Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Sun Beams on ATCA

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) reiterated its support of the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) this week, while giving its usual mixed messages about the blade server market and its own processors.

Sun trotted out a demonstration model of the upcoming Netra telecom blade server at this weeks VON show in Boston. This prototype was built around Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) Opteron processors (see Demo Underscores Interoperability Challenge) -- unlike a Sparc-based version shown at the Supercomm conference in Chicago (see Sun & NTT Comware Demo ATCA Blades).

The Sparc version will be launched by the end of the year, and the Opteron-based blade server is set for release at the end of the first quarter 2006, according to Sun (see Sun Demos ATCA Server). The hardware vendor says users will also have a choice of both processors and operating systems on the yet-to-be-launched blade server -- either Linux or Sun’s own Solaris 10.

The demo showcased questions about Sun's blade server strategy, which has been a mixed bag. Earlier this year, the vendor decided to withdraw its enterprise blade offerings, which officials continue to say will be replaced by a new line of enterprise blade servers, built around Opteron.

Meantime, Sun is also reportedly kicking its Sparc processors upstairs, putting them into high-end systems, while loading its low-end and midrange servers with Opteron. However, Sun spokesman Alex Plant promised that the Sparc processors would still feature right across the vendor's family of servers. "There's a lot of customers that Sparc really makes sense for," he adds.

  • 1