Enterprise-Class Platform Targets Microsoft Server Market with Robust Security and Lower Acquisition Cost by Up to 15x

Febuary 6, 2003

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today delivered on its redoubled commitment to the UNIX® platform, extending the full benefits of the Solaris™ Operating System (OS), the number one UNIX platform, to x86-based servers with the Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition. Seeing a growing market opportunity, Sun is expanding its products and services into the x86 server market. While industry competitors abandon UNIX, Sun’s strategy guarantees customer continuity and global support for UNIX on its entire line of both SPARC[tm] and x86 systems, and on third party x86 systems.

With the release of the Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition, Sun is giving customers a proven, highly secure enterprise-class OS for entry-level servers. By offering management and hardening features previously unavailable on x86 servers, the Solaris 9 OS provides customers with a far more secure and less expensive alternative to Microsoft’s competing Windows servers. The Solaris 9 OS also offers newly integrated Sun™ ONE products, along with secure networking and content delivery functionality. Sun expects to deliver an integrated Sun ONE software portfolio on the Solaris x86 Platform Edition within the calendar year.

Non-commercial usage is available at no charge, while commercial pricing starts at US $99; attractive OEM pricing is also available. Source code for Solaris will now be available.

“Enterprise requirements are simple — security, scalability, global support and price/performance,” said Jonathan Schwartz, executive vice president, software, Sun Microsystems. “As the only leading vendor to increase its investment in UNIX, Sun with its Solaris OS now combines legendary security, unparalleled price/performance, product stability, and a growing commitment to both x86 and SPARC systems. With the evolving functionality of the Java platform and Sun ONE portfolio, Sun now stands alone in redoubling its commitment to UNIX and in lowering costs and increasing security in a tight spending environment.”

Wide Support for the Solaris x86 Platform Edition To date, the Solaris x86 Platform Edition has over 1.1 million registered licenses and features over one thousand certified applications in many different markets.

“Verizon’s use of the Solaris x86 Platform Edition will help us continue to increase reliability and security while reducing overall costs,” said Shadman Zafar, senior vice president-IT Architecture & eServices, Verizon Communications.

“AMD shares Sun’s commitment to the x86 market, and to providing customers compatible, stable continuity for their software and infrastructure,” said Marty Seyer, vice president of server business segment, Computation Products Group, AMD. “Enterprise customers can benefit from the proven performance and dependability of AMD Athlon[tm] MP processors together with the scalability and manageability of Solaris 9 OS.”

“We welcome Sun’s commitment to entry-level systems,” said Dr. Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager, Sybase Enterprise Solutions Division. “Our customers benefit from the lower cost of acquisition and operation of Sybase software — Sun’s extension of the Solaris OS to the low-end market creates an even more compelling end-to-end value proposition for our customers.”

“BEA believes that customers will respond favorably to Solaris x86, and be able to benefit from the experience BEA and Sun have in optimizing and tuning our software on Solaris,” said John Gray, vice president of Global Alliances, BEA Systems. “BEA looks forward to supporting this extension to the Solaris platform.”

“The Quantiva Analysis System (QAS) tests Web application performance using advanced statistical analysis and diagnostic algorithms, so it is absolutely critical for us to have a robust operating system capable of supporting massive numerical computing tasks across scores of distributed systems,” said Ron Hiller, founder and CTO of Quantiva, Inc. “QAS runs on Solaris x86 machines with uptimes of over 600 consecutive days, distributed across the Internet. As an added plus, we will be able to easily migrate to SPARC as our application suite broadens.”

“We are pleased Sun has listened to the x86 community,” said Alan DuBoff, president, Software Orchestration, Inc. “By offering the Solaris 9 OS on x86 hardware, customers can once again take advantage of the rock solid operating system on a low cost platform. Solaris has long been a leader in the enterprise sector and the addition of the Sun ONE software stack makes the Solaris x86 Platform Edition a very attractive and cost effective solution.”

Solaris x86 Platform Edition — Outperforming Microsoft with Integrated Value

With the release of the Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition, Sun raises the bar for the entry-level server marketplace by adding hundreds of enterprise-class features to the Solaris OS, Sun’s proven, fully maintained and supported platform. New integrated server technologies, including the SunScreen[tm] 3.2 software firewall, the Sun ONE Directory Server, IPQoS services for bandwidth management and the Solaris 9 Resource Manager add to an impressive list of Reliability, Availability, Serviceability (RAS) features delivered in earlier releases.

The Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition lowers the total cost of acquisition by a factor of as much as 15 compared to a two-way web server configuration of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.

Unlike the Microsoft Windows 2000 server and the Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced server, the Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition includes the following enterprise-class services at no additional cost:

  • Directory Server – The Sun ONE Directory Server 5.1
  • Enterprise-class firewall – SunScreen 3.2 software includes enterprise-class proxy and firewall features
  • Enterprise Volume Manager – The Solaris Volume Manager scales to thousands of disk partitions and includes mirroring and striping of volumes for data integrity and performance
  • Support for IPv6 – Solaris 9 OS includes production-quality implementation
  • Secure Shell – Solaris 9 OS includes this standard protocol for heterogeneous secure remote access

In addition, the Solaris 9 x86 Platform Edition bundles the Solaris 9 Resource Manager, a value of $1190, at no additional cost, providing guaranteed service level for applications and improving CPU utilization through consolidation of applications.

Solaris x86 for Developers

Currently, over 600 partners provide more than 1,000 solutions for the Solaris x86 Platform Edition. ISVs like Computer Associates, Nuance, a leading provider of speech solutions, Symantec, and Solaris OS/SPARC Platform Edition developers can leverage existing investments in deploying on entry-level systems. ISV Solutions are listed at

Sun also offers Linux compatibility at both source and binary levels. Sun assists developers working on Java[tm], Solaris and Sun ONE through a rich set of programs, including Developer Technical Support and the Developer Essentials software subscription program. Together with its ISV partners, Sun is delivering powerful business solutions for the global enterprise.

Pricing and Availability

About the Solaris Operating System

The Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS) is the premiere OS for the enterprise. With over 300 new features, the Solaris 9 OS is the most scalable, available, manageable and secure services platform for the networked world. By focusing on industry standards, the Internet, innovation and integration, the Solaris 9 OS delivers a documented lower cost of operation. The Solaris OS is the leading UNIX platform operating system with Sun servers owning 54 percent worldwide UNIX market share in shipments and 34 percent worldwide UNIX revenue share, according to Gartner Dataquest’s 3Q02 Servers Quarterly Statistics.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer[tm]” — 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

All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademark or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the US and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open company, Ltd.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, SunScreen and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.