Cascade server app lets users mesh Unix and NT platforms

Sun Microsystems Inc. will add a new dimension to Unix and Microsoft Windows NT
integration with its Solaris Sunlink Server application, code-named Cascade.

Cascade is meant to provide scalability for Windows NT networks and a platform for NT
server consolidation. Solaris supports up to 64 processors.

“Cascade takes the face off NT and puts it on Solaris,” said Michael Singer,
software group manager for Sun Microsystems Federal Inc. of McLean, Va.

A Solaris server running Cascade can be an NT primary or backup domain controller,
file-and-print server and Windows Internet Name Server—all on a single Intel or Sparc
RISC machine.

The initial release of Cascade next month will bring native NT services to networked PC
users running Windows 3.x, Windows 9x and NT 4.0.

In the second version of Cascade, Sun will provide a common log-on to NT and Cascade
services. The minimum hardware requirements for Cascade are 64M of RAM and 50M of disk
storage, Sun officials said.

For the Cascade project, Sun licensed AT&T Corp.’s Advanced Server for Unix
Systems technology.

Unlike Sun’s previous Unix-NT integration products, Cascade will require no
changes to the NT server or client, said Mark Harris, senior technologist for Sun
Microsystems Federal.

“Our hope is that we can supply a better NT server than NT” in terms of
performance and scalability, Harris said.

Cascade has some limitations, however, as a replacement platform. For example, it
cannot replace NT as an application server for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office.
“You’ll still need NT Server to run those,” Harris said.

The current 64-bit Solaris 7.0 operating system will run Cascade, as will the earlier
Solaris 2.5.1 and Solaris 2.6.

Solaris 7.0, which Sun shipped in October, comes with administration tools and
InstallShield software from InstallShield Corp. of Schaumburg, Ill.

Solaris 7.0 consists of 12M lines of code in three separate bundles. The first, Solaris
Easy Access Server 2.0, bundles the operating system with Web server, mail server and
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol directory server software, plus administration
tools. It has a Solaris Management Console with shell scripts, X applications and
browser-based tools.

Two other bundles, due by July, are Solaris Enterprise Server and Solaris ISP Server.

Solaris has been year 2000-ready as far back as Solaris Release 4.1.3, Singer said.


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