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Fujitsu picks up the pace with low-end servers

SPARC64 alive and kicking

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The North American arm of Fujitsu has started shipping new low-end servers running on the company's own version of the Sparc processor and Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system.

The PrimePower 250 and 450 servers are upgrades to Fujitsu Technology Solutions' (FTS) current low-end kit. The two-processor PrimePower 250 ships with 1.1GHz SPARC64 V processors, and up to 8GB of memory. The PrimePower 450 comes with up to four of the same processors and can support up to 16G bytes of memory.

It's good to see FTS is also adding remote monitoring and management tools for its cheaper systems. Administrators will receive automatic alerts for various component failures. In addition, the servers ship with a tool that will retry failed instructions immediately, taking away the need to flush and rebuild software buffers.

Fujitsu caused quite a stir earlier this year when it announced plans to develop large Xeon and Itanium servers running Linux that will sit alongside its Solaris/Sparc line. Intel boffins encouraged the idea that Fujitsu plans to drop its Solaris/Sparc servers down the road.

Fujitsu has denied this speculation, saying its SPARC64 chip is alive and well. This could, of course, be a way for the company to keep its Sparc customers from getting nervous and jumping ship.

Either way, Fujitsu has gained some momentum in the U.S and Canada, since FTS began promoting gear here. The company has crept up as one of the top five vendors in the U.S.

This means Sun faces more competition on its home turf but helps both companies expand Solaris/Sparc market share against rivals such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

Fujitsu is improving the performance on its higher-end PrimePower 650 and 850 servers, upping their processor speeds to 1.08GHz. The 8-way and 16-way servers, respectively, will get 1.35GHz chips later this year. ®

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