Sun and Nortel accelerate Web services push

Introducing a set of offerings built to remove Web services deployment and infrastructure hurdles for enterprises and Web hosters, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp. launched their co-developed Rapid Start Web Solutions on Wednesday.

The Internet Data Center solutions will be offered in three modular and pre-configured bundle sets: Web Hosting, Highly Available and Secure, and Highly Available and are the first configurations rolled out under the SunTone platform umbrella, said Yael Zheng, director of SunTone Program at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems.

The SunTone Certification and Branding Program will define and audit service provider infrastructure, operational practices, hardware, applications, and service delivery. The initiative is led by Sun.

Zheng said the Rapid Start Web Solutions have been pre-sized and pre-tested to meet a number of the reliability and scalability requirements of the Sun-led service provider infrastructure and SunTone program in several categories, but have not yet achieved SunTone Certification status.

The Web-enabling solutions feature an assortment of integrated products, including Nortel Networks Alteon Web switches, Sun Netra T1 Thin servers, and software from Sun and iPlanet E-commerce solutions.

Ed Broderick, principal analyst at Westport, Conn.-based Robert Frances Group, said Sun and Nortel each complement and leverage the other’s technology to enable customers to “Webify” their businesses in a faster and more efficient capacity than they ever could on their own. A single point of accountability will be another key selling point, he added.

“[Sun and Nortel] have got the guns and the technical people to [enable Web services] end-to-end, A to Z,” Broderick said. “Most organizations want to increase their presence and accessibility on the Web. It’s very difficult to do. An awful lot of IT parties need third-party technical expertise to do it, and this signifies a marriage between two of the biggest providers.”

Broderick said he would not be surprised if competitors of Sun and Nortel, such as Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, team up in a similar fashion to institute the profitability Web services can bring if implemented correctly.