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SUN SLASHES SERVER PRICING AHEAD OF PCI WORKGROUP INTRO

In a bid to prevent sales of its forthcoming low-cost, PCI bus- based ‘Tazmo’ workgroup servers cannibalizing sales of its higher-margin Ultra Enterprise line, Sun Microsystems Inc’s slashing the price of an entry-level model 3000 Ultra server by almost 30%. In addition, the company’s also moving data center technologies developed for its high-end Starfire Ultra Enterprise 10000 flagship system – including dynamic reconfiguration and alternate pathing capabilities – down on to the Ultra Enterprise 3000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 servers. Dynamic reconfiguration and alternate pathing enable customers to attach and detach CPUs, memory and I/O devices without bringing the system down. The features will be available from next Spring. An Ultra Enterprise 3000 server now costs from $43,250 with two 167MHz UltraSparc RISC processors and 256Mb RAM. Next week in New York Sun will debut the first member in of a new line of workgroup servers based upon the 250MHz and 300MHz UltraSparc II RISCs, which are being pitched directly against four-way Intel Corp Pentium Pro SHV servers running Windows NT such as Compaq Computer’s ProLiant 6000 and Hewlett-Packard’s LX servers. Sun’s expected to create a family of the PCI servers around its initial Tazmo system, to which standard PC peripherals can be attached once drivers are written for the Solaris Unix operating system they run. They’re aimed at the sub-$50,000 market for office and small business servers. The market for these types of systems is set to grow from 2.5m units this year to four million units in 2000. Unix products currently account for a small portion of the market, which is dominated by sales of systems running NT and other network operating systems such as Novell NetWare and OS/2. Having accepted Windows NT will become a significant competitor in the commercial market dominated by Unix servers, Sun is about to take the game to Microsoft’s and compete in Redmond’s back yard by leveraging its web server, Java and high-availability technologies in efficient and reliable intranet servers.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.