Sun Microsystems has launched the first of its Galaxy servers, which use AMD Opteron processors rather than Sun's own Sparc chips.
The x86-based entry-level servers are the dual-processor Sun Fire X4100 and X4200, and the single-processor X2100.
The move comes as Sun seeks to offer more than its traditional combination of Solaris Unix and Sparc processors, in a bid to better serve users of x86/Linux and Windows environments.
Sun is believed to be planning additional Galaxy models offering up to eight processors or more, but no timetable for these machines has been announced.
Gordon Haff, senior analyst and IT adviser at analyst firm Illuminata, said, "These systems genuinely stand apart from the pack. However, Galaxy represents early steps in this Sun journey, rather than an ultimate destination."