Fujitsu Technology Solutions to Go Head-to-Head With Sun, HP

By Thor Olavsrud (Send Email)
Posted Nov 13, 2000


Seeking to break open the high-end open systems server and storage markets in the United States, Fujitsu Ltd. Tuesday will reinvent the server and storage components of its subsidiary, Amdahl Corp., into a new company expected to reap revenue of $1 billion by 2003.

The new company, Fujitsu Technology Solutions (FTS), based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will focus on open systems Unix servers powered by SPARC64 processors for the Solaris operating environment, Intel Architecture-based servers, advanced storage systems, network storage strategies, and integrated media content systems for streaming media.

Seeking to break open the high-end open systems server and storage markets in the United States, Fujitsu Ltd. Tuesday will reinvent the server and storage components of its subsidiary, Amdahl Corp., into a new company expected to reap revenue of $1 billion by 2003.

FTS faces an uphill battle in the United States, where the reigning kings of the high-end server hill, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, command broad respect. But FTS will have the resources of Fujitsu Ltd. -- the world''s third largest computer group with $50 billion in revenue -- behind it, including global research and development and manufacturing capabilities.

"We expect Fujitsu Technology Solutions to become a powerful, new contender in the industry," said Vernon Turner, vice president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions for IDC. "With the market for Unix servers expected to account for $37 billion in sales in 2003, and the storage industry expected to grow to $17.4 billion this year (overtaking overall server sales by 2003), Fujitsu Technology Solutions is well positioned to grow rapidly."

FTS will be the American leg in a triumvirate of Fujitsu companies in the market. Together with Fujitsu Siemens Computers, which has a powerful presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Fujitsu, the company''s Asia/Pacific presence, FTS will create an economy of scale with purchasing power beyond its own footprint.

"When we go to purchase chips from Intel, it''s certainly better to be Fujitsu Ltd. purchasing worldwide than it is to be Amdahl or Fujitsu Technology Solutions purchasing locally," said Carol Stone, vice president of server marketing for FTS.

Fujitsu Ltd. will extend the unified strategy for the three companies to its marketing. Hoping to capture the interest of global enterprises, the three companies will offer the same products, with the same hardware platforms and the same brand names. Stone said Fujitsu would follow through on the strategy with a global branding campaign, which in the United States will include sponsorship and advertisements in major sporting events as well as ads in the Wall Street Journal and other major publications.

FTS also expects to carry over Amdahl''s installed customer base, which includes companies in the finance, communications, manufacturing, e-business, retail, and other compute-intensive industries.

Richard McCormack, vice president of storage marketing for FTS, said ramping up the installed base -- which includes a number of Fortune 1000 companies -- and leveraging the Fujitsu name will enable FTS to gain a strong foothold in the American market.

"With the majority of our customers moving aggressively into open systems, especially for their e-business and Web-enabled applications, we are increasing our already considerable commitment to open systems environments," McCormack said.

The FTS product suite will include:

  • PrimePower Unix servers, a family of Solaris SPARC-compliant servers designed by Fujitsu
  • Primergy Intel Architecture-based servers, entry-level through enterprise servers offered in a range of configurations
  • GSS 4900 Modular Storage System, a scalable open systems storage solution with advanced functionality
  • StorStream Media Content Server, an integrated storage solution for companies offering streaming media
  • Storage Area Network
  • Networked storage through NetApp F840 Enterprise File Servers, providing true data sharing between Unix and Windows NT platforms

The PrimePower servers, which FTS will also announce Tuesday, are already for sale in Europe and Asia, and more than 1,500 have already been shipped. The PrimePower servers are designed to appeal across the entire spectrum of enterprise requirements -- from the smallest workgroup server with one processor to the highest-capacity enterprise Unix server in the marketplace, upgradeable to 128 processors. All of the servers in the family feature a system bus with crossbar switch technology adapted from Fujitsu mainframe design. FTS said that enables a transfer rate of 57.6 gigabytes per second. The servers also feature hot-swappable components including system boards that can be replaced during operation, error checking/correction data protection on all levels of cache and data paths ensuring protection from 1-bit errors, and failover clustering software.

FTS will also offer PrimePower servers bundled with the GSS 4900. According to the company, a fully configured GSS 4900 can handle up to 240,000 I/Os per second and can stream data at more than a gigabyte per second.

The products will be packaged with infrastructure software and product-enabling services. Many of the services will be provided by Amdahl.

The company will also leverage the new Fujitsu North American Competence Center, also located in Sunnyvale. The center includes a SAN lab, a high-availability lab, solution development, and third-level support. The center, which will be run in collaboration with Fujitsu and Fujitsu Siemens Computers, will be available to customers and partners and will incorporate all FTS products.

"We expect Fujitsu Technology Solutions to add vitality to the Unix and IA markets and to stir up competition that not only encourages innovation but also focuses on customers," Stone said.

The new company will be headed up by Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Weller, whose responsibilities will include sales, marketing and engineering/technical support. Formerly vice president of ICP for the Amdahl Technology Division, Weller has 18 years of experience in the open systems market. He has also served as senior vice president for North American operations for Siemens ICP.

"We are excited to bring together a strong legacy of resources and solutions from Fujitsu and Amdahl to provide next-generation products in today''s environment of continual change in e-business," Weller said. "As part of the Fujitsu family of companies, Fujitsu Technology Solutions is poised to support the Fujitsu business strategy of ''Everything on the Internet.''"


Related Stories:
Sun Preaches the Net Effect, Unveils UltraSPARC III
HP Issues Battle Cry in High-End Unix Server Market


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