Sun enters the blade server market

Sun enters the blade server market

Sun Microsystems has introduced its first blade server products alongside several other hardware and software products that form part of its N1 strategy for managing the networking infrastructure of the data centre.

Sun is trying to make network management easier by tailoring hardware and software to present system administrators with a snapshot of all of a network's resources. It first announced the N1 initiative last September, and this week’s announcement marks the first major product releases of the strategy.

Among the new products announced were new Sun Fire Blade servers, that run Sun's Solaris operating system and Linux on Sun's Sparc processors and processors based on the x86 instruction set.

Sun Microsystems local partner director, Paul O’Connor, said the product was designed for the edge of the network, where companies needws large numbers of smaller servers.

“We have previously released products like Nectra, which are in the same vein as blade servers,” O’Connor said. “But they were really only like an optimised rack server – they did not have multiple processors in each rack.”

O’Connor said partners would not require any additional accreditation for the blade products.

“For now the technology is being integrated into the normal training program,” he said.

The vendor also introduced N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, management software that allowed customers to build and configure server farms using thin blade servers.

Coupled with this technology was the Sun StorEdge 3310 NAS (Network Attached Storage), a storage system tailored for blade servers and devices for the network's edge.

The vendor also released some related products such as a 12-way rack server dubbed the Sun Fire V1280, an entry-level storage device called the Sun StorEdge 3510 FC Array, and new 1.2GHz UltraSparc III Cu processors for the Sun Fire product family.

As part of the announcement, Sun also cut prices for its mid-range and high-end Solaris-based Sun Fire servers and introduced new training incentives for end users.

(Brett Winterford contributed to this article.)

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