Sun Fire 12K targets server consolidation

Struggling under the weight of increasing mainframe costs and legacy server sprawl, Australian enterprises are looking at server consolidation which is what the Sun Fire 12K server aims to deliver.

Speaking at the launch of the Sun Fire 12K, which is priced between $US500,000 and $1 million, Sun Microsystems Australia product manager Robert Becker said CIOs and IT managers are under pressure to improve the delivery of mission-critical information services and, at the same time, significantly reduce operating costs.

"The local business climate demands a positive and timely return on investment (ROI) business case. A common theme emanating from Australian IT decision makers is that if an IT investment decision cannot deliver a positive ROI within a year, it won't even make the short list," he said. "When you consider the consolidation and mainframe re-hosting capabilities against the price tag of the Sun Fire 12K, it can deliver positive and timely ROI."

Becker claims re-hosting mainframe applications on a Sun Fire 12K can reduce operating costs by up to 50 per cent, and delivers features previously only available in servers priced over $US1 million. The less expensive Sun Fire 12K server line fills a market niche between its bigger brothers and Sun's lower-end Sun Fire 6800 hardware and attacks a server category where Sun didn't previously compete.

The new machine is being aimed at customers as a prime tool for server consolidation, moving applications from mainframes onto less-costly servers, high-performance computing, and running high-throughput applications.

The new Sun Fire 12K servers run Sun's Solaris 8 operating system.

IDC analyst Jean Bozman said the race for server market domination between Sun and IBM has escalated because of the tight economy and weak IT budgets. "They're really turning up the volume on their head-to-head competition," she said.

Only this week Sun announced price cuts of up to 41 per cent on its line of Sun Fire 3800 through 15K family of UltraSPARC III processor-based midrange and high-end servers.

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