Sun readies Web stack featuring choice of OSes

At OSCON, the company also promotes single sign-on and social networking

Sun is announcing on Wednesday availability of Sun Web Stack, which puts the company’s own twist on the popular open-source LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL Perl/Python or PHP) stack.

The company is unveiling the stack at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Ore. Also at the conference Wednesday, Sun will ship Sun OpenSSO Express, which is a version of Sun's OpenSSO (single sign-on) software featuring enterprise support and indemnification. Sun and Joyent at OSCON will announce a social application program featuring free Web-hosting.

Sun Web Stack provides software needed for deploying Web applications and Web sites, said Ken Drachnik, Sun open source community development and marketing manager. With Sun Web Stack, users have the option of deploying the "AMP" portion of the LAMP stack with either Sun's Solaris OS or Linux, Windows or other operating systems.

"Up till now, [the stack] has been a developer offering from Sun, not a fully supported enterprise offering," Drachnik said.

Web Stack consists of Web and proxy servers, database and scripting languages, and the Apache HTTP Web server version 2.2.8. Featured components include the Apache Modules Memcached 1.2.5 distributed memory object system, the MySQL 5.1 database, lightpdd Web server v 1.4.18 and Tomcat Servlet engine 6.0.16. Versions of the Ruby, Perl, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and RubyGems development platforms are featured as well.

Also included is the Mongrel 1.0.1 HTTP library and server for Ruby, the fcgi package providing FastCGI capabilities, RedCloth text parsing, and the Squid proxy server 2.16.x

Sun will provide product control for the supported stack across multiple operating environments enabling applications to redeployed to another operating system with minimal changes.

Support for Solaris is planned for this quarter while Linux backing is due next quarter. Other OSes will be supported afterward, including Windows later in the year.

Sun also said it is open-sourcing core components of Sun Java System Web Server 7.0 and Sun Java System Web Proxy technologies under a Berkeley Software Distribution license. These technologies are part of the Web Stack sub-project in the open-source OpenSolaris community, Sun said. The open-source moves enable developers to achieve faster time to market with their applications, the company said.

"With the open sourcing of our Web server and our proxy server, we've now pretty much open sourced most of the entire middleware stack from Sun," Drachnik said.

With OpenSSO, Sun is providing support for open-source identity management and Web single sign-on software. Also featured with OpenSSO are access management, federation, and secure Web services capabilities.

"It’s a way of federating securely identities across multiple different Web sites," Drachnik said.

Sun plans to offer OpenSSO Express releases about every three months to coincide with major releases of OpenSSO, which started as a Sun-sponsored project.

Joyent and Sun are announcing a collaboration intended to accelerate development and deployment of social applications for the Facebook and Google OpenSocial environments. Users will get as many as 12 months of free Web hosting on the Joyent Cloud, which is an infrastructure powered by OpenSolaris, the open-source version of Solaris.

"With this new program, Sun can provide social application developers access to Sun's technology and expertise in building large-scale applications with Joyent helping them to deploy," on a scalable platform, said Juan Carlos Soto, Sun vice president of global market development and engineering.

Sun and Joyent plan to tour cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago in coming months to offer training on building social applications for the Web.

In other developments pertaining to Sun at OSCON:

* Sun plans to add Sparc CPU support to OpenSolaris in November, a Sun official said. Currently, OpenSolaris is limited to Intel and AMD chips. Also planned for the 2008.11 version of the platform is an automated install capability, said Glynn Foster, Sun OpenSolaris product manager.

* Josh Berkus, who had been Sun's specialist on PostgreSQL database matters, has left the company, Berkus said in an interview at OSCON. He cited how things had changed regarding Sun's position on PostgreSQL following the company's acquisition of MySQL. "My job at Sun became very different from what it was when I was hired," Berkus said. The job became more focused on support with less emphasis on developing interesting open-source projects, he said.

Sun has become very focused on revenues pertaining to PostgreSQL and databases, he said. "They're interested in having a successful support offering," said Berkus, who added he was not laid off. The company recently let go of  about 1,000 employees.

Sun, meanwhile, is bringing in someone to take over for Berkus, a company representative said.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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