Sun releases low-cost servers

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Sun Microsystems has unveiled new low-cost servers to compete in the entry-level server space currently dominated by Microsoft and Intel.

At the NC03Q2, short for "Network Computing 2003 Second Quarter," product launch here on Tuesday, the company introduced two new servers based on its latest UltraSPARC IIIi processor.

The Sun Fire V210 is a 1U high, rack-mount server with one or two 1.2GHz processors. It can be configured with up to 4 Gbytes of memory and one or two 36-Gbyte hard drives, along with a choice of Solaris 8 or 9.

The Sun Fire V240 fits in a 2U enclosure, with room for up to 8 Gbytes of memory and four hard drives. It also includes two redundant power supplies.

Pricing for the V210 starts at $2,995, while the V240 starts at $3,495. Availability is expected sometime this month.

Mark Tolliver, chief strategy officer and executive vice president of marketing and business development at Sun, said the new servers are priced about 10 percent under those of the company's leading competitors in the x86 space. "And by the time you layer on our industry-leading software stack, you have a substantive value proposition," he said.

Sun on Tuesday also enhanced its Sun Fire 280R server, its Netra 20 Server, and its Sun Blade 2000 servers with the new 1.2GHz UltraSPARC III Cu processors.

The three servers with the new processors are expected to be released on April 30.

Along with the new servers, Sun also unveiled two new cards in its Crypto Accelerator family. While previous versions offered Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security to Sun Servers, the new versions now add IP Security Protocol (IPSEC) protection, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of storage products at Sun.

Also new is the Sun PCi III co-processor card which enables certain Sun workstations and servers to run any Windows-based technical and productivity applications at native PC speeds side-by-side with Solaris applications, company executives said. It offers higher performance and supports increased memory compared to the previous Sun PCi II card, they said. The Sun PCi III is available now at a price of $695.

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