significantly when compared with individual computers for every employee. We are doing this now and are looking to extend it to 200 and eventually 1,000 users per processor," said McNealy.

McNealy claimed the use of smartcards with Sun Ray thin clients could securely connect to applications remotely.

"With smartcard technology employees can securely logon to any Sun thin client and have their personal profile loaded on the screen allowing access to their applications," McNealy said. "This works equally well within or outside the corporate network."

Sun intends to incorporate wireless technology into the smartcard access model.

"We will be releasing project Mad Hatter which is a Linux kernel with the Gnome desktop, Mozilla Web browser, StarOffice for productivity, and a Java virtual machine," he said.

"Linux is the operating system alternative to Windows on the desktop. It is a tool and opportunity for us, not a threat. The cost of software should be closer to zero than the market dictates. For example, the open source database market is gaining activity and aggressively challenges the pricing of enterprise database suppliers."

"We are the commodity in 64-bit computing and it would be irresponsible for us to drop this," he said. "The reason our high-end systems are leading products is because we know the processor, kernel, and application technology."

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