Sun Pulls Plug on Cobalt Server Line
Sun Microsystems this week said it will end-of-life the last of its Cobalt line of Unix servers.In late 2000, Ed Zander (then president and chief operating officer of Sun Microsystems Inc. and now recently tapped as CEO and president of Motorola) said of Suns Cobalt server line: "We think the demand for these high-volume, turnkey devices will explode in the next couple of years. Cobalt is our bet for the future." That future lasted only three years. This week, the company announced that it will discontinue the last model in its Cobalt product line, the RaQ 550 server, on Feb. 19, 2004, following September end-of-life notices for the rest of the Cobalt line. Though Sun has committed to maintaining future security patches and will continue to honor extended service warranties for three years for the Cobalt line, this move leaves customers of the Cobalt line without an immediate upgrade path. Suns designated replacement, the refreshed Sun Fire line, will not be available until early 2004.
As announced at Novembers Comdex trade show, Sun will offer a new family of low-end Sun Fire servers, to be powered by AMDs 64-bit Opteron processor. Industry watchers said the move reflected Suns interest in the x86 sector of that market. Sun said it had developed versions of Linux, Java and Solaris for Opteron-based servers.