Sun makes a fresh attack on low-end server market

Sun makes a fresh attack on low-end server market

Sun Microsystems will soon announce two low-end Solaris servers featuring integrated software stacks that it plans to position as low-cost alternatives to Intel servers running Linux.

Sun also plans to introduce a new family of midrange storage products featuring its N1 virtualisation and provisioning technologies, according to sources familiar with its plans.

The announcements are part of the quarterly technology refreshes that Sun promised earlier this year and will also include several planned services-related announcements and price cuts, according to industry sources.

Sun declined to comment on unannounced products.

Sun's new Sun Fire V210 and Sun Fire V240 servers marked a fresh assault on the low end, an analyst at Illuminata, Gordon Haff, said. The systems werebased on Sun's UltraSparc IIIi Jalapeno chip, which featured technologies that optimised it for use in low-end servers.

The V210, which measures 1U (1.75 in. high), can support two processors, up to 4GB of memory, two drive bays and a Peripheral Component Interconnect slot. Pricing will start at about $US2995. The V240 can support two processors, up to 8GB of memory and features more expansion slots and disk space. Pricing starts at $3495.

Both systems apparently come with a full stack of pre-integrated software that Sun hopes will be a crucial differentiator in the low-end space.

That software included the Solaris 8 operating system, Sun Open Net Environment (ONE) application server, Sun ONE Active Server Pages software, Sun ONE messaging server for 200 mailboxes and Sun ONE directory server with up to 200,000 entries, Haff said.

The stack also included Sun's SunScreen firewall technology and basic virtual private network support, he said.

Sun would also announce price cuts for several of its low-end hardware products, the sources said.

Prices for the Sun Fire 280R, for instance, would be rolled back by up to 40 per cent. Also included in the price cuts were Sun's Sun Blade 2000 workstations.

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