By Joanne Correia, Gartner Analyst
Sun Microsystems' decision to bundle various
higher-level components with its Solaris operating system is to some extent
a reaction to moves that its chief competitors have already made.
Gartner has been predicting since last year that the evolution of
application server technology into areas like e-commerce and portals will
cause infrastructure software companies to change the packaging of their
products. As companies vie for a bigger piece of the market for increasingly important e-business systems, they are giving away the
application server software, which makes it possible to control accounts and
possibly gain in the market.
Sun has announced it will initially bundle the Sun Open Network Environment with Solaris, and by the
end of 2003, the company will build its application server for e-business and Web
server software into Solaris. In this respect, it seems to be reacting to
the likes of Hewlett-Packard, which already bundles its application
server with its HP-UX operating system. This allows it to then promote other
products such as HP-AS Resilient Edition 8.0, HP Total-e-Transactions, HP-IS
and HP Core Services Framework.
Similarly, IBM bundles WebSphere with special versions of the AS/400
operating system, and Microsoft bundles its Internet Information Server with
server versions of Windows NT.
Looking at the application server market through 2003, Gartner believes that
the advantage in value in basic application servers will continue to
decrease as IBM, Sun and HP bundle their basic applications server
technology with their hardware.
Sun's latest announcement is clearly a market position move to gain the
attention of corporate developers and protect its server business. While
such a marketing tactic doesn't give away either the higher-end platform
application server software or runtime licenses, it does give server
makers like Sun, which have application server technology, an advantage
over other companies that just sell the software, such as BEA Systems. BEA
sells most of its software for the Solaris operating system.
(For a related commentary, on worldwide server market share figures, see gartner.com.)
Entire contents, Copyright © 2002 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. The information contained herein represents Gartner's initial commentary and analysis and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Positions taken are subject to change as more information becomes available and further analysis is undertaken. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof.