In the wake of recent claims by both IBM and HP that they were targeting Sun Microsystems' number one position in the Unix server market, Sun has created some backwash in declaring its intention to stay on top.
Both IBM (RS/6000 S80, see ARN September 22, page 23) and HP (HP 9000 L-class, see above) recently released new products aimed at the high- and entry-level Unix server markets, respectively.
Each highlighted that it was Sun's market share they were after.
"We are firmly in their sights," Stuart White, Sun Microsystems' product sales manager, enterprise services, said. "Over the last three to four years Sun has really got its act together in terms of delivering server systems that the customers want."
White said that Sun had successfully made the transition from being a workstation company to being "a tier-one player in the server market.
"I don't think anyone expected us to make the transition as successfully as we have," he said. "As a result of that success we have picked up fairly large market share figures in the Unix servers market - specifically from HP and IBM - therefore, the guns have been turned around and firmly sighted on us."
Sun has done particularly well in Australia and generates "about 50 per cent" of its Unix server business through the channel, according to White. This is because Australia has a large number of medium-sized companies for which the two- and four-processor servers are so critical.
"We have two great products in that area in the Enterprise 250 and 450 servers and we have just cleaned up the market with those," White added. "With the latest L-class, HP has obviously seen how well we have done and is now coming after that market."
White said he is confident that Sun will be able to maintain its position and that there are many new developments to come from the $US1.3 billion it spent on R&D last year.