In an aggressive move, Sun Microsystems has rolled out an upgrade programme to encourage current Windows NT Server 4.0 users to trade up to Sun server appliances.
The Sun programme, which follows Microsoft's recently announced end-of-life plans for NT Server 4, makes it possible for users of the Microsoft operating system to migrate to Sun Cobalt RaQ server or Sun Cobalt Qube appliances and receive a discount of up to 20 per cent.
IDC analyst Jean Bozman said that Sun's plan to offer a migration path for NT Server 4.0 customers will allow them to update older servers with the latest generation of Sun Cobalt's internet server technology and management tools.
To ease the transition, Sun explained that the Cobalt server appliances integrate Linux-based application and system tasks in a secure, browser-based interface giving system administrators leverage to effectively manage multiple web-serving systems.
Server appliances, which are pre-configured and ready to plug in directly from the box, allow non-technical users to establish a secure network connection that includes applications such as email hosting, file sharing and web serving.
Peder Ulander, Sun's director of marketing for the Sun Cobalt division, said: "In addition to providing a cost-effective alternative to Windows NT Server, Sun Cobalt server appliances provide the continuous uptime and rock solid protection that every organisation needs to remain profitable in today's competitive ebusiness marketplace."
Sun confirmed that the Cobalt appliances also include 128-bit SSL for secure remote administration, and that customers can leverage the firewall technology included with the Sun Cobalt Qube appliance to prevent unauthorised access to company systems and data.
The NT Upgrade Campaign is effective immediately and will continue until 30 June. Additional details are available at www.cobalt.com/registration.
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