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Sun Hits the Source

It looks as if Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) is delivering on its promise to open-source its Solaris operating system (see Sun Opens Solaris and Sun Hopes to Shine ).

Sun has confirmed that the source code for the latest version of the OS, Solaris 10, will be available in the second quarter under a Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). However, code for Solaris 10s DTrace technology, which is designed to help system administrators resolve performance problems, is already available on the Website launched to support the initiative:

Bill Bradford, founder of the Sun user group SunHelp, believes that this is a step in the right direction. “It shows that Sun is serious about releasing all this stuff to the community,” he says. "They are putting their money where their mouth is."

But Gordon Haff, senior analyst at Illuminata Inc. warns that it could be quite some time before the benefits of open-source Solaris trickle down into the data center. “You’re probably looking out at a year -- this is a long-term play,” he says.

Nonetheless, Haff believes that there could be some real bonuses for data center managers, such as a broader range of device drivers for the X86 range of Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) processors.

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