Sun sharpens new blade for federal sales

In an effort to sell products and services to government agencies with maxed out data centers and legacy applications, Sun Microsystems Inc. introduced a new blade server the company says can compete with traditional rack-mount servers.

The Sun Blade 6000 Modular System offers a choice of three processors: UltraSPARC T1, Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron. Those choices make it possible for customers to run a range of applications such as virtualization, database and high-performance computing.

Anthony Robbins, Sun's vice president of federal sales, noted that enterprise consolidation and virtualization is on the list of every agency CIO's top 10 challenges.

"It's been a CIO top 10 challenge three years in a row," he said, "And the only thing that is happening is this specific problem is moving up in priority."

A massive build up of the Unix install base over the last 30 years has left agencies with the problem of supporting legacy applications in modern data centers. On top of that problem, government agencies face space, power and cooling problems.

"So everybody has these legacy systems, and they have this opportunity to consolidate applications," Robbins said. "What blades can do is offer major consolidation plays, major savings in power, space and cooling: and preserve legacy code."

Sun is betting that technology that allows customers to preserve massive investments, while at the same time meeting consolidation priorities will be a winner.

Intel officials, who worked with Sun on the project, agree blades have a big future.

"The blade segment in of itself is increasing so it's important to for Intel to be heavily involved in that particular segment," said Nigel Ballard, Intel Corp.'s government marking manager. "The blade market is expected to double this year."

Sun and Intel are based in Santa Clara, Calif.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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