Sun's N1 strategy gets new products, services

Several hardware and software products designed to help IT managers implement Sun Microsystems' N1 strategy for data centers and networking infrastructure were announced Monday by the company.

Sun is trying to make network management easier by tailoring hardware and software to present system administrators with a snapshot of all of a network's resources. It first announced the N1 initative last September, and Monday's announcement marks the first major product releases of the strategy.

Among the new products announced were:

-- New Sun Fire Blade servers, which run Sun's Solaris operating system and Linux on Sun's Sparc processors and processors based on the x86 instruction set. The Sun Fire B1600 Intelligent Shelf begins at AUD$8,550. The Sun Fire B100s SPARC Blade begins at AUD$3,650. Both will be available in Australia by the second quarter of this year.

-- N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, which allows customers to build and configure server farms using thin blade servers. Pricing per chassis (1-11 chassis) is AUD$8,600 list price, per Sun Rack (11 chassis) is AUD$75,800 list price, and the upgrade chassis (per chassis after 12 chassis) is AUD$6,900.

-- Sun StorEdge 3310 NAS, a storage system tailored for blade servers and devices for the network's edge. It will be available in Australia by the second quarter of this year.

-- Sun Fire V1280, a 12-way rack server. It is available now, with a base configuration list price of AUD$175,700.

-- Sun Fire V880z visualization system, targeted at product-design companies or life-sciences organizations that require high-end graphics. It is available now and starts at AUD$142,800.

-- Sun StorEdge 3510 FC Array, an entry-level storage device. It will be available in Australia later this month and pricing will start at AUD$28,700.

-- New 1.2GHz UltraSparc III Cu processors for the Sun Fire product family. As part of the announcement, Sun also cut prices for its midrange and high-end Solaris-based Sun Fire servers.

Sun also announced a new package of services for its N1 customers and Sun Services customers. The company will hold a press conference and webcast later on Monday to discuss the new products and services in more detail.

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