The server manufacturer is planning to introduce a family of Intel-powered servers running Linux and its own Solaris operating system during LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco, which runs from 12-15 August.
Formally called the Cobalt LX50, Big Bear represents a change in strategy for Sun. Having stopped work on Intel-based Solaris in January, Sun now plans to offer Sun Linux distribution and Solaris 8, and possibly Solaris 9, on the Intel-based server, according to sources close to the company.
Scott McNealy, chairman, chief executive and president of Sun, is scheduled to discuss both the Cobalt LX50 server that will use dual Pentium IIIs and the return of Solaris on Intel during his LinuxWorld keynote address.
This move marks a major philosophical shift for Sun away from its long-held stance that the Sun Solaris OS and UltraSPARC processors are the best combination for every kind of server.
Sun decided in January to close a download program for a version of Solaris 8 that runs on Intel chips and cancelled work on the newly released Solaris 9 OS for the Intel architecture.