Sun Offers UltraSPARC Payment Plans

Sun has announced new payment plans for its UltraSPARC III processor-based servers and forthcoming UltraSPARC IV-based systems.

Sun Microsystems Inc. has sweetened the pot for customers who buy its UltraSPARC III processor-based servers or are planning to upgrade to its forthcoming UltraSPARC IV-based systems.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company Wednesday announced two new payment plans for its UltraSPARC III-based Sun Fire 4800 and 6800 servers.

The first plan lets customers buy the servers for 50 percent down, with the balance due in 12 months at no additional interest. After six months, customers can opt to purchase an UltraSPARC IV upgrade kit for five interest-free payments or choose to lease.

With the second option, customers lease the servers for 24 months below market rate, with the first two months free. Under this plan, customers can acquire an UltraSPARC IV upgrade kit after six months. Upgrade costs are divided by the remaining lease and added to monthly payments.

Both plans are available now through June 30.

Sun last month took the wraps off its UltraSPARC IV chip, which combines two UltraSPARC III cores and runs at speeds of 1.05GHz or 1.2GHz, which is "up to twice the application throughput of the current UltraSPARC III processor," said Sun spokeswoman Larkin Kay. Customers can upgrade without a complete hardware box change because the UltraSPARC IV-based processing boards can be added into the same machines that contain UltraSPARC III boards.

Sun has unveiled five enterprise servers based on UltraSPARC IV: the E25k, E20k, E2900, E6900 and E4900. They are slated for general availability in late April and will cost 30 percent to 40 percent more on average than UltraSPARC III systems, depending on configuration, price discounts and financing deals, said Kay.

/zimages/2/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Server and Networking Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.