More Than 3,000 Customers, Including Xerox, Enjoy Access To Innovative New Features Through Solaris OS Distributions

Decemeber 3, 2003

SunNetwork 2003 Conference and Pavilion – December 3, 2003 – Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced significant updates to its Solaris Operating System (OS) and additional support for its “military-grade” Trusted Solaris Operating System. In addition, unlike competitors such as HP, which has end-of-lifed certain UNIX offerings such as its Alpha Tru-64 and delayed shipment of HP-UX11i v.3 by 18 months, Sun announced the latest results of investments in the Solaris OS with vast performance improvements, increased security, and breakthrough diagnostic capabilities in the latest Solaris OS distributions. With Sun’s new commitment to provide the Solaris OS on the 32- and 64-bit AMD Opteron processor-based platform — jointly announced with AMD on November 17, 2003 — customers will have a robust, globally supported, high performance and broadly adopted platform, running on SPARC, Intel and AMD Opteron processor-based systems, to turn to as a compelling alternative.

“Customers tell me they are reassured that we have redoubled our efforts with continued investment in the Solaris OS,” said John Loiacono, vice president, operating platforms group for Sun. “With our focus on delivering dramatic performance increases for low-end systems and TCP/IP networking, industry leading security levels, and simple effective virtualization technologies, we are bolstering the Solaris OS as the foundation for the Sun Java Enterprise System for SPARC and AMD Opteron processor-based systems. Sun remains committed to delivering the very same functionality of the Solaris OS on its volume platforms SPARC and x86, which include the AMD Opteron processor, all at aggressive price points.”

Features included in the December Solaris OS distributions include:

  • x86 Performance Optimization: Improvements to Solaris x86 OS deliver higher throughput by taking advantage of the full capabilities of today’s x86 platforms with extended instruction sets and higher bandwidth interconnects. Support has been added for the Streaming Instruction set (SSE2 and hyperthreading), which is expected to deliver greatly improved video and audio streaming performance over previously available releases. Sun’s internal tests show industry leading Java technology and application server performance on one to two CPU systems delivering performance increases over earlier versions of the Solaris OS.
  • Advancements in Network Performance: Today’s high bandwidth networks place heavy demands on the operating system and on the processor. Sun has redesigned the networking code within the Solaris OS, to deliver dramatically higher network throughput with less processor load. The new version of the Solaris OS delivers from 20 to 47 percent better networking performance than previous versions. Customers can benefit by getting improvements in networking infrastructure without purchasing additional hardware.
  • Enhanced Security: Microsoft recently announced that its “Longhorn” Windows Operating System would not be available until mid-2005, leaving its customers waiting for much-needed OS security enhancements. By applying the higher security protection of role based access controls and fine grained privileges within the Solaris OS, systems administrators greatly diminish their risk of viruses, worms, trojan horses, and other malicious code that may find its way into the system. Solaris, already recognized as one of the industry’s most secure operating systems, now gets bolstered with these new features that enable systems administrators to have even more fine-grained control of system security, for example, user and system processes are granted only the necessary access to operating system services and data that they need to perform their tasks and no more.
  • DTrace Advanced Tracing: The Solaris OS delivers a new tool that pervasively tracks and logs critical system and software activity on demand – which increases a system administrator’s productivity and helps reduce downtime. The ability to dynamically “trace” every system process allows system administrators and developers to identify the bottlenecks in production systems and/or software applications, thereby dramatically speeding the time to resolution or optimization, saving costs and improving service. Early use of DTrace has shown reductions in resolution time from several days to hours, or even minutes.
  • Network File System version 4 (NFS v.4): To save networking infrastructure costs, many IT groups wish to exploit the internet for linking distant data centers. NFS v.4 extends the benefits of file sharing by enabling secure access to files across the internet. The Solaris OS implementation has a stronger security negotiation mechanism, enhanced extensibility capabilities and cross platform interoperability over previous versions of Solaris.

These next generation features are delivered through Sun Software Express, Sun’s innovative early access program that provides subscribers with predictable monthly installments of software code in advance of release and allows them to develop, test and optimize applications to allow for faster time-to-market. Sun Software Express for Solaris, which is the first Sun software product available through this new distribution mechanism, is gaining continued success with more than 3,000 downloads in three months.

“With the Software Express for Solaris program we can take advantage of the latest Solaris technologies on an accelerated schedule, allowing faster time-to-market for our own products,” said Rich Lauria, manager of production controller development at Xerox Corporation. “We immediately embraced the program and are seeing good results.”

In addition, Sun today announced the fifth update to the Solaris 9 OS for SPARC and x86 platforms. New features in the update release include secure provisioning and booting, and change management via the Internet. These features, paired with current capabilities such as Solaris Containers, make the Solaris 9 OS the first commercial UNIX OS that can be booted remotely over the Internet without local network support. The Solaris 9 OS includes resource management capabilities built-in at no additional charge. The latest release also fully integrates the Sun Java Application Server 7 with the Solaris OS x86 and SPARC and includes the lastest Java Virtual Machine, J2SE 1.4.2.

Sun also announced Trusted Solaris for the SPARC and x86 platform, which includes support for additional Sun hardware such as the low-cost Sun Fire V60x and V65x systems, and the Sun Fire V250 and V440 SPARC systems. The latest version of Sun’s military-grade Trusted Solaris OS allows customers to take advantage of unique multi-level security features. Trusted Solaris is now being implemented in commercial application environments, such as banking and healthcare, for the same reasons governments and the armed forces find it useful — military-grade security – which provides mandatory access controls, data separation, and security labels that help prevent unauthorized access and alteration of data.

Increased Momentum for Solaris OS x86

With more than 375,000 registered licenses since January 2003, the Solaris OS x86 is rapidly gaining partner and customer momentum. Sun recently partnered with AMD to deliver Solaris OS support and optimization for AMD’s 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. With support from ISV partners such as BEA, Sybase and others, the Solaris x86 application portfolio is expanding quickly. Customers such as Maya Online, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and GetMore Securities have chosen Solaris x86 over competing operating systems. Additionally, more than 175 systems are now listed on the Solaris x86 hardware compatibility list (HCL), enabling customers to take advantage of the enterprise-class Solaris OS on third-party x86 systems. For more information on the Solaris OS, please visit:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, Trusted Solaris, Sun Fire, SunNetwork, J2ME and The Network is the Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. AMD and AMD Opteron are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.