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Sun hits back at IBM with Project Blue-Away

Mid-range marketing wars

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Sun Microsystems has returned fire at arch-rival IBM in the battle for the mid-range server market with an upgrade programme targeted at NUMA-Q users.

Project Blue-Away is designed to support the migration of xSeries NUMA-Q solutions to Oracle applications running within Sun's Solaris operating environment on UltraSPARC servers.

Its hardware platform, migration services and financial solutions offer xSeries users a more powerful and TCO-focused replacement alternative for the "end-of-life" NUMA-Q platform, Sun claims.

Solaris offers customers "porting ease, improved service response times, higher levels of reliability and scalability" than they will get from NUMA-Q servers, according to Sun.

"The end-of-life of the xSeries NUMA-Q product line, only two years after IBM acquired Sequent, shows the company's continued lack of commitment to its customers' evolving needs," said Shahin Khan, vice president and chief competitive officer at Sun Microsystems. "According to industry analysts, this represents a $750 million market opportunity for Sun."

Sun cites customer wins including Littlewoods and Virgin Atlantic Airways, which have moved from a NUMA-Q operating environment to Solaris.

The offer comes at a time of intensified competition in the mid-range server market. Last week, IBtweaked its entry-level pSeries 610 "Colt" servers to better compete against the Sun Fire 280R "Littleneck" servers from Sun.

Improvement to the two-way pSeries 610 include the addition of an integrated RAID 5 disk controller on the motherboard, designed to significantly improve the reliability of the server while decreasing the power requirements. ®

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