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Sun Solaris 9 Update Ready

Sun Microsystems Friday issued its latest scheduled upgrade to its Solaris server operating environment.

Available now as a download, Sun says version 9 12/02 (named so for its release date) is significant because includes built-in support for Sun ONE Application Server 7, which the company says allows for free development and deployment without having to buy additional licenses.

The other major addition is the inclusion of UNIX File System (UFS) logging performance that can be run at full speed. However, the current download is only available for SPARC processors.

Sun Solaris product line manager Bill Moffitt told internetnews.com, the long-awaited standalone version of Solaris 9 for Intel x86 chip architectures is also availble. That software release ships for $99 for a single CPU system.

The current release builds on previous Solaris 9 versions and maintains support for LDAP , iPlanet Directory Server software and security features like IPsec , Kerberos 5 and Secure Shell for sysadmins; Solaris Volume Manager; and Solaris Resource Manager.

The software also includes support for Oracle 9i as well as BEA's WebLogic Server 7 software.

"We've always supported the idea of working with other companies to get people to buy into an open system like J2EE," Moffitt said. "Lock in is a strategy that works in the short-term but not in the long-term."

Moffitt even said that Sun would be willing to work with IBM on including its application software in Solaris, but the company has not yet been approached.

In terms of usage, Sun said it is pleased with the response so far to Solaris 9. According to the company, some 300,000 people have downloaded the SPARC version of Solaris 9 between its first and second revisions. Moffitt said the early access beta for v9 12/02 was downloaded by thousands of people

"Strictly on numbers, Solaris 9 is a success," said Moffitt. "It took us a whole year with Solaris 8 to reach 300,000 downloads, while 9 reached those numbers in a couple of months.

But, the frequency of releases may be fewer and further between. Even though Sun said it was committed to quarterly updates, Moffitt said the next Solaris 9 release is due in April with the first early access announcements and preparation for Solaris 10 coming later this year. The full version is not expected until 2004.

"What you'll see is that slow down to the updates a little bit, with the releases coming approximately every quarter," Moffitt said. "That's because we are working with fewer people and it takes us longer to get all the testing done."

Thursday, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun filed its quarterly financial statements to the tune of $2.3 billion in losses, one of its worst ever.