Sun Continues Strong Momentum In High Performance And Technical Computing (HPTC) Market

Sun Solidifies Market Leadership Position in Total Worldwide Units Shipped in HPTC Servers; Shows Resurgence in UltraSPARC®- and Solaris(tm)-based Enterprise Class Server Systems

April 26 , 2004

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced it maintained the number one position in total server units shipped in the high performance and technical computing market (HPTC), according to IDC’s Technical Qview, Q4 2003. By earning the top spot in the fourth quarter, Sun also claims the crown for most server units shipped during the 2003 calendar year. The report also shows year-over-year revenue growth for the fourth quarter of 42.4 percent for Sun in the HPTC server market.

“Sun’s HPTC strategy is taking off with the right partnerships and the right technology to lower cost and complexity for our customers,” said Shahin Khan, vice president of the High Performance and Technical Computing business unit at Sun. “Recent product introductions including the first AMD Opteron-based server, a new family of throughput computing enterprise server systems featuring the multi-threaded UltraSPARC IV processor that will double customer productivity, and N1 Grid virtualization technologies will help Sun continue to advance its leadership position in HPTC. This new firepower also bolsters Sun’s already impressive lineup of Java-enabled, UltraSPARC- and x86-based servers, which are the ideal building blocks for deploying grid computing solutions.”

Sun’s HPTC group has made deep inroads in attracting significant customers and growing extensive business partnerships and alliances as part of its grid computing initiative. An array of interconnect technology companies recently joined the newly established Sun HPTC Alliance Partner Program geared to advance grid performance for Sun customers. This alliance program aims to provide customers with a wide range of technologies covering data, compute, visualization and access to grid computing solutions. The first HPTC Alliance partners to join include Infinicon, Force10 Networks, Mellanox, Myrinet, Quadrics, Topspin Communications and Voltaire.

Sun also scored an impressive win during the quarter with Pennsylvania State University. Sun systems are being used as part of the Pleiades Cluster, housed in Penn State’s Data Processing Center, which analyzes data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). The cluster plays an important role for the International Virtual Data Grid Laboratory, a global computational laboratory that supports experimentation in grid-enabled, data-intensive scientific computing. Additional highlights from the IDC Technical Server report include:

  • Strong results in the departmental computing segment demonstrating continued traction for sales of small and medium nodes into grid clusters, primarily the x86 Xeon-based Sun Fire V60x / V65x servers and the Solaris– and UltraSPARC IIIi-based Sun Fire V210 and V240 servers, and the newly introduced Sun Fire V440 server. The eight-way and 12-way Sun Fire V880 and Sun Fire 1280 also saw strong sales growth of 31.3 percent and 76.5 percent respectively quarter over quarter.
  • The resurgence in UltraSPARC- and Solaris-based Enterprise class servers over the previous quarter with solid sales of the Sun Fire 15K server, proving the customer need for large memory SMP systems along with successful cluster grids based on smaller footprint systems.
  • Revenue growth in departmental servers of 30 percent quarter over quarter and 100 percent in the fourth quarter year over year.

For a more detailed report see the IDC High Performance Technical Computer Qview Report, 2/23/04

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