Sun inches toward low-cost computing

Sun Microsystems Inc. demonstrated Oracle Corp.'s new database software running on a cluster of its Intel Corp.-based servers this week, its latest step toward offering customers a low-cost alternative to its proprietary Unix servers. Sun showed Oracle's 10g database, unveiled at this week's OracleWorld show, running on a cluster of SunFire V65x servers and Red Hat Inc.'s Linux operating system. The configuration also used new clustering capabilities in Oracle10g and high-speed Infiniband switches to boost throughput between the systems.

Sun makes the bulk of its money selling Unix servers based on its SPARC chips and Solaris operating system, and the Intel Corp.-Linux combination has been widely seen as a threat to its core business. Nevertheless, Sun recently launched two servers of its own based on Intel chips, which it offers with Linux or Solaris. One analyst commended Sun for its apparent show of support for Intel and Linux at OracleWorld. Others saw a vendor responding reluctantly to pressure -- both from the market and from its long-time ally Oracle, which has become a big proponent of Intel servers -- and said Sun needs to articulate its low-end strategy more clearly before customers will buy into it.

News source: InfoWorlds

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