May 15, 2003 3:59 PM PDT
Sun cuts midrange server price
"I want to get much more aggressive with the machine," Clark Masters, executive vice president of Sun's high-end server line, said in an interview Thursday. Cutting the price so soon after launch was made possible by savings that came with higher-volume production, he added.
Sun's biggest competitors, IBM and Hewlett-Packard, aren't holding back in their efforts to reclaim the leading position in the Unix server market from Sun. HP lowered its midrange Unix server prices in April; IBM cut its prices in the same month on high-end servers to make way for new top-end models.
Sun's V1280, released in February, is something of a hybrid in Sun's product line. It was developed by the lower-end server group and is an offshoot of the eight-processor V880 that group sells. But Sun's high-end server group sells the V1280, using it to try to undermine sales of systems such as IBM's p650 and HP's rp8400.
Unix servers occupy a lucrative middle ground in the market--being more mainstream than mainframes but more powerful than Intel servers. But Sun must fend off not only increasingly powerful Intel servers but also a reinvigorated mainframe push from IBM.
Sun cut the price of a four-processor V1280 with 8GB of memory by 25 percent, from about $80,000 to $60,000. The cost of a higher-end model with 12 processors and 24GB of memory was cut from $175,000 to $142,000.
The V1280 uses 900MHz UltraSparc III processors. The cuts aren't related to any plans for faster processors such as the 1.2GHz chips that come in higher-end systems, a Sun representative said.