Sun Microsystems has claimed that installations its latest operating system (OS), Solaris 10, which can be downloaded for free over the internet, have reached the 750,000 mark worldwide.
Unix-based Solaris 10 is Sun’s answer to the growing influence of Windows in enterprise computing. It is a vendor-neutral OS that is available on more than 340 different hardware platforms from vendors such as Dell, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, IBM and Hewlett-Packard.
Solaris users in Ireland include AIB, Bank of Ireland, Eircom, the Revenue Commissioners, the Garda Siochana and the Department of Justice.
“There are already 750,000 installations of Solaris 10 through the Software Express for Solaris programme. This strong interest underscores the fact that Solaris 10 is delivering tremendous value to customers, partners and developers,” said John Loiacono, executive vice-president, Software at Sun. “The availability of Solaris 10 is the latest in a series of milestones for Sun.”
Customers and partners can download Solaris 10 free of charge for commercial use. As the software itself is free, Sun hopes to make its money on bolted-on services and support contracts. Sun claims that these will be up to 40pc less expensive than Linux distributions. Sun has previously admitted that Linux – especially Linux running on low-cost x86 servers – represents a significant competitive threat.
The subscription-based Solaris service plans are akin to the phone-calling service plans. Customers can choose Basic, Standard or Premium Solaris plans, each with scalable pricing, based on the number of processor sockets. Sun Ireland has previously has said that Irish users can expect to pay a couple of hundred euro per CPU per annum for Sun’s premium support package, which would include 24/7 cover.
To date more than 7,200 people have registered for the free web-based Solaris 10 training preview class and more than 1,400 people have signed up for classroom-based training courses on Solaris.
Sun also claims that Solaris 10 is winning widespread support from Sun’s partner community. Since November 2004, more than 400 new independent software vendors (ISVs), including the leading ISVs from EMEA and Asia Pacific, have signed up to Solaris 10 through the 10 Moves Ahead Partner Initiative that provides technical, marketing and sales benefits to partners developing applications on Solaris 10.
Additionally, to help customers and ISVs protect their investment in Solaris, Sun offers an application guarantee that applies to binaries and source code. Solaris has more than 12,000 existing commercial applications today making it “one of the most vibrant ecosystems in the industry” according to Sun. More than 700 business software partners have committed to delivering Solaris 10 applications by the end of this year.
By Brian Skelly