Sun Microsystems has begun delivering on its N1 networked computing strategy, with a series of hardware and software announcements.
N1 is Sun's name for a distributed network of servers, storage and software treated as one virtual computer, optimising the use of resources to achieve more flexibility at less cost.
The first product is Sun N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, which allows blade servers in different systems to be used as one.
Also released is the first multi-architecture Sun Fire blade server which supports a mix of Sun Sparc and Intel x86 architectures running both Solaris and Linux.
This server includes secure sockets layer and content load balancing blades, integrated switches and controllers, new N1 and grid software, and Open Net Environment middleware. This is likely to form the core of the N1 architecture.
"By changing the way we develop, go to market and support our products to a single unified view of the network computing platform, we have put Sun on a course to deliver higher quality at lower cost," said president and chief executive Scott McNealy.
He claimed that the approach, which includes grid technology and virtualisation of hardware resources, will change the shape of network computing for the future.
The main elements of the release are:
- Sun Fire Blade Platform multi-architecture hardware-software environment.
- Sun N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition to provide a virtual blades view enabling faster provisioning and scaling of blade-based server farms.
- Sun StorEdge 3310 Network Attatched Storager ultra-dense storage for blade and edge computing.
- Sun StorEdge 3510 entry-level fibre channel storage array.
- Sun Fire V1280 rack-optimised 12-way system for enterprise network computing.
- Improvements and reduced prices for Sun's high-end data centre 12K and 15K servers.
- Sun Fire V880z collaborative workgroup graphical visualisation system.
- Debut of Sun UltraSPARC III Cu 64bit chip in several systems.
- Sun Fire 4800 and 6800, and 12K and 15K servers.
- Expanded Sun services including Sun N1 Services to help in design, implementation and management of blade-based N1 data centre environments.
- New channel programmes including a Blade Platform Development Kit to bring third-party software to the Sun Fire blade environment.
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