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Sun Stokes Server Price War

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) has upped the ante in the server price war today by announcing plans to deploy the latest high-speed processors from Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) in its Sun Fire V20z and V40z servers.

The new Opteron processors run at 2.6 GHz, compared to the 2.4 GHz offered on the previous version of the chip. But, as well as boosting performance, Sun is also slashing its prices in an attempt to win market share from rivals IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ).

Prices on entry-level configurations of the V20z and V40z are being cut by 20 percent.

Sun is touting the servers for high-performance and grid computing environments. But The 1-rack-unit-high V20z and 3U V40z are a far cry from the mainframes that have become synonymous with many data center environments (see Mainframe Skills Shortage Looms).

Rich Partridge, analyst at Ideas International Inc., believes that the price cuts spell good news for data center managers, particularly as small form-factor devices grow in popularity. Many applications have been re-engineered to take advantage of working on large numbers of smaller machines,” he says.

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