Sun Microsystems Inc. on Monday pushed forward with its low-end strategy by announcing a tighter partnership with database giant Oracle Corp. and rolling out two new low-cost servers.
At an event in San Francisco, Scott McNealy, president, chairman and CEO of Sun, and Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison spoke about how many data centers in the near future are going to run smaller servers linked together by technology such as Oracles Real Application Clusters and running as one large system.
Such a setup, using low-cost Sun boxes to run Oracles powerful database and other software, snatches away the one charge Oracle competitors have been able to throw at the company, Ellison said: That Oracle software is too expensive.
“When people talk about Oracle and Sun together, they say, Yeah, theyre scalable, theyre fast, theyre secure, but they run on those big, expensive computers,” Ellison said. “[They say,] It just costs too much. You dont need all that power and security. We can do it good enough [for less money.] The only thing they keep hitting us on is we cost too much. We decided to attack that thing head-on.”
The two companies are also promising a tightening of their already close, 20-year-long alliance that will result in a “no finger-pointing” service and support scenario for joint customers, McNealy said. “What this means is you have absolute, total choice across the two product lines, with only one throat to choke,” he said.
As far as the message regarding total joint compatibility goes, it echoed one that Ellison and Dell Computer Corp. CEO Michael Dell put out during an event in New York April 2.
On Monday, the two announced that software from Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., will run on all Solaris x86 and Linux on x86 hardware from Sun. The software includes everything from Oracle9i Database, Oracle9i Application server and Oracle Collaboration Suite.
The two companies also are going to work to have the Oracle software be enabled to be automatically deployed within data centers powered by Sun N1s strategy. N1 is Suns initiative—similar to IBMs on-demand and Hewlett-Packard Co.s adaptive enterprise pushes—to virtualize the data center, enabling the dynamic management of resources within the centers.
The two companies also will integrate Suns StarOffice suite with Oracles Collaboration Suite, and will collaborate on joint marketing and support programs.
Sun, of Santa Clara, Calif., also is rolling out two new low-cost, rack-optmized servers, the Sun Fire V60x and V65x. The V60x is a 1U (1.75-inch-high) one- to two-way system powered by Intel Corp. 2.8GHz Xeon processors that can run either Red Hat Linux or Solaris OS x86 Platform Edition. The entry-level server, aimed at such jobs as Web serving, e-mail and caching, also up to 6GB of memory and three Ultra320 SCSI hard drives, according to Sun.
The 2U V65x can run up to two 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz Xeons, and comes with up to 12GB of memory, six 36GB or 73GB hard drives, and up to six PCI-X slots, Sun said.
Both systems are available now, with pricing starting at $2,450 fo rhte V60x and $2,650 for the V65x.
McNealy also announced a global agreement with Linux developer Red Hat Inc.
Mondays event comes as Sun, which made its bones with high-end Unix servers, continues to push for more share in the low-end x86 space. In February, Sun announced that the initial centerpiece of its N1 platform would be its new blade architecture, featuring its Sun Fire Blade Servers and Sun Fire B1600 Intelligent Shelf chassis.
Souheil Saliba, vice president of marketing for Suns Volume System Products group, said that this summer the company will roll out 1U and 2U blade servers for the x86 market that will be able to run either Solaris x86 or Linux.
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