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RealTime IT News

Sun Stumps For Bargain-Shoppers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sounding a bit like an ad for a local auto dealer, Sun Microsystems Wednesday emphasized low, low cost for its servers and systems.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based creator of Java unveiled another batch of new products and services on the third day of its SunNetworks Conference here, bringing the total product announcements at the show to a whopping 30. Sun said the new offerings, which run the gamut from desktops to data center systems, is the fruit of its $500 million quarterly investment in R&D innovation.

"We're slashing cost and complexity from all levels of the IT lifecycle -- from building, running and evolving your Network Computing infrastructure," said Mark Tolliver, executive vice president of marketing and strategy and chief strategy officer for Sun.

Earlier in the week, Sun announced it had arranged its 225 software offerings into six "Java" branded products, and simplified its pricing structure including offering one price to Sun's entire customer, supplier and partner base.

Wednesday's announcements included three "aggressively priced" systems based on Sun's proprietary SPARC/Solaris architecture: the Sun FireTM V250, Sun Fire V440 and Sun BladeTM 1500 workstation. The company also showed off its line-up of Sun Ray ultra-thin client technologies that let users plug in a Sun Java Card and immediately and securely connect to their personal desktops. In his keynote on Tuesday, Sun CEO Scott McNealy claimed that Sun's new servers were cheaper than rival Dell's .

The company also released eight new Reference Architectures, which are free "how to" guides for functions including anti-virus, application services, and identity server applications. The list also includes vertical categories such as a student reference architecture that lets schools managing information as well as grid and mainframe re-hosting reference architectures.

Sun's new Sun Grid Infrastructure Solution promises a quicker, cheaper grid environment by packaging services, Reference Architectures, Sun Fire V60x compute grid, storage and software.

As an extension of its N1 product line, the company also highlighted Temporary Capacity on Demand (T-COD), which lets customers turn on additional processor and memory capacity to meet spikes in business needs and turn off the resource when no longer needed.

Sun said it could also ease IT management ills by taking over many functions with its Sun Managed Services, Site Support, Sun Sigma Service Level Agreements, SunIT Talent Management Security Solution and Sun Certified Security Administrator for Solaris.

With the new offerings in place, McNealy told the audience that tests had shown that Sun could operate customers' equipment at a higher level of availability and at lower cost. He made a point to mention that Sun Managed Services was cheaper than competitor IBM Global Services.

"We made them, we know how to operate them," McNealy said. "We'll operate them for you so you don't have to."