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1/31/2006
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Sun Aims To Simplify Solaris Deployment

New tools will help with Solaris setup and management as Sun seeks to expand into the SMB market.

Sun Microsystems is seeking ways to make its Solaris operating system easier to deploy for solution providers serving smaller enterprises.

Tom Goguen, vice president of software marketing at Sun, said Monday that one goal for future updates to Solaris 10 is adding tools that assist with the setup and management of the platform, particularly as the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company works to spread its products beyond large enterprises.

"The challenge is that Solaris is a very sophisticated beast, and it lacks easy-to-use tools," Goguen told a small group of reporters gathered in San Francisco to hear about updates to Solaris 10, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this week.

Goguen wouldn’t say when the updates would be released but noted that additional binary-compatible updates will be coming out for Solaris 10 over at least the next year.

Sun also is working on additional software tools designed to make it easier for solution providers to roll out specific solutions on Sun infrastructure and bring them closer to Sun's management service offerings, Goguen said.

Though Goguen declined to specify any upcoming software releases in this realm, he said information life-cycle management (ILM) is one offering that Sun is working to simplify for partners. "We want to make it possible to easily deploy ILM quickly and to manage it remotely," he said.

Increasing solution provider participation in managed services also will be a focus, Goguen added. Sun wants to ensure that solution providers can resell support, break-fix and patch management services for a commission and to allow its partners to offer some sort of branded service atop of Sun's back end.

Goguen was in San Francisco to announce that Indian integrators Satyam Computer Technologies, Tata Consultancy Service and Wipro will provide migration services to Solaris 10 for global customers engaged by Sun's direct sales force. He said these integrators were trained to handle large-scale integration work for such customers, particularly migrations from rival Unix platforms such as IBM's AIX and Hewlett-Packard's UX.

Since Solaris 10 was released last year, Sun has distributed 4 million software licenses, Goguen said. Two-thirds of those licenses were for use on x86 systems.

The release of Solaris 10 marked Sun’s recommitment to x86. The company had dropped support of the platform in previous Solaris versions.

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