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Sun Microsystems has signed up a new recruit to help it move customers off of Microsoft server software and onto either Sun's own products or open source code.

Versora, a small company based in Santa Barbara, California, is the newest member of Sun's iForce partner program. The firm makes products that automatically move code from Windows IIS servers to Apache servers. Sun will be looking to shift customers onto both Apache and its own Java System Web Server.

"There's a really good sized market of people that want to get off IIS and need some hand holding," said Mike Sheffey, CEO of Versora.

The main motivations to move off of IIS are two fold, according to Sheffey and much of the world at large. Security concerns clearly rank pretty high for ISS users that are continually pounded by nefarious characters. In addition, companies are looking to mix up their products to give them better leverage against Microsoft.

"I am very paranoid about getting trapped into any monopolistic relationship," said Rob Hale, CIO at Select Personnel and one of Versora's early customers. "I have kept my eye on third parties that support and assist with open source activities."

Select Personnel has picked up Versora's Progression Web product to move from Windows NT/IIS servers to Linux/Apache servers.

"We didn't have to modify any Windows ASP code," Hale said. "We are still using it on Linux/Apache running on top of Sun's Java System ASP."

Versora is basically just getting off the ground, but it has bold ambitions. The company has already teamed with Novell on some Windows to Linux migration efforts, particularly shifting from IIS to the SuSE Linux Apache Web Server. Versora's products work with all the major flavors of Windows Server, SuSE OSes, Red Hat OSes and Mac OS X.

The company is also building out its database migration arsenal, hoping to push customers from Microsoft's SQL Server to MySQL and Postgres.

Sun will likely welcome Versora with open arms in as many accounts as possible. One of Sun's key missions with Linux is to pull customers off of Microsoft software products in order to open up larger hardware/software sales for Sun. ®

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