Sun slashes enterprise server prices

Alongside a slew of new product announcements, Sun Microsystems Australia has slashed the cost of its high end enterprise servers by up to 40 per cent and offered additional training incentives to boost product sales.

Sun's server product manager Alec Cameron said two factors had attributed to the cost reduction. The first was the increasing strength of the Australian dollar combined with a weakening US dollar. The other - and more significant reason - was the fact the company over the last couple of years had managed to drive down its operating costs.

"We are more efficient in building products," Cameron said.

Server products in the enterprise range include the Sun Fire 3800, Sun Fire 4800, Sun Fire 6800, Sun Fire 12K and Sun Fire 15K. The heavy discounting, up to 40 per cent on some of these models - applies to those servers fitted with 1050MHz SPARC processors.

The Sun Fire 4800 server which previously started at $288,550, will now sell from $217,400. The Sun Fire 6800 server is priced from $570,300, down from $ 738,550. And the Sun Fire 12K server ($1,256,800) and Sun Fire 15K server ($1,984,200) have been reduced from $1,645,850 and $2,494,550 respectively.

The newer 1.2Ghz models will be discounted about 25 per cent, Cameron said.

It will be a case of bad luck for customers who recently bought the Sun Fire products as they will be exempt from the discounts. However, customers that have yet to have their server orders fulfilled will be eligible for the discounts.

"I think Sun has always had a keen eye on the market and is looking at ways to drop its prices," Sun Microsystems partner director, Paul O'Connor, said. "This will make the technology affordable for a large number of people."

Alongside the reductions on the Sun Fire server range there would also be an across the board reduction of about 3.7 percent on all Sun products, software and services.

Customers - who take up one of the offers - will also receive training credits from Sun valued at one per cent of the purchase price. Backdated to January 1, end users will be entitled to an education voucher worth 1 per cent of every dollar they spend on a Sun kit.

"Education is too often an area that gets squeezed in IT budgets," he said. "These vouchers will be a strong selling point partners can go to customers with," O'Connor said.

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