RealTime IT News

Sun Expands Services With 'Infinite Bench'

Sun Microsystems is revamping its services business in a bid to ramp up competition with offerings from rivals such as IBM and Microsoft .

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company launched the two major services initiatives as part of its Network Computing '05 (NC05Q1) event Tuesday. The offerings include the debut of Sun's new Client Solutions Organization and an expanded role of its Sun Preventive Services.

"We're making aggressive moves to introduce a wide range of new services that help our customers simplify the acquisition and management of their IT infrastructure needs," Marissa Peterson, executive vice president, Services at Sun said in a statement.

The Client Solutions Organization is a combination of the company's existing professional services, its iForce partnerships with a talent pool of more than 10,000 experts, and six new focus areas that are pre-tested to tackle common enterprise problems.

The focus areas include Data Center, Enterprise Web Services, Identity Management, Desktop and Mobility, Manageability Services, and Storage and Data Management. Sun said the global practices will eventually be rolling out 10 key solutions by the end of 2005, half of which are currently available.

"The real trick going forward is to avoid being IBM Global Services," Anil Gadre, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Sun, told internetnews.com. "Their services are cookie cutter replicated, while the Microsoft version offers no customization. We [at Sun] have the choice and the expertise."

Instead, Gadre likens Sun's approach to an "Infinite Bench" model where Sun shares its reference architectures and methodologies.

As part of its new Client Solutions offerings, Sun rolled out two new configurations: Sun Infrastructure Solution for Secure Network Access Platform, which is based on the Sun Ray thin client, and Sun's VoIP Application Services with technology from Lucent Technologies.

Likewise, Gadre said Sun is expanding on its "Take Back Wall Street" pledge of six months ago.

Pivotal to Sun's services portfolio its recently completed acquisition of SevenSpace. The company is using the acquisition to include support for heterogeneous environments, including Linux, Windows, HP-UX and IBM AIX.

The SevenSpace assets helped Sun launch its new Sun Preventive Services platform, its new Sun Update Connection services and its enhanced Sun Net Connect services.

For example, Sun Update Connection services include two key offerings: a free Update Manager that features desktop notifications, point-and-click updating and a command-line interface and Sun's Update Connection System Edition, which lets Sun host the portal but lets administrators issue updates to multiple systems from a centralized location.

In addition to its services packages, Sun also officially launched the free version of its Solaris 10 operating system, its $1-per-hour-per-CPU grid utility computing offering, and five custom software suites based on its Java Enterprise System that cost $50-per employee, per year.