Sun To Split Solaris Distribution Model
The company will use Project Indiana to target the Linux developer community and its enterprise customers with frequent community-oriented releases of the operating system.
Sun Microsystems on Thursday said it is establishing a two-tier distribution model for its Solaris operating system in an attempt to capture market share from its Linux competitors.
Tentatively dubbed “Project Indiana,” the distribution methodology is based on a network-based package management system that runs on a 6-month release cycle of the latest improvements. The packages could be contributed by Sun, the open source community, or individuals. Currently under development in the Sun-founded OpenSolaris community, the first release is due out in Spring of 2008. Sun said test releases would be made available beginning in Fall 2007. The enterprise-version of Solaris is expected to maintain its current, predictable, and long release cycle schedule.
“From a product standpoint, think of this as one Solaris with two distributions: One for enterprise and one for development,” said Marc Hamilton, Sun VP of Solaris Marketing. While Solaris Express has been considered a successful distribution model, Hamilton noted its disadvantage is that it is only available to Sun’s customers.
The project first came to light during the JavaOne conference in May 2007 just as Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and the commercial Linux distributor Progeny, was making his debut as Sun’s Chief Operating Platforms Officer.
Coming from the Linux community, Murdock noted the difficulty developers had in moving applications between Linux and Solaris, despite their common ancestry. His stated goal now is to “bridge the familiarity” between the two operating systems to a point where Sun can make a compelling reason for developers and their bosses to structure applications based around Solaris even if they are currently running code over Linux operating systems like Red Hat or SuSE.
“Your average application these days is probably made with Ruby on Rails to run on Linux,” Murdock said during a press briefing Thursday. “We at Sun would take a look at that and say to our customers, ‘You should move that to Solaris.’ When they say, ‘Why?’… We can show them how things like DTrace [a code-testing tool in the operating system], which has special software designed for Ruby — but not on Linux. We have to give them a unique compelling reason to make the shift.”
Read more: InformationWeek