Sun blades slice into regional server market

Sun Microsystems looks to carve out blade server market share following $1 million in sales in four weeks.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  August 29, 2007

Sun Microsystems has sold over $1 million worth of its new Sun Blade 6000 in the Middle East in just four weeks, the vendor reports. The Sun Blade 6000, Sun's first product release in the blade segment, has attracted a lot of interest from buyers in the region, with around 70 units shipped since its July launch.

According to Craig Vintcent, systems practice manager, Middle East & North Africa, Sun is now on track to rapidly build market share in the blade sector: "The take up of the Sun Blade 6000 has been exceptional. Our prediction is that Sun will be the number one blade provider globally in the next three years," he said.

The Sun Blade 6000 is available in Intel, AMD and SPARC architecture varieties, and while a lot of initial interest in the product was for Intel versions, all formats have been selling in the region, according to Basil Ayass, MENA x64 product manager for Sun Microsystems. Customers were mainly looking to four or more blade configurations to run enterprise applications.

"We are currently seeing a lot of Windows-based applications, specifically Exchange and SQL Server, and there are also some customers running Oracle database - there is a variety of usages, mainly geared to enterprise applications," said Ayass.

Sun did not disclose the names of customers in the Middle East, but said that it had made sales into government, education, financial services and telecoms.

The Sun Blade can be configured with up to ten blades per chassis, with either UltraSPARC T1, Quad-Core Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors. Sun claims that the I/O, CPU and memory configuration of the Sun Blade offers superior performance to comparable blade servers from HP and IBM, at 50% lower cost.

"Never in the history of Sun Middle East have we sold $1 million before the press launch. Customers are waiting [for Sun Blade], they are excited about it and they think that it will add value to their business," Ayass added.

Sun is promoting the Sun Blade for use for enterprise applications, web server and high performance computing use, by customers ranging from enterprise level to mid-market. In the high performance sector, the vendor is working with the University of Texas to build a 504 teraflop supercomputer, which should be the fastest HPC platform in the world.

At the mid-market level, the company recently signed Aptec as its regional distributor for x86 products, and also expects to reveal further plans on its SMB strategy with Aptec during Gitex. Sun is also a special introductory offer of an entry level chassis/ two blade configuration server at a 25% discount until the end of the year.

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