New x86 and UltraSPARC Systems Provide Customers Greater Flexibility and Choice for Scaling Out Enterprise and Telecom Computing

Decemeber 3, 2003

SunNetwork 2003 Conference and Pavilion – December 3, 2003 – Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced it has expanded its x86 Blade and Netra system portfolio. Sun’s new x86 systems with Solaris or Linux offer customers a lower cost “out-of-the-box” alternative, delivering up to 13 times lower acquisition costs over Microsoft Windows 2003 while leveraging the uncompromising security and reliability of the worldwide market-leading UNIX operating system.[1] .

“The clear message from customers today is that they want reliable, low-cost solutions that are easy to implement,” said Neil Knox, executive vice president, Volume Systems Products at Sun. “Sun is once again breaking new ground in providing scalable end-to-end solutions at lower price points than our competitors and simultaneously improving system reliability.”

At today’s Network Computing quarterly launch at SunNetwork Berlin, Sun unveiled the first multi-architecture blade computing platform, available with UltraSPARC, x86, SSL Proxy and content load balancing blades. Sun also announced its first Netra rack system utilizing the UltraSPARC IIIi processor and the first Netra blade server supporting PICMG 2.16 standards. The new systems allow customers to choose between the following platforms for running their business-critical applications:

Sun today announced the following new features for the Network Computer:

  • Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition): By providing the No. 1 UNIX, Solaris OS, on the x86 platform, Sun continues to provide customers with choice and flexibility.[2] With increased partner support and continuous OS innovation, the Solaris 9 OS (x86 Platform Edition) is experiencing rapid adoption with more than 375,000 registered licenses since January 2003. BEA, Sybase and other partners have recently announced that they are porting their applications to Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition). In addition, Sun’s Java Enterprise System available on the Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition) helps to provide customers with rock solid, high performance web service applications, such as the Secure Web Infrastructure Server.
  • Linux OS: Support for Red Hat’s RHEL 3.0 and SuSE’s SLES 8.0 enables enterprise computing on open source technology. Typical horizontal applications supported by Red Hat and SuSE include core infrastructure solutions such as web, application and e-mail servers, or compute farms, grid computing and others.

New Blade Servers Lower Operational Costs and Increase Serviceability

Customers can now build flexible and horizontally scalable IT infrastructures that utilize compute resources efficiently, with the availability of a new x86-based blade, which can be deployed as part of the industry’s first multi-architecture blade platform. With this new addition, the Sun Fire B1600 Blade Platform enables maximum flexibility to customers by mixing, matching and managing Solaris and Linux operating systems, SPARC and x86 architectures, and special function blades all in the same chassis.

The Sun Fire B100x is a single processor x86 blade server that utilizes AMD’s Mobile Athlon XP 1800+ processor at 1.53 GHz and one or two gigabytes of DDR memory options — double the memory available in some competitors’ systems. The x86 blade server supports the Solaris 9 Operating System (x86 Platform Edition) and standard Linux distributions from Sun. The entry price point for the B100x is $1795 U.S. List and is available today.

The Sun Fire B10p SSL Proxy blade server, when combined with the Sun Fire B10n Content Load Balancing blade server, can enable better utilization from server resources, as well as deliver fast, reliable responses to Web requests at low costs. The Sun Fire B10p blade server also provides SSL encryption and decryption services when combined with the Sun Fire B10n blade server. The B10p SSL Proxy blade server lists at $13,800 U.S. and is available today.

Sun iForce Partners Welcome Price, Performance Benefits

With the expansion of Sun’s low cost, out-of-the box solutions, Sun iForce partners are discovering the performance and price point benefits. These partners include PolyServe, Inc., Sourcefire, Inc., and Financial Services Market Connectivity partners B2BITS, British Telecom, Century 24 Solutions, COR Financial Solutions, Concise Group Limited, Integra SP, Random Walk Computing, Trace Financial, Trend Micro Inc., and Volante.

New Innovative Netra Servers Reestablish Sun’s Leadership in the NEBS Rack Server Market and Help Customers Reduce Administration and Software Development Costs

Reestablishing Sun’s leadership in the 2-way NEBS server market, the new Netra 240 server, the industry’s first and only 64-bit, NEBS Level 3 certified server that runs on the UltraSPARC IIIi processor, is a low cost, rugged, rack-optimized 2U server starting at $6,995 U.S. List price – which up to 15 percent below comparable Intel-based NEBS Level 3 certified systems from HP and IBM. Designed to withstand the extreme environmental conditions often experienced in telecom central offices, the Netra 240 server offers excellent price/performance, advanced lights out system management (ALOM) and industry leading features like built-in quad Gigabit Ethernet ports (twice what the competition offers), internal 5GB DVD-RW for backup and archival as well as the System Configuration Card (SCC) for faster system recovery. The Netra 240 also offers long term investment protection through our guaranteed application compatibility with current and future servers and operating environments.

Answering customers’ demands for manageable, horizontally scalable, standards-based, NEBS Level 3 certified blade systems, Sun today unveiled the Netra CT820 server, a PICMG 2.16 standard CPSB (CompactPCI Packet Switched Backplane) system running on the proven carrier grade Solaris (SPARC platform). With Sun’s superior manageability technology and systems that deliver the 99.999+ percent system availability required for telecom infrastructure applications, customers can save up to 40 percent on their software development costs for operations, administration and maintenance. The Netra CT820 systems start at $32,995 U.S. List Price including a 21 slot CPSB chassis, one CP2300 UltraSPARC IIi blade, dual redundant DMC alarm cards and 100Base T Ethernet switches with dual Gigabit ethernet uplinks. The Netra CT820 will be generally available in January 2004.

Sun Fire V65x and V60x Systems Get Upgrade

Running the SPEC jAppServer2002 benchmark, the Sun Fire V65x system provides the highest performance results of comparably configured 2-way x86 servers. (Source: The new Sun Fire V65x and V60x standard configurations include new 3.2 GHz Xeon processors with an enlarged 1MB L3 cache and will run either Solaris OS or standard Linux distributions from Sun’s partners. The systems are expected to be available next month both from Sun and Sun channel partners.

More information about these products can be found online at

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, iForce, Solaris, Netra, Sun Fire, Java 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. Unix is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company Ltd.

[1] When comaring Solaris OS x86 to MS Windows in a typical scenarios on two processor sytems, the total cost of acquisition of the Solaris OS is 13 times less than the cost of a comparable Windows offering – In a Web server configuration, the TCA of Windows is 2X-13X more; Solaris 9 x86 = $250 (unlimited users); MS Windows 2003 = $397 (Web Edition [WE]) or $3,395 (WE and Microsoft Internet Security & Acceleration Server). Source=

[2] Sun grew its position in the worldwide server market as the undisputed UNIX server leader in Q2CY03. Source – IDC Q2CY03 Worldwide Server Tracker Report (August 28, 2003)