Sun Microsystems Inc. is creating a board consisting of customers and partners to advise the company as it pushes forward with its low-end systems based on the x86 architecture.
Sun this week announced the creation of its x86 ISV Advisory Board, similar to the Linux ISV Advisory Board, which the Santa Clara, Calif., company established in January.
The x86 board will help Sun officials as they continue their aggressive foray into the low-end space, including greater integration of their software and hardware offerings, said Neil Knox, executive vice president of Suns Volume Systems Products group.
"The reason we expanded our product line in the low-cost model is because of input" from customers and partners, Knox said. "It was input from our customer base that we used to build a business plan that we could bring to Scott [McNealy, Suns chairman and CEO]."
Sun officials are continuing to keep their low-end push on the front burner. In February, Sun launched its Network Computing 2003 initiative that has included a greater adoption of Linux and the embracing of the x86 architecture, both in its software offerings and new hardware products.
Sun is offering its Sun Fire Blade platform on either UltraSPARC IIi or x86 architectures—including using Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s Athlon chips later this year. In addition, two low-end servers—the 1U (1.75-inch) Sun Fire V60x and 2U (3.5-inch) V65x two-way systems—are powered by Intel Corp.s Xeon processors. Earlier this month, the company announced it was upgrading the V60x to 3.06GHz Xeon chips.
In addition, Sun at Linuxworld earlier this month announced it is working with AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., to provide native Java support for the chip makers 64-bit Opteron processor in both Linux and Windows platforms.