Market wars result in price cuts too

Sun Microsystems Inc. has announced an enhanced version of its high-end E10000 server and said it has cut prices on an earlier model.

The company said the high-end system, know as Starfire, uses 466MHz chips, making it 16 per cent faster than the earlier 400MHz models. Increasing individual processor speed boosts overall system performance and faster user response time, according to Sun.

Sun said the 466MHz chips are also available in the 3500, 4500, 5500 and 6500 midrange servers.

In a statement Sun also said it was cutting system board prices by up to 15 per cent on the 400MHz UltraSPARC II-based line of Enterprise servers, including the E10000.

As part of a turf war with IBM, Sun reduced prices on its UltraSPARC II-processor-based Enterprise 3500 to 6500 servers in April.

Gordon Haff, an analyst at Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston, said Sun should be shipping its new high-end server model, StarCat, by the end of the year. However, a Sun spokeswoman said the company isn’t yet disclosing the date it will be shipped.

Haff said today’s announcement is an ongoing upgrade designed to speed up the current Enterprise servers for its customers.

In the statement, Steve Campbell, Sun’s director of product marketing for Enterprise Systems Products, said the enhancements “serve as further proof of Sun’s continued commitment to investment protection for its Sun Enterprise server customers.”

“We understand that our customers’ reliability, availability and performance requirements can increase dramatically over time, and this new product delivers what they are looking for,” Campbell said.