Fujitsu expands midrange Unix server line

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has strengthened its midrange server line in an attempt to lure medium-sized businesses to choose...

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has strengthened its midrange server line in an attempt to lure medium-sized businesses to choose the new PrimePower 650 and 850 products instead of more expensive high-end servers.

Fujitsu's PrimePower line runs on Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system and uses Fujitsu processors which are compatible with Sun's Sparc processor.

The new systems could provide users with more options in the Solaris-centred hardware market. Although companies such as Dell install Solaris on servers upon special request from customers, Fujitsu is one of the few vendors other than Sun to offer the popular operating system as a standard feature. Solaris is one of the most widely used platforms for business, government and scientific applications.

With the PrimePower 650 and 850 rack servers introduced on 6 November, Fujitsu will try to attract more business users in the US. The company has been successful in Europe and Asia but is struggling in a highly competitive US market, according to industry analysts.

The systems will use recently released 675MHz Sparc64-GP chips, which the company claims should provide enough horsepower to let the new servers compete against higher end products.

The 650 can come equipped with as many as eight processors. Its price starts at $180,000 (£122,836) with 4Gbytes of memory and four processors. The 850 will hold as many as 16 processors, but the company has yet to provide pricing information for it. Both systems will be available in December.

Fujitsu is pitting its new servers against Sun's V880 product. Users, however, will find that the V880 comes in at a much lower starting cost than Fujitsu currently charges.

A V880 with four of Sun's UltraSparc III processors running at 750MHz, with 8Gbytes of memory, starts just under $50,000, according to the company's Web site. An eight-processor system with 32Gbytes of memory costs just under $120,000.

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