Sun’s Java middleware fits Windows, Linux, HP-UX

Sun Microsystems Inc. made a flurry of announcements centered around its Solaris 10 operating system Wednesday. The news included the release of a new version of its Java Enterprise System (Java ES) subscription-based enterprise middleware, which will now support additional non-Sun operating systems.

The company’s latest release of Java ES, version 4, now supports Solaris 10, Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 2000, Red Hat Inc.’s Enterprise Linux and Hewlett-Packard Co.’s HP-UX operating systems, according to a Sun release. Support for IBM Corp.’s AIX Unix operating system was not included. In many recent public statements, Sun has claimed that AIX is a “dying” operating system. Support for Microsoft’s Windows 2003 is due to be added over the coming 90 days, Sun said in the release.

Sun has integrated Java ES 4 and its suite of developer tools within Solaris 10 to create a pretested, preconfigured offering, according to a Sun release. Java ES is also available in the form of individual suites known collectively as Java System Suites.

The suites include Java Availability Suite, Java Identity Management Suite, Java Web Infrastructure Suite, Java Application Platform Suite and Java Communications Suite, with a recent addition being Java Integration Suite, formerly the SeeBeyond ICAN Suite. Sun acquired SeeBeyond Technology earlier this year. Sun said it has nearly one million subscribers for Java ES, which is priced at US$140 per employee per year, according to a Sun release.

The company has distributed over three million registered licenses Solaris 10 since it was launched on Jan. 31, Sun stated in a release. Additionally, users continue to download the open-source version of the operating system for free from Sun’s web site at a rate of around 80,000 licenses per week, according to a release.

Sun also announced that it has submitted Solaris 10 for Common Criteria testing for certification at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4+, certification that if achieved would rank the software as one of the most secure commercial operating systems in the world.

Accepted by more than 22 countries as requirement for using technology in sensitive environments, an EAL is an agreed upon standard for independent certification of an IT vendor’s security claims for its products. Government, military and financial institutions looking to deploy a highly secure operating system use the Common Criteria certifications as a key item on their checklists.

Solaris 10 includes over 80 percent of the functionality of Trusted Solaris, Sun’s secure flavour of the operating system, according to a company release. Sun previously obtained EAL certification for Solaris 8 and 9, the release stated. With its Solaris Trusted Extensions layered technology, Sun plans to bring multilevel security to Solaris 10 by the first half of next year, according to the company. The company expects to have EAL 4+ certification for the operating system some time in 2006.

Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) also stepped up to the plate to extend its support for Solaris 10. CA will port its Unicenter systems management software and its BrightStor storage software to Sun’s operating system for 64-bit x86 computers. The software company plans to build a management platform for Sun’s UltraSparc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s (AMD’s) Opteron processor-based systems running Solaris 10 based on both Unicenter and BrightStor.

Sun and CA have already collaborated to integrate Sun’s systems management software, Sun Management Center, with Unicenter Network Systems and Management so that Unicenter users can manage Sun servers in heterogenous environments.

Sun also talked up Sun Studio 11 compiler and performance analysis tools optimized for Solaris 10, which is due to ship next month. Built on Sun’s NetBeans platform, the software will enable users to take advantage of performance improvements provided by compiler optimizations when developing 32-bit and 64-bit applications based on Sun’s UltraSparc and AMD’s Opteron chips, Sun said in a release.

Sun promised to provide more details on another upcoming software release, Java Studio Enterprise 8, within the next 30 days.

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