Former Sun, Oracle Execs Launch Open-Source Services Startup


Two former executives from Sun Microsystems and Oracle plan to launch in December an open-source startup called SpikeSource designed to provide end-to-end Linux integration services.

The Menlo Park, Calif., company, which was discussed at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week, was founded in May 2003 by CEO Kim Polese, the former Sun Java product manager and former CEO of Marimba, and Ray Lane, former Oracle COO and president, who will serve as chairman.

It is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, where Lane serves as general partner.

The startup pledges to provide “validated and certified open-source stacks” as well as “pure and commercial hybrids” to enable faster implementation, improved application management and lower cost of ownership.

According to the company Web site, SpikeSource put into alpha testing in April an alpha version of its first integrated stack for Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/Python/PHP and Java ( LAMPJ).

It plans to commence beta testing in December when it officially launches the company, a spokesman for the startup said.

SpikeSource will provide an integrated and tested stack from more than 50 open-source components including Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP), JBoss, Tomcat, Axis and Hibernate.

The software will be certified, managed, supported and updated and will run on all leading distributions, including SuSE 9.0, Red Hat 9, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora Core 3, SpikeSource said.

Red Hat launched last year a similar strategy dubbed Open Source Architecture, which attempts to provide an integrated middleware stack on top of its Linux kernel.

A spokesman for SpikeSource said the company’s approach is different from Red Hat's in that it integrates technologies further up the application stack. SpikeSource, for instance, offers certified interoperability for specific versions of Web server, database engine and various Web application programming systems, he said.

Analysts said there’s plenty of room for SpikeSource and other companies in the Linux services arena.

“There is an opportunity for companies to provide packaged solutions based on Linux components that are tested and supported,” said Robert Igou, a Gartner Group analyst.