Sun To Lift Lid on Connection Services

Sun Microsystems is set to unveil a host of connection services today designed to automatically download new software updates and make it easier for customers to monitor the health of their computer systems.

Dubbed Sun Connection, the new services are being marketed as risk reduction, preventative measures that support and enhance the Solaris 10 operating system. The company estimates the connection services will reduce operating costs by 10 percent to 40 percent.

Value-Added Services

Yankee Group analyst Dana Gardner told TechNewsWorld that Sun Connection is a high-value added service that propels the company towards its goal of transforming itself from a license supplier to a services partner.

“Imagine if you had a server farm with 10,000 servers,” Gardner said. “If the vendor took more responsibility for updates and patches, that would take a great burden off the administration of that server farm.”

Gardner said Sun Connection gets to the heart of where data center operators want to cut costs — around ongoing operations and managing the flow and upgrading software patches.

Shifting Blame

Analysts said Sun has more than one motivation for taking on this responsibility. In addition to added revenues, the company is also shifting the blame away from its software when customers fail to download the latest security patches.

“If the customer doesn’t do proper patch management, guess who they are going to blame?” Gardner asks. “Sun is willing to take the responsibility for the patches so the customer has a better experience. That’s going to make both sides look better.”

Sun Connection is certainly not the first service to offer software customers automatic updates. Microsoft employs the strategy with Windows and it’s a normal practice for anti-virus software vendors. But analysts said Sun appears to be preparing taking it to the next level.

“Sun Connection is starting on a limited basis, but it’s sort of a beachhead and eventually it could go to a much higher level in terms of broader operational capability,” Gardner said. “Sun could take this a step further and actually start doing remote management and administration.”

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