Sun goes public with new Security Products Group -- what key products will it manage?
SunSoft's president also pitches "WebTone" concept
San Francisco (April 15, 1997) -- As part of a high-level SunSoft strategy announcement being made today in Menlo Park, CA, SunSoft President Janpieter Scheerder is expected to talk about how his company's software offerings will increase the level of service on corporate intranets, providing what Sun calls "WebTone." The WebTone idea has been bandied about by Sun executives since early this year, but today Sun will attempt to frame it in terms of its multifarious Java client vision of network computing. WebTone, presumably, will be the continuous, reliable intranet service (not unlike a telephone's dial tone) that makes people actually want to use all the different Java clients -- from smart cards to Java-enabled PCs -- Sun has been talking about lately.
On the product side Sun Microsystems will unveil plans for its new security product group and announce the immediate availability of its Sun WebServer software.
Security Group Marketing Director Smita Deshpande says that her group has come about through the annexation of products from both Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Internet Commerce Group (formerly Eric Schmidt's baby) and from SunSoft Inc.'s Solstice product group. Deshpande admits that the merger will result in some product overlap. In particular, the new group will be selling both the SunScreen EFS 2.0 and Solstice 2.1 firewalls. But Deshpande does not expect either firewall to render the other obsolete. She says the Solstice FireWall, which is OEM'd from CheckPoint, is more suitable for small organizations, while SunScreen EFS 2.0 is more appropriate for the enterprise.
The Internet Commerce Group's SKIP (Simple Key-management for Internet Protocol) technology will also be a focal point of Deshpande's group. SKIP will be included as an add-on module to Solaris 2.6 and will also be included in the Java OS "any time now." The plan also calls for SKIP to be embedded in the next version of the Java Development Kit as a Java Class. Once this happens, says Deshpande, Java will have "built-in encryption and digital signature."
SunSoft's security products, like the Solstice FireWall and the Solstice Security Manager, will eventually be rebranded with the Sun "Security brand." Deshpande says her group will be shipping the new Solstice FireWall 3.0 within a few weeks. It will include a new encryption module and will cost "a little bit more" than the FireWall 2.1 (priced at $5,000 for a 50-node network). Solstice Security Manager, which allows administrators to create and manage users and passwords, will ship within the next 90 days. It will ship in three versions: the Solstice Security Manager for Intranets, for the Desktop, and for Applications. Pricing will range from $500 to $250,000 depending on the number of users and servers being managed.
From its Internet Commerce Group inheritance, SunSoft will now sell the SunScreen SPF 200, SunScreen EFS 2.0, and SunScreen SKIP for Windows 95. SPF 200 is a turnkey offering with security software running on both Intel and SPARC hardware. Deshpande says it uses a tiny stripped-down version of Solaris to give it "stealth capabilities," which means it has no TCP/IP stack associated with it. EFS 2.0 is a Sun-developed firewall that comes with encryption software. The SPF and EFS products are both new versions. SKIP for Windows is a port of the currently-available SKIP for Solaris encryption and authentication module. Sun says it will deliver SKIP for Windows 3.x and NT sometime this year. SPF 200 and EFS 2.0 will ship within the next three months and will cost between $1,500 and $15,000 depending on the number of licenses. SKIP for Windows 95 is available now for $100 a copy.
SunSoft is also expected to announce that its Sun WebServer will be available to the general public in June. The product is available now to what Sun calls "select sites" for free. It is also available in OEM bundles of Sun Microelectronic's Ultra AX Server Engine. The Web server is scheduled to be included in Solaris 2.6.
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