10 February 2003 Unix systems vendor Sun Microsystems will today cut the price of some of its mid-range and high-end servers by as much as a third in a bid to stem the tide of defections from its platform.
In particular, Sun needs to address the haemorrhage of customers away from its proprietary platform to servers based on commodity Intel-based hardware running the open source Linux operating system – a combination commonly known as ‘Lintel’.
Sun argues that its Unix servers are cheaper in the long-run if the bundled systems management and support, as well as performance and scalability factors, are taken into account. But that message is increasingly being ignored.
In recent months, a series of high-profile companies, including computer maker Dell and online broker E*Trade, have replaced Sun’s servers with Linux-based alternatives. Today, film maker Pixar Animation is expected to announce that it will replace a large installation of Sun servers with Lintel-based servers from RackSaver.
Sun claims that its blade servers will offer more power compared to rival products, as well as more flexibility. Its new blade products can house as many as 160 blades in a single cabinet, compared to just 30 boards in competitors’ alternatives.
With Sun’s blade servers, organisations will also be able to use a mix of Intel-based hardware running Linux, or blades built with Sun’s combination of Sparc microprocessors running Solaris Unix. In contrast, most organisations currently build blades just using Intel’s microprocessors.