Sun Java Communications Suite for the Uninitiated

It's amazing to me how many people I come across, both internal and external to Sun, who, when the conversation inevitably turns to "what do you do," return a blank stare when I state that I work on Sun Java Communications Suite. (I mean, we only have like 150 million mailboxes deployed world wide, and we do eat our own dog food, people.)

To reduce the blank-stare effect, I usually start explaining automatically, like a marketing pamphlet, "Sun Java Communications Suite is a secure, scalable communications and collaboration solution with a lower total-cost-of-ownership than the competition." Blink go their eyes, so I try again. "Sun Java Communications Suite provides the solutions necessary to meet both enterprise and service provider communications and collaboration needs." More blinking. And so, before I lose them completely, I reduce the verbiage to, "you know, email, calendar, and instant messaging."

But that's really not it either.

So I decided to come up with some off-the-cuff, but potentially more accurate and relevant descriptions for Communications Suite. Here goes:

  • Are you an end user? Whether you are at work or at home, CommSuite is your daily life-line to your most important information, like your email and appointments, that you need to have always at your fingertips. It works so well that you really never even know it's there.
  • When you hit send in your email client, CommSuite takes over, routing your messsage to its destination. When you push the submit button on your newly created calendar appointment, CommSuite takes over, scheduling your calendar. And behind those simple actions, CommSuite is the engine that makes it all possible.
  • CommSuite does standards.
  • End users, want to pick how you access your information (the screen of your life, as some are fond of saying)? Choose from many standards-based desktop clients, use a web browser, or go mobile.
  • More for end users (and by extension, those who meet their needs): Our new Web 2.0 client, Sun Convergence, looks like what you'd expect from some of those other popular free clients, and more, having been designed from the ground up with flexibility and customization in mind.
  • Are you an administrator? If you need to administer and maintain uptime- and performance-sensitive applications (who doesn't?), you'll love CommSuite because it is built to scale as you need and provides a number of ways to build HA solutions. And you don't need hundreds of servers like you do for that other product. In fact, you can provision a single CommSuite server with many thousands of users.
  • Are you a money pincher (okay, thrifty person)? I guess I should talk about overall lower TCO at this point, but that's too boring, right? I mean, in this economic environment, who cares about saving money? Still, if interested, see this report from the Radicati gruop.
  • Since by some reports, SPAM accounts for a huge percentage of email traffic, I would think if you're an email administrator, you'd care somewhat. Good news for you. Comms provides many tools to deal with all kinds of email abuse, including Spam, phishing, viruses, denial of service, and so on. Two good places to start on this topic are Protecting Against Spammers and Preventing Denial of Service Attacks in Sun Java System Messaging Server.
  • Architects: Companies love to say they are standards based. Well, in Sun's case, our engineers have literally written and driven Internet standards since they've been around.

For our existing CommSuite users, I'm probably just preaching to the choir. For those unfamiliar with CommSuite, perhaps I've described the product in terms that you can relate too. Let me know.

Comments:

i wish sun were more active promoting the communications suite. I'd love to see a more automated way to set up this for a small smb, i've seen some postfix based appliances that only needed the domain name to work, had a nice management interface to add mail accounts and virtual domains and such. Can this be done for the commsuite?

Posted by nacho on June 24, 2009 at 01:11 PM MDT #

Agreed. We need to continue to lower the barrier to deployment. Have you tried the Comms virtual images at all?

http://wikis.sun.com/display/CommSuite/Communications+Suite+Virtual+Images

Posted by Joe Sciallo on June 25, 2009 at 02:08 AM MDT #

i tried to download the vbox image a few months ago, it appears it was a restricted download by then, it said i didnt have permission to see the page or something like that iirc.
it appears to be corrected now, i'll see if i have the space to try it out. also, is it possible to provide IPS packages for it? can't you guys use pkg.sun.com, the cluster guys have

Posted by nacho on June 25, 2009 at 02:31 AM MDT #

pkg.sun.com is for OpenSolaris, so that wouldn't be suitable for Comms.

Posted by Joe Sciallo on July 07, 2009 at 02:32 AM MDT #

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Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.

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