Fujitsu Seeks Bigger Piece of U.S. Server Pie

In an effort to expand its presence in the United States, Fujitsu rolls out a new lineup of Intel-based servers.

Having refreshed its Solaris-based PrimePower server line earlier this year, Fujitsu Ltd. is turning its attention to its Intel Corp.-based systems as it pushes for a larger piece of the U.S. market.

Fujitsu is among the top five server makers worldwide, but in the United States, "were in the other category, not cracking the top 10," said Jon Rodriguez, senior product marketing manager for Fujitsu PC Corp., which is responsible for the companys Intel-based servers.

The company is among a number of systems makers looking to expand their presence in the United States. Like NEC Corp., Fujitsu is a major player in Europe and Asia—usually listed in the top five worldwide, according to Rodriguez—but has yet to break into the top 10 in a U.S. market dominated by such vendors as Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc.

According to International Data Corp., of Framingham, Mass., the worldwide server market in 2002 was $49.2 billion; the U.S. market was $17.7 billion.

With a new lineup of Intel-based servers—combined with the PrimePower systems—Fujitsu is hoping grab a larger share of that.

According to Rodriguez, Fujitsu PC, of Santa Clara, Calif., in late August and early September will introduce two new rack-mount servers, the 1U (1.75-inch-high) dual-Xeon RX200 and the four- to 16-way RX800. Fujitsu PC also will 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. Rodriguez said it also comes with a built-in standards-base BMC (baseboard management controller) that is compliant with IPMI (intelligent platform management interface) 1.5, an open standard that enables the management software to interoperate in heterogeneous environments. The BMC will offer event logging capabilities, hardware status reports and hardware alarms, he said.

The RX800 will come with up to 16 2GHz, 2.4GHz or 2.8GHz Xeon MP chips, and will offer up to 64GB of RAM, Rodriguez said, adding that the system is targeted at enterprises looking to consolidate their applications onto fewer servers.

The TX600 also will be powered by Intels Xeon MP Gallatin chips. The 5U (8.75-inch) server, which also can run in a rack-mounted configuration, eventually will replace the larger 7U (12.25-inch) H450 system, he said. In addition, 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 Rodriguez, adding that the ecosystem around Itanium is growing as more applications and operating systems—particularly Microsoft Corp.s Windows Server 2003—are 64-bit compatible.

"We see Itanium 2 as an important step forward in the mainstream space," Rodriguez said. "Theres been an uptick in ISV support—among software makers—for 64-bit applications."

And enterprises are beginning to show interest, he said. Businesses running major database or enterprise resource planning applications on 32-bit Xeons are looking at the jumps in memory performance offered by Itanium, he said.

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.

All of Fujitsus Primergy servers run Windows and Linux, Rodriguez said.