Sun touts low-end hardware efforts

Sun Microsystems is forming an advisory group to boost its application offerings for the Intel version of the Solaris operating...

Sun Microsystems is forming an advisory group to boost its application offerings for the Intel version of the Solaris operating system. 

"The advisory group that we formed here is really to add momentum for our x86 product line," said Laura Finkelstein, group marketing manager for low-end server products at Sun. 

The x86 ISV advisory board is an expansion of the Sun Linux ISV advisory board Sun formed in January. Members - whose names have not yet been revealed by Sun - will include independent software vendors, Sun officials and, potentially, hardware makers.

Finkelstein said the number of Solaris x86 applications is about a fifth of what is available on the Sparc version of Solaris, but she did not have precise numbers of applications. 

Among systems in Sun's lower-end server arsenal are its Sun Fire V65x systems, which run Intel Pentium processors. A V65x 2U rack-optimised server with a single 2.8GHz processor costs $2,550. The V65x, with dual 3.06GHz processors, is priced at $3,995. An Intel-based LX50 system from Sun costs $1,995 at the entry level. Sun also offers Sparc-based blade servers and Netra Sparc servers as part of its lower-cost offerings. 

Sun's list of several customer wins stemming from its lower-cost offerings include BestBuy Canada, University of Southern California, and Southwest Airlines. 

Customer wins to be detailed by Sun all have occurred since the launch of Sun's Network Computing 2003 strategy in February. Other customers involved in the announcement include Dartmouth College, General Dynamics, Land Rover, Northeastern University, Notre Dame, Telus, West McLaren Mercedes, and Veteran Affairs. 

Finkelstein stressed that Sun's recent embracing of the pervasive Intel architecture does not spell any kind of death knell for Sun's use of the Sparc architecture. "I've never heard that from any of our upper management," she said. 

"We are fully committed and fully invested in continuing to enhance the Sparc Solaris line."

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld

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