Windows NT is "faltering" in the enterprise arena and Sun Microsystems is prepared to pick up its slack with Wednesday's release of its 64-bit environment, Solaris 7, according to a company official.
Don Lowe, Sun's marketing director, said the much-delayed Windows NT 5.0 would become increasingly unreliable, because it will contain more than 40 million lines of code. Solaris 7, he said, has only 13 million lines, which reduced the possibility of errors.
"We will provide users with the most robust platform we can so they can move forward into the enterprise space," said Lowe.
"While the competition hedged their bets and gambled on NT, Sun's dedication is paying off big time."
Solaris 7 has enhanced performance and scalability for both Sparc and Intel platforms via a full 64-bit kernel which can deliver four billion times the maximum capacity of a 32-bit environment, Sun officials said.
Lowe said the new release meant users could deploy a single operating environment, where previously they typically had to use MVS at the high end, Unix in the mid-range and Windows at the low end. He said Solaris 7 has been enhanced with mainframe-class reliability, availability and serviceability features, which were developed with partners including Fujitsu, NCR and Siemens.
Lowe said Solaris 7's stability was further improved with the addition of dynamic reconfiguration, alternate pathing and hot plug support, which enable online repair and reconfiguration, minimising downtime. These features are a "key capability of Solaris 7", he said.
Solaris 7 also supports dynamic system domains, where users can logically partition into domains, allowing multiple domains on a single server. Lowe said Solaris 7 supports eight partitions now, but would eventually support 16.
In addition to the operating environment, Sun announced three server extensions: East Access Server 2.0, Enterprise Server 1.0, and ISP Server 2.0 -- aimed at departmental, data centre and ISP customers respectively.
Solaris 7 can operate with most platforms, including Windows NT, 95, 98 and 3.x, NetWare clients, OS/2 and Macintosh clients. It is also compatible with Internet standards -- LDAP, TCP/IP and DNS -- which Lowe said enabled vendor interoperability.
Sun Solaris 7 will be available on November 10. Prices start at $950 for the desktop version and $1450 for the server version. Solaris Easy Access Server is $1250, shipping in November. Solaris ISP server is $12,700 and will ship in December. Solaris Enterprise Server will be available in the first half of 1999.