Sun Launched x86-Architecture Entry-Level Server

8/13/2002 - Sun Microsystems attacked the low-cost, entry server market with enterprise-class systems know-how in new Linux and SolarisTM-based systems that include industry-leading software and system design. At a press conference in San Francisco today, Sun unveiled the SunTM LX50, an x86-architecture entry-level server. The new system is loaded with Sun and open source software, the Sun Open Net Environment (Sun ONE) software stack, the customer's choice of Sun's new enterprise-ready Linux or the Solaris Operating Environment (OE) and a full suite of support services.

The enterprise-ready Sun LX50 server lowers cost of ownership and helps to fill the security and stability gap that 32-bit Windows-based systems leave wide open. Starting at only $2,795 (U.S. List), the Sun LX50 includes fully integrated infrastructure software, improved manageability and the single source for hardware and software support and professional services that most vendors' entry systems lack.

"Our enterprise customers asked us to apply our systems approach to entry servers. They wanted easy, rapid implementation and full systems support, without the current viruses, security issues and licensing headaches of Windows," said Neil Knox, executive vice president of Volume Systems Products at Sun. "The Sun LX50 system is a powerful alternative to the limitations of Microsoft and the piecemeal software/hardware approach of other vendors who pass complexity and cost on to customers. By turning the server into a system we're taking a knife to complexity and cost and creating value for our customers."

"There is a vast market for 32-bit systems," added Knox. "Although 32-bit applications are being deployed at the edge of the network, no one until today has yet fully addressed the need to merge in an enterprise-class system the benefits of open systems and low cost with easy deployment and management. The first of our new generation systems answers customers' growing need to deploy infrastructure applications — such as Web serving, firewall/VPN and email - through low-cost, scalable hardware and open source software."

"The Sun LX50 opens vast new opportunity for Sun in the sub-$10,000 server market," said John Humphreys, senior analyst, enterprise servers, IDC. "Linux-based servers are exploding at 15 - 20% growth every year. The positioning of the LX50 is just right for capturing some of that marketshare for Sun and to strengthen its offerings in the entry server segment."

Software-Rich System
Sun will offer its entire Sun One software stack on its 32-bit Linux and Solaris systems. The Sun LX50 is the first general purpose 32-bit x86 system to feature enterprise-ready Linux, based on the standard 2.4 Linux kernel, pre-installed and optimized to deliver stability, security, ease of installation and set up and remote manageability. Linux, like the Solaris OE, includes optimized and tested drivers and easily integrates with JavaTM technology and the Sun ONE platform.

Customers can also opt for Solaris x86 which offers existing Solaris customers the economy of scale to build out infrastructure applications at the edge of their network with x86 hardware as well as the common development, deployment and management of Solaris across all infrastructure tiers. Sun provides a set of tools, programs and Solaris features for easy, seamless switching between the two operating systems.

The Sun LX50 includes valuable software that puts the new server in a league of its own for edge applications, compute farms, high-performance and technical computing or custom application deployment. The software can be used for Web serving, email, grid computing, streaming media, databases and Web commerce. Software applications include: Java 2 SDK Standard Edition, Sun ONE ASP for Linux, TomCat (JSP), MySQL (Database), Apache (Webserver), WU-FTPD (FTP), Sendmail (Email Server), Bind (DNS Server), Sun Grid Engine and Sun Streaming Server.

High-Performance Hardware
The Sun LX50 is powered by either single or dual 1.4GHz x86 processors in a reliable, 1 3/4-inch high rack server - about the size of a pizza box. It can be configured with up to 6GB of memory and 216 GB of internal storage.

New Management Capabilities & Control Station
Sun also announced major enhancements to the Sun Control Station, a companion system that greatly simplifies the management of multiple Linux and Solaris-based Sun LX50s. The browser-based Control Station, designed specifically for large volume server deployments, monitors system health, evaluates system performance, determines hardware inventory and manages software provisioning. Priced at $4,999, the Sun Control Station enables customers to easily manage 250 LX50 servers out of the box. The Sun LX50 also provides SNMP Standard Interfaces for integration with Sun Management Center and other third-party systems management tools.

Management solutions from other vendors such as IBM, Dell and HP/Compaq are tailored for Windows and often provide limited support for software provisioning, especially on Linux. This forces customers to purchase and integrate third-party provisioning software which can cost more than six times as much to manage compared to the Sun Control Station.

Enterprise-Level Support and Services from a Single Source
Sun is also announcing immediate availability of a full suite of consulting, training and support services for Sun Linux and Solaris on its x86 platforms. The global service portfolio includes mission-critical operating environment support, a three-year hardware warranty, an online support center, Web-based and instructor-led training, and integration and consulting services.

Ideal Platform for Partner Applications
For Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and solution providers, Sun's open, standards-based architecture enables easy addition and integration of applications, systems software and services on the Sun platform. Customers can take advantage of the wide range of Linux applications developed over the past few years, including those for Linux distributions such as Red Hat or Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. Sun is working closely with the ISV community to provide a full portfolio of solutions for the LX50 systems, which offer their users an attractive entry-level platform. Some of these ISVs include: Oracle Corporation; BEA Systems, Inc.; VERITAS Software Corporation; LEGATO Systems, Inc.; Astaro Corporation; CanyonBlue, Inc.; Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.; Polyserve, Inc; Qubux, Inc.; Software AG; Trend Micro, Inc.; Triversity, Inc; and Ulticom, Inc.

Over 1900 New Channel Partners
Sun has added over 1900 new volume channel partners worldwide to support this new category of systems. Sun's channel program continues to expand and evolve to target new markets with this announcement. These new products will be sold through Sun's direct sales force and its current iForceTM partners, as well as volume partners such as CDW and Insight Enterprises. In addition to these channels, the products will be made available worldwide through the resellers previously selling the Sun CobaltTM line as well as new companies that will be recruited by Sun's Channel Development Providers.

Pricing and Availability
The Sun LX50 starts at $2,795 (U.S. List) for a system with one 1.4GHz CPU, 512MB memory and 36GB SCSI disk. A system with two 1.4GHz CPUs, 1GB memory and 72GB SCSI disk sells for $4,295 (U.S. List).

About Sun Microsystems (
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — "The Network Is The ComputerTM" — 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 170 countries.

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

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