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Sun packs blade with new Opterons

And old sales tactics

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Sun Microsystems has started 2007 by bouncing out a new blade server and a new blade server buying option.

The hardware maker now offers the four-socket Sun Blade X8420 server module. The most gripping thing about the new box is its use of Rev F Opteron chips from AMD. The previous X8400 module runs on Rev E chips.

Both systems plug into the Sun Blade 8000 and 8000 P chassis.

Sun has complemented the fresh hardware with yet another unconventional sales package.

Customers can now pay $23,000 per month for the blade "Refresh Service." (A fully stacked Sun Blade 8000 chasiss will run close to $200,000.)

The program ensures that customers will receive at least three blade server upgrades over a 42-month period at no additional charge. Sun's staff will install your original blade chassis and 10 server modules and then refresh those systems as new Opteron-based boxes arrive.

Sun reckons that this service can end up saving customers up to 40 per cent over the life of their blade systems.

The vendor has tried similar subscription promotions in the past, primarily to inspire interest in its software. More often than not, Sun tweaks the deals after a few months pass and all the customer complaints are collated.

There's more on the refresh service here. ®

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