Sun Rolls Out First Products on Quarterly Plan

Sun Microsystems has unveiled a new line of server and storage technology, marking a first step toward delivering on its promise to bring new products to market each quarter. The company also has cut the ribbon on a partnership program aimed at helping TV networks and other businesses improve workflow.

Sun used conferences on both the East and West coasts of the United States to launch its initiatives. It rolled out its promised quarterly software update and new hardware products as part of a new approach that is intended to avoid incremental updates. This batch of products includes two low-end servers, the Sun Fire V210 and V240, as well as a software update of the N1 platform, which includes virtualization software.

Previously, on Monday, the company unveiled the iForce Network, a coalition of some 30 data and content management companies that build solutions for Sun’s platforms.

Aiming to make as big a splash as possible while reaching its target audience, Sun purchased all of the advertising inventory offered by niche advertising firm TechTarget during a nine-hour period. All of the ads were slated to direct visitors to a Webcast featuring Sun CEO Scott McNealy.

New Approach

When it first announced the quarterly rollouts earlier this year, Sun hailed them as a major improvement in the software industry — one some 20 years in the making.

Meta Group analyst Daniel Sholler said it is still too early to tell if the initiative will be sufficient to restart growth for Sun, which has suffered particularly badly during the tech slump.

“The idea is one that enterprises like,” Scholler told the E-Commerce Times. “No CIO wants his IT group to spend all its time downloading and patching. But the execution and the offerings themselves are what’s going to matter in the long run.”

Video Clips

Meanwhile, Sun’s iForce initiative, called Asset Management Reference Architecture, is aimed primarily at broadcast TV networks and stations and other enterprises that move video and other high-bandwidth assets through the workplace.

The company said it will roll out other industry-specific versions of this architecture in coming months.

Ravi Pendekanti, who oversees the new architecture for Sun, said it is already in use at a PBS television station, WGBH, which produces much of the programming seen on PBS nationwide. A second PBS affiliate will adopt a duplicate version of the setup, which includes Sun Fire servers, other Sun components and open systems platforms.

Companies working with Sun include Sony Electronics, Artesia Technologies and Virage.

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