Sun and x86 server differentiation

Article: Tukwila Update
By: Alex Jones (, February 10, 2009 12:43 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Jesper Frimann ( on 2/10/09 wrote:
>Michael S ( on 2/8/09 wrote:
>>Yes, X4540 is cool. But what else?
>>It seems to me, the rest of Sun x64 line up is an attempt to charge HP/IBM-like
>>(or higher) premium price without having HP/IBM-like track record and support organization.
>>IMHO, newcomers has to be more modest even if they have recognizable name.
>Yes, good point.
>Also if you look at the sheer amount of different x86 servers and blades. I mean
>I counted 27 different x86 servers last time I looked.
>And SUN's blade system reminds me of repackaged 1U Servers, the blades are quite
>large. Specially if you compare them to half hight HP blades and IBM blades.
>It looks more like SUN decided that they needed a x86 presence and that strategy
>and organisation, would have to come later.
>// Jesper

What's wrong with more x86 boxes, it means Sun can cater to wider audience. The breadth of the offering is a determining factor to not only meet wide range of customers, but also to show that they are serious about continuing with the business.

Aren't Sun blades of the same size as HP full hight blades ? Obviously Sun thought that customers would need blades with maximum memory and IO expandability for all their needs which is a WRONG assumption to begin with. Sun blades are good fit for VMWare deployments. HP/DELL half hight blades offer better density and caters better to wider customer audience. Sun has taken a different approach to blades by using PCI express backplane and no integrated switch. While no integrated switch means more capable rack switches can be used at lower cost, it does increase cabling. PCI express backplane means almost everything is hot-swappable - blades and IO modules independently. What Sun urgently needs in blades is some virtualization offering similar to HP and may be half hight blades.

I think the biggest problem for Sun in x86 is they don't have any approach towards small and medium businesses. But their x86 prices are almost always better than IBM, they need to invest big time in support and strategy to be deemed credible.

But, their x86 rack boxes are definitely some of the best out there - very very well designed with lots of headroom.
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