Feeds

Sun eyes open source 'stacks'

Solaris and PostgreSQL love in

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

An integrated suite of open source middleware stacks featuring Solaris and PostgreSQL, potentially offered to developers as a service, are on Sun Microsystems' radar.

The company is starting to assess customer demand for, and ways it can maintain, a set of stacks that would potentially remove the pain for developers trying to integrate Sun's software with popular open source modules.

Possible stacks could feature PostgreSQL and Solaris with the community's Apache web server and Rails scripting language, or availability with the Sun-backed implementation of enterprise Java called Glassfish, Sun told The Register.

Stacks seem someway off, but any offering would see Sun enter a young section of the software and services market, which promises a great deal of potential for software platform providers. Start-ups SpikeSource and SourceLabs currently deliver their own, separate, stacks that integrate open source modules with Java. The idea is to save developers the pain and cost of undertaking this integration.

With enterprises tending to choose services from fewer and fewer IT suppliers, though, it seems the time is coming for platform providers. Developers will already be running application servers and databases from companies like Oracle and IBM, which they will want to work out-of-the box with open source modules. It comes as little surprise, then, that Oracle has dropped hints about providing integrated stacks.

Depending on how Sun ultimately decides to charge for its stacks, the proposed offerings would represent one of the company's first clear software-based services. Sun has so far talked much of growing revenue from software services, but failed to clearly explain what it has in mind.

The first phase in Sun's strategy was the decision to integrate the PostgreSQL database with Solaris 10. Sun announced integration in November 2005 and recently hired PostgreSQL lead Josh Berkus to co-ordinate Sun's internal development work on Solaris around the community's PostgreSQL release schedule.

Looking ahead, Berkus said: "If you are now supporting the operating system and database, you can support this other stuff as well."

The immediate goal of integration between PostgreSQL and Solaris seems to boost Sun's more traditional business in servers. Sun's support for an integrated version of PostgreSQL with Solaris is, Sun says, designed to give customers a broad range of choice. Integration means PostgreSQL can take advantage of Solaris 10's features in performance tuning and predictive self-healing.

"Sun wants [customers] to buy Niagara-based servers running Solaris and then they will chose the database they want. Sun wants to be in the driving seat," Berkus said.

By endorsing PostgreSQL, Sun hopes to give its rather secretive clique of customers involved in defense and the government a reliable, open source database they can modify without returning changes to the community. This is possible in PostgreSQL thanks to the database's BSD license. "They want to reserve the right to hack on the database and not have to disclose that for security reasons," Berkus said.®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.