FRAMINGHAM (04/03/2000) - Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to announce a dual Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel arbitrated Loop (FC-AL) network interface card that can save users valuable server slot space and reduce associated server costs by one-third, the company says. Sun will introduce this dual adapter card for SPARC/Solaris servers. The move is similar to the strategies of Interphase and Alteon, which have a cobranded, dual-purpose card in the works for NT-based servers. The Sun card is aimed at customers with high-speed access and bandwidth requirements.
Sun already has cards for Gigabit Ethernet and FC-AL, but providing users with a single card that provides both is more economical. The Gigabit Ethernet part of the card gives users the same performance as Sun's existing stand-alone card, with support for full- and half-duplex interface connections. The FC-AL portion of the card features high-bandwidth storage connectivity.
Sun's Gigabit Ethernet FC-AL/P Combination adapter is due to ship this week at a cost of $2,995. The stand-alone Gigabit Ethernet 2.0 PCI card is priced at $2,095, and the FC-AL PCI card costs $2,300.
"For people who value server slots, this can mean the difference between having to buy a new server or not," says Sam Alunni, president of Sterling Research in Sterling, Massachusetts. Alunni says Sun is making strides in a market segment where servers and server slots can be a significant expense for users. "For people who live in this world, servers are something they deal with every day, and they are extremely conscious of the available slots they have," Alunni says.