Sun announces open sourcing of its premier Web Server product line...

I am excited to share the good news that Sun today announced its decision to open source the core kernel of Sun Java System Web Server under BSD license

If you wonder as to  why are we doing this  , here are the top reasons that come to my mind.

  • Sun's new found open source love !!!  The recently open sourced products from Sun like OpenJDK, OpenSolaris, Netbeans, GlassFish to name a few, have all been adopted very well within the open source community.
  • I guess, Sun understands that there is still lot more innovation to happen within the 'Web Server' land and wants to be a part of this by sharing its innovation / IP within the rest of  the open source community. This step should trigger cross pollination within other popular open source web servers like Apache HTTP server and LightHTTPd. Note that Sun wants to partner with these open source communities and not compete with them !.

If you have never head of Sun Java System Web Server ever before (it is sad but definitely possible) then you might be wondering as to what the heck is this Sun Web Server product. So, here is a brief history of the product line :

  • Introduced to the world as Netscape Enterprise Web Server from Netscape Communications Inc in early 1997
  • Sun partnered with Netscape Communications in late 1990's and early 2000's and released iPlanet Enterprise Server 6.x release
  • Since Netscape went away, Sun has continuously invested in enhancing the scalability side of its product line and released Sun Java System (for a brief time also known as Sun ONE) Web Server 6.1
  • Over the last 2 years, Sun used its Sun Java System Web Server 6.1 , 7.0 Update 3 and Solaris 10 products to demonstrate the scalability, performance/watt of its Sun Fire T2000/T5120 servers by repeatedly holding SpecWeb'2005 world record. You can get more information about these world records from here, here and here
  • Since fall of 2006, Sun has made its Web Server free to use - both in development as well as in production. Af course, paid customers have enjoyed production support, urgent bug fixes and indemnification. Now, this will continue to be the same even after today's decision.

Now that the great decision has been made, we - engineers - can go back to our kennel and work on the actual job of putting together a build system so that every one can build and play with it. Hopefully, you guys will be able to download the source and use it before fall'08.

Meanwhile, you are more than welcome to download Sun Java System Web Server and use it for free from here.

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