Sun Highlights the Four Cornerstone Technology Issues For The Coming Year

11/15/2002 - At the BioITWorld Conference & Expo, Sun Microsystems will share its vision of the technologies that are changing the life sciences landscape and can help companies gain competitive advantage in the coming year - harmonization through standards, security, efficient data management and visualization. Sun leads the market as the technology partner to deliver IT therapeutics across the end-to-end life sciences value chain - from drug discovery to consumer delivery. With its commitment to open standards, comprehensive partner ecosystem and its secure, robust platform, Sun continues to win customers and set the standard for emerging technologies that drive industry progress.

"In order to improve global public health, there is an urgent need to accelerate the time, and lower the cost, associated with drug discovery and development," said Howard Asher, director of Global Life Sciences at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Life sciences companies are just beginning to discover the power of IT, and Sun is the partner of choice to lead this industry transformation -- from developing best-in-class solutions that help speed product discovery, to enterprise solutions that streamline corporate functions."

In his keynote speech at the show, Asher will address the convergence of IT and life sciences, the major trends in the industry and the four cornerstone technology issues of 2003:

Harmonization through Standard
As one of the most regulated industries in the world, the life sciences industry requires a highly specialized and standardized IT architecture to help streamline the drug development and regulatory process. Today, there is still no broadly accepted interoperability framework for the sharing and exchange of the rapidly increasing amounts of data being acquired along the entire drug development continuum. Through its leadership and participation in standards bodies such as the I3C (Interoperable Informatics Infrastructure Consortium), Sun helps to drive data and tool interoperability across the entire value chain by establishing common protocols that will accelerate drug discovery.

Because biotech companies deal with data of the highest sensitivity - everything from intellectual property and research results to patient records -- they require IT solutions with a level of security comparable to the needs of the financial industry and government agencies. This degree of security must extend beyond a point solution to the entire integrated data environment, from servers to storage. Sun has built security into its solutions from the ground up, starting with the Trusted Solaris[tm] 8 Operating Environment (OE). This software, which has been required by governments for years and is at the heart of many financial institutions, extends the capabilities of the Solaris OE to provide superior safeguards against internal and external threats far beyond the protection commonly found in standard operating systems. Sun provides comprehensive security solutions and services to address business needs across the company, from network identity to perimeter defense.

Efficient Data Management
Life sciences customers are increasingly finding that the data sets they want to capture, organize and analyze are growing faster than the computational power available to them. As these organizations look to analyze this data in new ways, the primary challenge they face is to increase efficiency while reducing cost. This challenge can be addressed in two ways: minimizing the footprint in the data center by combining more CPUs into less space (server consolidation) and by maximizing the CPU availability of existing resources (grid computing). Organizations are developing new distributed networks and grids that take advantage of both these methods at once, through Sun technologies including:

Visualization of Data
Data visualization is becoming a critical step in the drug discovery process. Researchers want to view three dimensional models of systems such as genomes, cells, or organs with virtual reality devices that allow them to see spatial relationships that would be difficult to detect in conventional images and impossible in data tables. With its recently announced beta version of the Sun XVR-4000 graphics accelerator, Sun delivers enhanced visual quality and performance at a lower price point than SGI. Capable of managing very large data sets while delivering improved visual quality, Sun's personal and workgroup visualization solutions allow customers to run visualization applications either in a personal immersive desk-side, a CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, or a small or large Workgroup Visualization environment. In addition, the Sun Blade[tm] 2000 workstation with the Sun XVR-1000 graphics accelerator delivers high-end 3D visualization capabilities in an affordable deskside solution.

Through the application of these four cornerstone technologies, Sun Microsystems is helping the life science community drive innovation, speed the development time for new medical products, and ultimately enhance global public health.

About Sun Microsystems
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, The Network Is The Computer, Sun Blade and Solaris are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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