Sun and Oracle start low-cost computing drive

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Sun and Oracle start low-cost computing drive

Sun Microsystems has announced a range of low-cost servers based on Intel processors and a partnership with Linux supplier Red Hat.

Chief executive Scott McNealy admitted that Sun had trailed rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard in the move to low-cost computing, but he reaffirmed his company's relationship with Oracle, saying Oracle's software will run on all Sun systems  - Solaris x86, Solaris Sparc or Linux.

"We did not exactly jump on the 32-bit low-cost bandwagon early, but we're jumping on it big now."

"Maybe we got over-fired up over 64-bit and over-fired up over large scale server models. We are still really bullish about that, but everybody is really looking at low-cost ways to build their computing environments," McNealy said.

The Sun Fire V60x and V65x servers are priced starting at $2,450 (£1,500) and $2,650, respectively, and come with 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Intel Xeon processors and a choice of Solaris x86 or Red Hat Linux.

The systems offer six PCI-X slots, support up to 12Gbytes of memory and are available now. Sun has also lowered the price of its existing LX50 system by almost 30%, to $1,995 (£1,222).

The relationship between Oracle and Sun appeared to cool last month when the Oracle and Dell announced plans to focus on low-cost Intel-based computing, which was widely seen as a threat to Sun's Unix server business.

By teaming with Red Hat, Sun is replacing its own Sun Linux, although McNealy promoted Solaris as superior to Linux, noted Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff.

"There was a Red Hat announcement, but Sun quite clearly positioned Solaris x86 as the preferred or premier operating system for Intel platforms," he said.

The global partnership with Red Hat calls for Sun to offer Red Hat on its x86 compatible systems and for the Linux supplier to include Sun's Java Virtual Machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

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