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Sun Jumps On Open-Source Database Bandwagon To Boost Solaris

Sun Microsystems Inc. is expanding the list of open-source code that it supports in its Solaris 10 operating system to include both the Postgres database and Xen virtualization server.

The move is surprising in that Sun and Oracle have historically been close allies, with Oracle among the first to adopt Sun's Java language in its products. Now Sun is encouraging the use of open-source databases by insuring that Postgres will work with Solaris 10 and including Postgres with distributions of its operating system.

In the past, Sun's Solaris has been Oracle's premier platform, acknowledged John Loiacono, executive VP for software, in a Sun teleconference Thursday. "We'd love to see Oracle move in this direction itself," said Loiacono. But until it makes an open-source version of the Oracle database, Sun will distribute the best alternative, he added.

Sun will start distributing Postgres with Solaris immediately and will integrate it into the operating system in the first half of 2006. Solaris 10 is the open-source code version of Sun's formerly commercial Unix operating system. Sun still charges for support for Solaris 10.

The company also hosts the OpenSolaris open-source code project, where new technology is developed for Solaris ( OpenSolaris is not a product and Sun does not offer technical support for the new technologies generated by the project. But many of them are expected to eventually find their way into future versions of Solaris.

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