Sun hopes to cast shadow on competitors with new products

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced a multitude of new products Tuesday during the company’s Network Computing 03-Q2 conference and showed a strong focus on the changing needs and demands of the customer.

Scott McNealy, chairman, president and CEO, Sun Microsystems said Sun’s new offerings bring the total package when it comes to delivering servers, storage, software and services that are all certified to work together using the same general architecture.

McNealy said the fact that the products are integrateable is one of the most exciting elements of Sun’s initiative, meaning customers only have to buy the desired components, and therefore won’t end up with products the company either doesn’t want or doesn’t need for their business.

“We’ll ship it complete, or you can buy all the pieces.…You can buy the bun, the burger and the pickles, and we’ll even give you tomatoes and you can make your own ketchup if you want,” McNealy said. “If we do ship you the whole burger, but you don’t like our pickles, you can throw them out and put someone else’s relish in. We don’t care, [the systems] are integrateable.”

One of the highlighted areas at Tuesday’s launch was storage policy. Sun introduced the Sun StorEdge 6100 midrange family of servers, which include the Sun StorEdge 6120, which boosts manageability, flexibility and availability for economical application deployments, and grows from a single array into a complete, integrated storage area network (SAN). Pricing starts at US$28,995. Also announced was the Sun StorEdge 6320 system, a storage system for multi-application deployments, starting at US$108,000 and the Sun StorEdge 6900 series that boosts lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by providing virtualized storage pooling for maximum storage utilization. Pricing starts at US$104,000.

Sun also introduced the PSX1000, a storage box able to aggregate heterogeneous storage boxes, and create a storage domain that can be presented to a SAN so that the servers in the network see a logical virtual environment for their storage system.

“This lets you radically reduce the kind of cost structure to manage a heterogeneous storage environment. So as opposed to just putting the box out there, we’ve integrated this box with a set of services so we can come to our customers and basically do an assessment, and do architecture development implementation and management of the implemented solution,” said Mark Canepa, executive vice-president, Sun Microsystems.

Security was also on the menu with Trusted Solaris as the main course. Canepa said systems that are not designed to handle security could quickly find themselves in trouble.

The Trusted Solaris 8 Operating Environment (OE) is a security and privacy software package that provides built-in security on a commercial-grade operating system (OS).

“For the network computer, Sun has a great answer for this: Trusted Solaris. Trusted Solaris is Solaris that has been enhanced with a whole set of features that are able to create privacy between multiple users on a system…preventing users from crossing each other and accessing each others data and files, and so on,” Canepa said.

The Trusted Solaris 8 boasts increased privacy and protection of local devices and reduces risk of security violations. Pricing for 17 or more central processing units (CPUs) starts at US$36,495.

Sun also introduced its first UltraSPARC llli processor-based servers: the Sun Fire V210 server, with prices starting at US$2,995, as well as the Sun Fire V240 server, with prices starting at US$3,495.

Both new servers come pre-installed with the Solaris Operating System and a line-up of Sun ONE software including the Sun ONE Application Server, Sun ONE Studio development tools, Sun ONE Messaging Server software, and Sun ONE Active Server Pages.

Ibrahim Canakci, product segment manager responsible for servers at Sun Microsystems Canada in Markham, Ont. said that these changes and developments are what customers have been asking for.

“[Customers] have said they would like to have more availability, better security…even in commercial lines of business, not just in government and security related businesses,” Canakci said.

Sun acquired the N1 Data Platform from Pirus Networks last year. The system will go on sale in Canada before the end of this year with pricing starting at US$112,600 for a complete system with extra fees for implementation services, additional ports and other features.

Also announced at Tuesday’s launch were:

-Sun ONE Web Services Platform Developer Edition.

-Sun ONE Integration Server B2B Edition 3.6.2.

-SunFire 280R Server, starting at US$7,995.

-Sun Blade 2000 Workstation, starting at US$7,595.

-Sun Netra 20 Server. Pricing starts at US$11,495.

-Sun Pcilll CoProcessor. Pricing starts at US$695,00.

For more information, visit Sun Canada online at