The Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based SunSelect unit of Sun Microsystems Inc has announced what is claimed to be the first TCP/IP networking software to enable administrators to integrate and manage large numbers of personal computers on an enterprise network from a single desktop. Called SolarNet, it is said to give personal computer users full citizenship on corporate […]
The Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based SunSelect unit of Sun Microsystems Inc has announced what is claimed to be the first TCP/IP networking software to enable administrators to integrate and manage large numbers of personal computers on an enterprise network from a single desktop. Called SolarNet, it is said to give personal computer users full citizenship on corporate networks, enabling them to work in the MS-DOS or Windows environment while having the ability to access host and Unix distributed applications. At the client end, this is achieved through Sunselect’s PC-NFS technology for personal computer-to-enterprise networking. The software is said to be compatible with Windows for Workgroups, and to have the ability to co-exist with local network operating systems including Novell Inc NetWare and Microsoft Corp LAN Manager. Networking applications with which it is said to be compatible include the company’s own SelectMail (for integrating personal computer clients into TCP/IP mail services), and Wall Data Inc’s Rumba for PC-NFS, which provides IBM Corp mainframe communications for personal computer clients. Within the system, the company has implemented the Dynamic Host Configuration Procotol: this is designed to enable client configuration parameters to be moved from the Network Information Service Plus centralised database to individual personal computers to streamline the addition, modification and removal of personal computer client information. To this end, the company has also incorporated the ability to use automated script files, for example enabling administrators to create system boot time and user log-in scripts. The system is SNMP-compliant, while on the security front, the company has implemented the Secure RPC framework, said to enable administrators to manage user access to server files and directories, and to establish user views that restrict the user’s access to network resources. In addition, Sun says the package also uses a more advanced authorisation mechanism based on Access Control Lists, enabling an administrator to delegate common administrative tasks to users. It is to be available in September, at from $3,000 to $5,000. The initial version will support all Sparc-based systems running Solaris 2.3, while a release for Solaris x86 will follow. The company says that subsequent releases will target other server systems, and although it would not specify which, or when they are expected, it seems likely that HP-UX will be high on the list. The company also says that it will soon announce details of a SolarNet early access programme.