Sun Microsystems Inc. Monday extended its x86-based server line with two new entry-level low-cost systems using Intel Corp. Xeon processors. The selection of Intel server processors over Sun's own UltraSPARC IIi chip is a further departure from Sun's once solid phalanx of proprietary MPUs.
The new servers were unveiled as part of an expanded alliance with Oracle Corp. to run that firm's software on Sun's Solaris, Solaris x86 and Linux on x86 operating systems. The two companies will also develop joint platforms for low-cost server systems.
The latest Sun servers include the SunFire V60X using the one-way or two-way Intel Xeon 2.8GHz processor and the SunFire V65X with dual Xeon 2.8GHz or 3.06GHz processors. Both can run Solaris x86 or Red Hat Linux operating system, which some analysts said was a further endorsement of software that Sun once was reluctant to adopt.
Sun has been moving steadily to add more servers using x86 commodity processors to get lower price points. Last year the company introduced its LX50 general purpose server using the Intel 1.4GHz Pentium III processor. In February Sun unveiled a mix-and-match blade server line which included x86 processors, its own UltraSPARC IIi, or embedded ARM or MIPS processors.
The greater processor penetration at Sun follows a major Intel win at Fujitsu Ltd., which in January announced it would add a line of servers based on Intel 32-bit Xeon and 64-bit Itanium processors. Fujitsu has been a strong Sun partner with its enterprise server lines using UltraSPARC chips which the Japanese company produces itself under license from Sun.