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Sun sets date for Serengeti

UltraSparc III mid-range launch set for 21 March

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Sun Microsystems has set a date for the launch of mid-range systems based on its UltraSPARC III microprocessor. Press and analysts are being invited to New York on 21 March for the event.

The UltraSPARC III has been the subject of reports concerning delays and difficulties in meeting demand. For its part, Sun maintains that it remains on track to roll out products based on UltraSparc III, which began with the introduction of a workstation and low-end server last September.

Our sources in the Sun user community tell us the March launch will be for Serengeti servers, which will replace its existing enterprise server range for systems up to 24 way. The release of 72 way (UE1000 replacement systems) will probably not arrive until September, and will likely coincide with the delivery of Solaris 9.

He added that the ability to domain (or partition) a system, which is available in the UE10000, will not come with UltraSparc III mid-range servers until the delivery of Solaris 9.

Industry observers, like Gartner, see the UltraSparcII processor as "long in the tooth" and believe Sun will have to accelerate the roll-out of machines based on its UltraSparc III processors if it is to face down stronger competition from rivals.

Sun's competitors, such as Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and IBM, have revamped their product lines and pose a greater threat to its current leadership in the Unix market. ®

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