Fujitsu speeds up Unix server line

Fujitsu speeds up Unix server line

Fujitsu Technology Solutions (FTS) on Tuesday upped the processor speeds on its PrimePower line of Unix servers, boosting chip output by about 20 per cent.

FTS continues to try to build up the Fujitsu brand in the North American market. Although the company has enjoyed success throughout Europe and Asia, Fujitsu has struggled to gain traction in the North American server space, which is dominated by companies such as Sun Microsystems, IBM, and Dell. By increasing speeds on its PrimePower Unix servers, FTS will continue to match up well against Sun and IBM -- both of which released major upgrades to their products lines in recent weeks, said Richard McCormack, vice president of marketing at FTS.

FTS uses its own processors that are compliant with Sun's SPARC chips. The company sold hardware with 560MHz versions of its SPARC64-GP chips, but will now increase system speeds to 675MHz for high-end servers and 600MHz for midrange models, McCormack said.

Customers who have already purchased the high-end PrimePower 2000 or PrimePower 1000 servers can add the new processors to empty slots in their current machines, McCormack said.

Although FTS plays down its rivalry with Sun, the chip upgrades could dent Sun's business more than that of any other company, said one analyst.

FTS puts Sun's Solaris operating system -- a popular flavor of Unix -- on its high-end servers. Sun is in the process of moving its customers to Solaris 8 -- the latest version of the OS -- by making its new hardware work only on that version of the operating system. For example, the Sun Fire 15K server, introduced last month, which was finely tuned to work with Solaris 8.

FTS, however, continues to support Solaris 2.6, 7, and 8, meaning customers who are not ready to switch operating systems can still find the horsepower they are looking for at FTS, said Jean Bozman, a research director with International Data Corp.

"It is definitely one differentiator for them to sell hardware that runs not only Solaris 8 but also 2.6 and 7," Bozman said.

FTS has struggled to gain a foothold in the North American market, but by differentiating itself from Sun and IBM with strategies such as this one, it is making itself more attractive to customers, she said.

"If you have been on Sun, IBM or HP, you might want to take a closer look at Fujitsu," Bozman said.

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