SAMP Offers Unix-Based Alternative to LAMP

Sun Microsystems announced this week the release of an optimized AMP stack for its Unix-based Solaris 10 operating system and an expansion of its open source developer tools.

Sun released a new distribution of its Solaris Express, Developer Edition and announced an expanded pricing structure for its Startup Essentials program. The Startup Essentials program offers features to help fledgling businesses accelerate their development cycle and get to market faster with reduced costs.

Dubbed “SAMP” (for Solaris plus AMP), the open source platform provides software developers and start-up enterprises enhanced programming tools to deploy a Web infrastructure. The AMP module consists of the open source programs Apache server, database MySQL and the Perl or PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) scripting languages. The Sun release includes the object-relational database management system PostgreSQL and the Python programming language.

Sun’s SAMP stack replaces the Linux component in LAMP with a Unix-based operating system. LAMP is the open source Web platform that consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.

The new product is designed to give Internet start-ups and Web 2.0 companies an edge in setting up their online businesses using open source software on x86 hardware platforms.

“We are seeing an explosion of interest in expanding development using Solaris tools. There is a change taking place in software development practices being driven under the Web 2.0 banner. This is leading to a reinvestment in open source,” Dan Roberts, director of Tools Marketing for Sun, told LinuxInsider.

Popularity Counts

The program stack Sun assembled gives users access to some of the most popular open source applications. Sun’s enhancement primes the existing applications to run optimized on Sun’s Unix-based Solaris platform. Apache, MySQL and Perl already are well established on the Linux platform.

“We open sourced Solaris last year and continued to see it grow with developers,” Roberts noted. “This is part of an overall campaign and development program we started two years ago. We found that we could optimize what was already in use to offer far more in what Solaris could do.”

Sun wanted to make sure that developers had a fully developed stack of tools to maximize their work using Solaris, said Roberts. That optimization included a recommitment to the x86 hardware platform.

Releasing the developer’s tools for the Solaris platform enables product makers to do essentially the same thing that other programmers accomplish when they develop an application in Windows and release it to run on the Linux platform.

Express Time

Sun’s updated program release includes the Developer Edition of Solaris Express. This is the first iteration of a new distribution based on the OpenSolaris project. It provides an integrated environment for developers to create applications to run with Solaris, Java and Web 2.0 features.

Sun is packaging more than 150 open source applications with Solaris Express, Developer Edition. The Glassfish application server is also featured.

A new version of the Gnome-based desktop and Sun development tools is included in the release. This Sun tools include Sun Studio 11 and the NetBeans 5.5 IDE.

Starting Essentials

The third part of Sun’s announcement on Tuesday involves the company’s expansion of its purchasing program, called Startup Essentials.

“We are making it easier and less expensive for them to get up and running with familiar tools, like Apache and MySQL, combined with the superior security and performance of Solaris 10 and attractive programs to tie it all together,” said Rich Green, executive vice president of software for Sun.

This expanded program offers an improved buying experience with streamlined, online access to Sun hardware, including its Sun Fire x64 servers and Sun Fire servers with CoolThreads technology running the Solaris 10 operating system or other operating systems.

Sun is adding its StorageTek modular disk arrays, NAS and tape storage products to the program at deeply discounted prices. In addition to offering free technical resources online, Sun is also offering Startup Essentials program participants free technical advice and guidance via e-mail.

Beyond Free Access

Sun is also making available multiple levels of its Sun Services to users of the SAMP stack. Sun is hoping users of the free offering make their way to various paid commercial products and support options.

Under Sun’s Try and Buy Program, customers can receive 60 days of free support for Sun Fire x64 (x86, 64-bit) servers, Sun Fire servers with CoolThreads technology, Sun Ultra Workstations and Sun Storage systems.

Discounts have been 60 percent to 70 percent less than list prices.

Through its Sun Developer Expert Assistance Program, Sun offers support for US$49 per request. An annual subscription featuring support for unlimited requests costs $249.

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