In a major development, Sun Microsystems announced on Tuesday that it is adding features to Solaris, its UNIX-based operating system, that will make it compatible with Microsoft's Windows products. These new features, code-named "Project Cascade," allow Sun Solaris servers to integrate seamlessly into Windows NT networks using software from AT&T that provides NT networking services such as naming, authentication, file, and print sharing. Sun makes versions of Solaris that run on both Sparc and Intel processors. This will work on either version.
According to Sun, most NT Servers are used to deliver network services, such as user management, and resource sharing (file and print). 54% of Windows NT Server licenses sold in 1997 support file and print services. By allowing a Solaris server to replace an NT server for these services, users can take advantage of Solaris' better reliability and scalability. This will allow users to keep their preferred client (Windows 9x or NT Workstation) while administrators and organizations get the benefits of Solaris on the back-end.
"Sun knows how to build solid network backbones--now we can leverage our network computing know-how to Windows NT environments," said John Shoemaker, vice president and general manager of Sun's enterprise desktops and servers.
Solaris Servers can now act as Primary or Backup Domain Controllers on a Windows NT network, supporting all of the NT technologies that a Windows NT Server would use. Project Cascade software is installed and administered using the same tools that NT uses as well, easing the transition.
Project Cascade will be available in early 1999, though Sun's Early Access customers will be able to begin deployment in November. Pricing will be announced in early 1999