Sun Bows To Linux Pressure

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Sun Microsystems launched a massive counteroffensive to Linux competitors by unveiling plans to ship its own Linux server distribution and a new family of general-purpose Linux/x86-based systems.

>> Sun to ship its own Linux server distribution and a new family of Linux/x86-based systems.


Sun, whose sales on the low end have been hurt by Linux-based systems, is now embracing Linux more fully by shipping its own general-purpose Linux server distribution, a series of single and multiprocessor x86-based systems and its Sun One infrastructure on Linux. Until now, Cobalt,Sun's sole Linux-based server,shipped only as a single-processor, single-appliance unit.

Sun also plans to contribute key elements of the Solaris Unix operating system to the open-source community and to provide native support for Linux on its SPARC-based systems.

In addition, Sun will back its Linux products with a rich set of support and professional services, said Sun President and COO Ed Zander.

The new Linux server distribution and Linux-based x86 low-end servers will make Sun more competitive against Microsoft and other Linux vendors in an economically tough market, one Sun reseller said.

"From a reseller point of view, it means you have an end-to-end [Linux solution,which Sun has never done before,on the desktop and server," said Jack Murphy, president of Myra Systems, a systems integrator in Victoria, British Columbia. "The low-end [x86 server has some value to the channel, but Sun will be challenged to do demand creation. The cost of ownership will be less than Solaris, and the economic environment is good for that. This is a cost-

driven thing."

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