Sun Microsystem's latest quarterly schedule of product releases includes a strong focus on the volume server market, and five new reference architectures designed to help customers reduce the complexity of rollouts.
The latest addition to Sun's low-cost x86 product range is the Sun Fire B100x, a single processor x86 blade server that uses AMD's Mobile Athlon XP 1800 processor. Available today, pricing starts at $1,795.
Sun also plans to deliver high performance x86 server products with its Sun Fire V65x and V60x systems using new 3.2GHz Xeon processors. AMD Opteron processor-based systems will be introduced in early 2004.
The company is targeting customers looking to migrate from older systems by offering tools to ease the process.
It has launched a reference architecture - definitions of recommended hardware and software components - and best practice methodologies, to help customers move from older AlphaServer Tru64 and mainframes to open systems.
Sun claims that customers which have used the methodologies to migrate from mainframe environments have saved at least 50 per cent on their previous environments, and seen a return on investment within 12 to 24 months.
Other reference architectures focus on supply chain management, web application firewalls, secure web servers and enhanced communications services.
Chairman Scott McNealy told delegates at the SunNetwork 2003 conference that the industry was moving to a new model "offering the network computer pre-assembled, ready to go and accessing gift-wrapped software".
"There are no two data centres on the planet that look the same. We think that has to change," he explained.
"There are parts of the business for which you have to build custom data centres, but do we have to do mail differently? Think about it."
Meanwhile Sun's Solaris platform will see a series of security enhancements originally developed for customers in highly secure environments.
Trusted Solaris, an operating system originally built for governments and defence agencies, is to be incorporated into the basic Solaris product.
Functionality in Trusted Solaris includes role-based access control, labelling of all objects, clearance levels for each user and strong audit capabilities.
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