Sun Powers Consumer Websites and Grid Solutions with x86 Systems

4/1/2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced that customers and partners are running their consumer websites and grid solutions on Sun's virtually unmatched price/performance, x86 offerings. These wins mark a broadened footprint for Sun's growth in emerging industries such as automotive, government, life sciences, and entertainment, signaling Sun's commitment to outperform its rivals. The new wave of x86 momentum is attributed to demand for the Sun Fire V20z, Sun's first x86 server based on the AMD Opteron processor, Sun Fire V60x and V65x servers, the Sun Fire B100x and B200x blade servers, and the Sun Fire V60x Compute Grid rack system.

Sun's x86 systems run the Solaris Operating System (OS) (x86 Platform Edition), delivering enterprise-class reliability, security, availability and manageability on x86 systems. In addition, the systems run Red Hat and SUSE Linux, and are Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) certified. Sun also delivers to customers new services to support entry-level, x86 systems.

"With the addition of AMD Opteron processors, we now have a competitive set of high performance x86 systems that support both Linux and Solaris x86 operating systems," said Neil Knox, executive vice president, Volume Systems Products at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "And our customers are thrilled. They are now able to get both SPARC(R)/Solaris, and x86/Linux or Solaris processor-based systems from Sun."

Postini, one of the industry's leading providers of email security for the enterprise, has purchased Sun Fire V60x servers to run Sun Java Enterprise System software on the Solaris x86 operating system. Postini's flagship Perimeter Manager protects and secures the email systems of over 2,000 enterprises who require the highest level of visibility and control of their email systems. Postini needed a reliable and scalable method of growing its infrastructure, and chose Sun's x86 servers and software for the stability and performance that the solution provides.

x86 for Consumer Websites, the world's leading on-line automotive marketplace, purchased Sun Fire V60x servers to support the on-line inventory of more than two million vehicles for sale by private sellers, dealers and manufacturers. reaches 7.5 million unique visitors monthly., the betting and gaming division of Hilton Group, chose to deploy Sun Fire V60x servers for its Sportsbook applications. Michael Boylan, head of technology services at Ladbrokes states, "With Sun's combination of technology and aggressive pricing of its Intel/Linux products, Sun is now a contender in this area and can meet our Intel and Linux requirements."

The San Diego Supercomputer Center, in collaboration with San Diego State University, is hosting a website that runs on a Sun Fire B1600 Blade Platform cluster. The cluster includes Sun Fire B100x single-processor x86 blade servers running Red Hat Linux as part of its public website. The site "Maestro", allows members of the public anywhere on the Internet, to view and manipulate the actual data beamed back to Earth from the NASA/JPL Mars rovers and do mission planning for the rovers with the same software that NASA uses.

x86 for Grid Computing Solutions
"Grid computing is a novel architectural approach designed to optimize computing resources, and any substantive shift in computing strategy like this translates into opportunity for the channel," said Scott Zahl, vice president of Sun Business Group, GE Access. "The combination of Sun's x86 systems and the support of Sun Services offers resellers the chance to capitalize on this growing market."

Sun provides Gridway Computing Corporation with much of its enabling technology, including a grid of Sun Fire V60x servers running Red Hat Linux. Gridway Corporation uses the systems for its utility computing service for chip designers.

The Sun Fire V60x Compute Grid rack system, using Sun Grid Engine software, can help customers improve resource utilization by up to 90 percent. The Delaware Biotechnology Institute purchased multiple Sun Fire V60x servers as part of project "BioWolf," the institute's new Grid Computing infrastructure. Sun created a 128 dual-node Compute Grid rack system, which was recently ranked among the 30 most powerful academic supercomputers in the United States. Infineon is also using the Sun Fire V60x Compute Grid rack system.

x86 Optimized with AMD Opteron Processors
The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds in the UK will host one of the first HPTC cluster implementations, using the Sun Fire V20z server. The Sun Fire V20z server features dual AMD Opteron processors, which feature simultaneous 32-bit and 64-bit computing. The servers are capable of running enterprise-class Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition) as well as Red Hat and SUSE Linux. The Sun Fire V20z server has been revenue released, and Sun has shipped hundreds of Sun Fire V20z servers to early access customers.

Vernon Turner, group vice president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions at IDC states, "Sun has increased its footprint in the x86 marketplace by adding AMD Opteron processor- and Intel Xeon processor-based servers to its product portfolio. Offering Solaris x86, Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating systems along with its new X86 server line, Sun is able to accommodate a wider set of workloads in the high growth volume server marketplace."

Sun continues to focus on the channel and resellers, and has received positive feedback from channel partners and resellers including Moca, GE Access and Tech Data, who have expressed tremendous interest in shipping the Sun Fire V20z servers in volume.

"The Sun Fire V20z server expands Tech Data's comprehensive product offering and solution options available to resellers serving the small-to-medium sized business (SMB) market," says Pete Peterson, Tech Data's vice president of Software and Systems Product Marketing. "Through our TechSelect program, an alliance of established value-added resellers (VARs) focused on the SMB market, Tech Data is well positioned to quickly and efficiently reach Sun's target market for the Sun Fire V20z server."

"We are committed to offering our customers and partners a choice of architectures for massive horizontal scaling. Today we are delivering x86 systems with industry leading price/performance," Knox added, "and you can expect to see us roll out additional AMD Opteron processor-based systems throughout this calendar year."

Sun Services for x86
Sun also announced aggressively priced service offerings for customers and channel partners in order to help customers architect, implement and manage x86 solutions. These new services build on Sun's existing services for x86, which include customized system builds, Grid implementation services and Linux learning solutions. Sun also offers a range of software support offerings for both Solaris x86 and Linux operating systems, with standard and premium services for the Solaris operating system priced at, or below comparable Linux offerings. Sun delivers the levels of service that Sun customers and channel partners have come to expect with our UltraSPARC processor-based platforms.

The new services, called Sun Hardware Only Support, are initially targeted at the Sun Fire V20z, Sun Fire V60x and Sun Fire V65x servers, and will be extended to other entry-level products. The new services offer a choice of options to best meet customers needs including next business day service, same business day service, four hours response, and seven days a week, twenty four hours a day service, four hours response.

If onsite service is deemed necessary, Sun can offer to send an engineer within the response times indicated. Sun also offers 24/7 access to its Online Support Center and its SunSolve(SM) program which includes an Online Knowledge Database, the same database used by Sun engineers, as well as other technical and operational management resources.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- 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 and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Sun Fire, Solaris, JAVA, SunSolve and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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