While Sun Microsystems (SUNW) and Microsoft (MSFT) are often perceived as bitter rivals, Sun's new Solstice Enterprise Manager 2.0 includes Windows NT integration, allowing NT servers to be managed from a Sun console.
As part of a comprehensive Networld+Interop announcement focused on managing intranets, Sun debuted the latest version of its management platform, as previously reported by CNET. The product has lost steam since its heyday when it was known as SunNet Manager, but executives hope to reclaim momentum with the latest release.
"I think we're putting the bricks in place that can build the house that can run your business on the Internet," said Janpieter Scheerder, president of SunSoft, Sun's software division.
"We can manage Windows and we can manage Windows applications as they roll across the network," proclaimed Scheerder.
Sun also announced other Solstice products: Security Manager 4.3, Network Client 3.0, Job Scheduler Pro 3.3, Workshop, and Internet Mail 2.0.
"All of these products embrace NT as an intranet player," according to Brian Biles, director of product marketing for Solstice products.
According to Bob Sakakeeny, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group consultancy, administrators were not even thinking about Solstice Enterprise Manager this summer, moving ahead with plans to implement Hewlett-Packard's OpenView platform. But this announcement leapfrogs the competition with its cross-platform approach, Sakakeeny said.
"It's now up to Sun to get this product in front of the buyers," he added.
Enterprise Manager will use a Web-based interface to interoperate with other platforms as well. For example, users will be able to call up Cabletron's Spectrum platform.
Java-based applications also add to the cross-platform functionality. They also add a variety of ways that data can be easily presented to an administrator in real time. Biles discounted competition from other Web-based management initiatives, noting that Java would be complimentary to any of them.
"What this product does is simplify the shape of the network," Biles said.
Enterprise Manager is available now for $22,500. The price includes one server and five clients.