Sun Microsystems is entering the final stages in the development of a new enterprise computing architecture that promises to fundamentally change the way the company brings its products and services to market.
At the core of this effort is the next release of its Solaris operating system by the end of 1998, a plan to develop more sophisticated clustering technology, and a new development effort to build a management console tool that spans all of its server software offerings.
Sun is tuning the Solaris operating system for Internet service providers and network administrators utilising Internet protocols, architecture, and services.
Due by the end of next quarter, Sun officials said the release will include new functionality including host configuration and replication services, a browser-based control console, performance monitoring, hardened security mechanisms, Java servlet support, and other specialised ISP services.
Sun is also working to integrate the same type of directory technology into Solaris that Microsoft plans to deliver in Windows NT 5.0 in 1999.
John McFarlane, US-based president of Solaris software at Sun, said Solaris for ISPs is one of a host of Solaris developments currently occurring, including enhanced Solaris directory services, the final stages of 64-bit Solaris development, a specialised Solaris for intranets, and improved cluster technology to be integrated into Solaris.
Once Sun's enterprise computing architecture is in place, Sun plans to take a more solutions-based approach to marketing, in contrast to the modular approach it currently takes by selling individual server software packages.
Sun's approach will be driven by the knowledge gained from its own extranet, Sun.net. The extranet lets users, both inside and outside of the company, access corporate data after being authenticated and authorised for specific applications.
The company hopes to meld Sun.net into a solution it will market to ISPs and enterprise service providers.
Sun is also beefing up its Australian partner group with the appointment of two senior managers to new positions. Mike Wilson is Sun's new national partner group manager, while John Roker joins as national reseller manager.