Sun rolls out network products

Officials at Sun Microsystems Inc. introduced a slew of products to boost delivery of network services, including a new file system for the Solaris operating system, a second release of an identity management solution and a subscription-based model that assigns a single price to more than 100 services.

Sun's new Dynamic File System provides "16 billion billion times more capacity" than current file systems, said Sun's chief executive officer Scott McNealy, making it infinitely scalable.

The file system, which is included as a part of Solaris 10, also automates many of the tasks that systems administrators now have to do by hand. Creating and growing file systems has been cut from 28 to just five separate tasks, for example, while adding mirrored file systems and storage space for users will now take as little as 10 seconds.

The second release of the identity-management solution has three new products based on the software acquired by Sun with its recent purchase of Waveset Technologies Inc. The Sun Java System Identity Manager combines user provisioning with metadirectory capabilities, which Sun claims is an industry first, enabling administrators to manage identity permissions and profiles and simultaneously synchronize services for those directories across the enterprise.

The other products include an access manager to help manage access to internal and external Web-based resources, and an enterprise version of the Sun Java System Directory Server that includes built-in fail-over, load balancing, security and integration with Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory.

Sun's Preventive Services is aimed at the data center and is an attempt at what McNealy called a more simplified way of pricing services than through complex outsourcing contracts. It includes a portfolio of more than 100 services that managers can use to find issues that might affect network performance and for which they pay one price.

In general, many of the new announcements also included references to other kinds of subscription-based pricing, which Sun officials see as a trend among users who increasingly don't want to own the technology themselves.

Other items introduced June 1 included an array of low-cost storage products, software to collect and manage data produced by radio-frequency identity systems and a pricing system aimed specifically at Third World and developing markets through which Sun's Java Enterprise System would be sold on a per-citizen basis using the United Nation's ranking for a country's development status.

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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