In what’s being interpreted as some rather tricky back-pedaling – in light of last week’s love-in at CA World – Sun Microsystems Inc says it never actually intended to physically combine its Solstice (SunNet Manager) network management framework with Computer Associates International Inc’s Unicenter systems management suite, like it said it would back in 1995 (CI No 2,731). Last week, in a relationship hailed as similar to the one it has with Microsoft Corp for TNG on Windows NT, CA said it would put Unicenter TNG up on Sun’s Solaris servers. There were some published reports that distribution might follow although Sun told us it’s not in the business of bundling third party products. Where that leaves Solstice isn’t clear although Sun says that it will enable data sharing between Solstice and Unicenter TNG via the Java Management APIs (JMAPI) it’s been pushing since June last year. The TNG management console will get support for a browser-based Java clients enabling any JVM client to access Unicenter TNG on Solaris. Sun’s Solstice SyMon system monitor and Enterprise Storage Manager will be enhanced to work in the TNG framework. Java agents will manage systems running the Java Virtual Machine, JavaStations and Solaris-based servers. The Solaris and NT versions of TNG will interoperate eventually, it’s reckoned. It says there is already a kind of integration between the two products at both the console level, and at the SNMP level; and now it claims JMAPI compliance makes the two suites more closely integrated than any other two network and systems management product lines. If Microsoft’s not already put out by CA playing away with Sun, we wonder how it feels about news that the Corba-compliant TNG will use IIOP for distributed communication, not DCOM. Meantime, hasn’t Sun’s got that Corona project to combine Tivoli Systems Inc TME-10 enterprise management software with Solstice and JMAPI knocking around somewhere?