Fujitsu Looks to Expand in U.S.

Company to deliver new Intel servers.

Fujitsu Ltd. this summer will roll out a host of Intel Corp.-based servers as it pushes to expand its U.S. presence.

After refreshing its Solaris-based PrimePower line of servers earlier this year, Fujitsu has turned its focus to its Primergy family of systems. Part of that focus includes moving the Primergy line from subsidiary Fujitsu Technology Solutions Inc., which runs the PrimePower line, to Fujitsu PC Corp., which officials said has more experience with the Intel architecture.

According to Fujitsu PC officials, the Santa Clara, Calif., company late next month and in early September will introduce two rack-mount servers, the 1U (1.75-inch) dual-Xeon RX200 and the four- to 16-way RX800. Fujitsu PC will also unveil a new tower system, the four-way TX600 and an as-yet-unnamed four-way server based on Intels new 64-bit Itanium 2 6M chip, formerly code-named Madison.

The RX200 will be powered with 3.06GHz Xeons, which include a 533MHz front-side bus, and will feature three hot-swappable hard drives, up to 12GB of RAM and three PCI slots. Officials said it also comes with a built-in, standards-based BMC (baseboard management controller) that is compliant with Intelligent Platform Management Interface 1.5, an open standard that enables the management software to interoperate in heterogeneous environments. BMC will offer event-logging capabilities, hardware status reports and hardware alarms, they said.

The RX800 will come with up to 16 2GHz, 2.5GHz or 2.8GHz Xeon MP chips and offer up to 64GB of RAM, said officials, adding that the system is targeted at enterprises looking to consolidate server applications.

The TX600 will also be powered by Intels Xeon MP Gallatin chips. The 5U (8.75-inch) server, which can also run in a rack-mounted configuration, eventually will replace the larger 7U (12.25-inch) H450 system, officials said. It will include an integrated remote service card, which will offer independent LAN connections and Web interfaces on the motherboard.

The 4U (7-inch) four-way Madison-based server will be aimed at mainstream enterprises, said officials, who added that they are seeing the ecosystem around Itanium growing as more applications and operating systems—particularly Microsoft Corp.s Windows Server 2003—become 64-bit-compatible. All the Fujitsu systems run Windows and Linux.

The mainstream enterprise is one of two tacks Fujitsu is taking with Itanium. In January, the company announced a partnership with Intel to build larger systems, including Itanium-based servers that will scale up to 128 processors by 2005.

Fujitsu is among a number of systems makers looking to grab a larger share of the $17.7 billion U.S. server space. Like NEC Corp., Fujitsu is a major player in Europe and Asia—usually listed in the top five in the $49.2 billion worldwide market, according to officials—but has yet to break into the top 10 in the United States.

Companies looking to expand their U.S. presence need to combine solid technology with strong marketing, particularly as more customers are looking for alternatives to the top U.S. vendors, or some leverage when dealing with them, said Steve Josselyn, an analyst with International Data Corp.

"They want to keep pace with the latest technology and make sure their systems are comparable and can compete directly with the other companies theyre going up against," said Josselyn, in Framingham, Mass. "[Fujitsu is] doing OK. Theyve got comparable offerings."

NEC, through its subsidiary, NEC Solutions America Inc., already has announced plans to bulk up its Intel-based server line. It is refreshing its Express5800/ 1000 series with 1.5GHz Itanium 2 6M chips and later this quarter will announce two new Xeon-based, fault-tolerant servers, the two-way Express5800/330Lx and four-way 340Lx. NEC officials are looking to grow U.S. server revenue from $40 million last year to more than $100 million next year.