Sun/Fujitsu server deal safeguards Sparc

Sun announced a joint agreement with Fujitsu to produce compatible Sparc-based servers along with a host of other product...

Sun announced a joint agreement with Fujitsu to produce compatible Sparc-based servers along with a host of other product releases at its Shanghai conference

servers would replace existing SunFire and Primepower product lines. It claimed the design would provide users with, "safe and seamless binary compatibility along the Sparc roadmap".

Rakesh Kumar, senior vice-president at analyst firm Meta Group, said the agreement was positive for users as it would give greater confidence in the long-term viability of the Sparc processor, which powers the majority of the Solaris-based systems.

Complete compatibility between Fujitsu and Sun would give users genuine choice, he added.

Andrew Butler, analyst at Gartner, said, "The agreement allows Sun and Fujitsu to eliminate the overlap in the Sparc-based research and development and will contribute significantly to Sun's need to improve its cost structure."

The agreement with Fujitsu was a bold step by Sun to decrease its dependency on building its own technology and to increase its focus on software and services, he added.

In his keynote address at the Shanghai conference, Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer at Sun, said, "Innovative new technologies and delivery mechanisms will pave the way for value-added business services to be delivered via the network."

However, Gartner said Sun and Fujitsu would face short-term challenges relating to incompatible storage alliances and overlapping x86 product lines. Longer term problems could come about because of Fujitsu's plans to introduce a high-end Itanium server, while Sun is backing the AMD64 architecture.

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