Sun Eyes Low-end Server Market with New Products

A day before it announces highly-anticipated earnings, hardware giant Sun
Microsystems Inc. Wednesday drew the curtain on its server appliance
strategy with some new products for the IT sector, including a sub-$1,000
server.


Promising the same bang for fewer bucks, the Netra X1 server starts at a
very attractive $995. The Netra line is also super thin — 1.75 inches.

Like its Netra t1 sibling, the Netra X1 server fulfills service providers’
need to deliver more applications — e-mail, messaging, Web hosting and DNS
services — for their customers without taking up a lot of space.


Sun also put an old acquisition to use, as it unveiled two new server
appliances under the Sun-Cobalt name — CacheRaQ 4 and RaQ XTR.


CacheRaQ 4 was created to speed network response time by storing content
locally at the service provider or the client site. With this app,
businesses will be less likely to find their network users reloading the
same Web pages repeatedly and tying up network resources.


Its compadre, RaQ XTR, performs similar functions and then some — it
integrates hardware, software, database and tools to maximize Web
development.


Sun’s bright news comes on the eve of its quarterly earnings report. Sanford
Bernstein Toni Sacconaghi said he believes they will be in line or exceed
expectations.


Sacconaghi also said he expects the company’s growth rate to decelerate
dramatically over the next several quarters, even if the information
technology market is not affected.


While Sun isn’t the only bellwether that analysts have been nervous about,
many are waiting for Thursday to make their judgment on the high-end
hardware sector, which has been hit hard by high-tech sales slowdowns.


Hewlett-Packard Co. last week joined Dell Computer Corp., Gateway and Apple
Computer Corp. when it posted a profit warning. HP said it would fall short
of analyst estimates, with improvement in sales growth not expected until
the second half of 2001.

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