Sun's enterprise pitch includes NT integration

Sun's enterprise pitch includes NT integration

File this in the "can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em" category.

Sun Microsystems this week declared that its vision of enterprise computing includes integration of its own Solaris servers with arch-rival Microsoft's Windows NT operating system.

There is no love lost between Sun and Microsoft. In its ongoing lawsuit, Sun has charged Microsoft with using a version of Java in its products that does not comply with the specifications laid down in its licensing contract.

But Sun, facing up to the fact that NT is outselling all other server operating systems, is offering up technology, codenamed "Project Cascade", that lets Solaris systems integrate with NT environments. Cascade gives users native NT network services including naming, authentication, and file and print sharing, according to Sun. The technology is being offered for Solaris servers running either Intel or Sparc processors.

Sun's main pitch is that by letting NT services run on top of Solaris, organisations can use these increasingly popular NT features on a more scalable and reliable operating system base.

While NT's 1997 unit shipments of 1.2 million copies outsold the various flavours of Unix, NT servers are typically confined to groups of 25 users and are mainly for file and print sharing, according to IDC.

In addition, citing figures from IDC, Sun said that 54 per cent of Windows NT server licences sold in 1997 supported file and print services.

Cascade will allow Sun servers to act as Primary Domain Controller, Backup Domain Controller, or resource server on NT systems, Sun said. The company added that Cascade supports all domain functions including multiple domains, trust relationships, and single sign-on.

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