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In an attempt to eliminate barriers to entry for ISVs entering the
software-as-a-service market, Sun Microsystems is offering a free 90-day
proof-of-concept sandbox trial of Solaris on Demand.

The program relies on Sun’s Solaris operating system as the infrastructure and
is hosted by a handful of participating service providers. The ISV
gets the sandbox, managed services and backup.

"The ISV can come in and experiment
with this on-demand ISV model," said
Sanjay Sharma, director of startups and emerging markets at Sun. "By the
end of the 90 days they should be up and running and already getting some
business to transition them into the paid model of the program."

During those 90 days, ISVs can market their product and test pricing, according
to Vince Vasquez, business development manager for SAAS at Sun.

What’s the problem with SAAS? Find out here.

By using the Solaris on Demand service, ISVs can avoid hosting or arranging for
hosting of their SAAS offering, and avoid managing the infrastructure, said
Vasquez. "It lets the ISV focus on what
they do best," he said. "A lot of ISVs will start their on-demand
services in house, but if they have any success they may find that managing
servers are not their core competency."

Vasquez said Solaris is a good choice for infrastructure because of its
embedded virtualization technology, which allows ISVs to leverage
virtualization without the need for additional software licenses.

Callidus, an ISV that offers sales force
automation software, has been in production with Solaris on Demand since August
2006, according to Vasquez, and now has 44,000 subscribers. Sun has signed up
other ISV partners, too, he said, though he
declined to say how many.

The program is open to large and small ISVs alike, with no minimum footprint to
go into production. It is initially targeted at existing Sun partners that develop
applications that can run on the Solaris operating system. The 90-day free
sandbox concept is designed to help partners join without a capital investment.

"This takes the risk out for ISVs to make that transition to the on-demand
model," Vasquez said. "There’s a huge ecosystem of applications on
Solaris, and that is a huge opportunity for us. We are seeing good early