IBM Renews Offensive on Sun

By Thor Olavsrud (Send Email)
Posted Aug 12, 2002


The war between IBM (Quote, Company Info) and Sun Microsystems (Quote, Company Info) flared hotter Monday as IBM unleashed a three-pronged attack dedicated to taking business away from Sun and bringing it into the Big Blue fold.

IBM's plan of attack -- its Solaris-to-Linux program -- kicks off with a dedicated "Swat team" of Linux migration experts for porting Sun Solaris customers to IBM Linux systems. IBM said the team will work closely with sales teams around the world. At LinuxWorld Monday, Big Blue unveiled its three-part plan to get enterprises to switch from Sun Solaris to IBM Linux systems.

"Skilled in a broad spectrum of operating systems, the Swat team members can quickly prepare an assessment of a customer's Sun Solaris infrastructure and develop a step-by-step blueprint for transitioning to a Linux environment on the IBM eServer platform," IBM said. It noted that the team members include system architects, database administrators, project managers and operating system specialists.

IBM said its team's step-by-step approach will proceed as follows:

  • Migrating components such as the Solaris operating system, databases, applications and servers, as well as storage, networking and security systems
  • Testing the new infrastructure, both one unit at a time and all systems together, followed by a final "acceptance test," run by the customer
  • Deploying the infrastructure into production by populating all databases with the customer's business data
  • Financing the pieces of the infrastructure -- including hardware, software and services -- through IBM global Financing.

The second prong of Big Blue's plan is aimed squarely at Sun's low-end server sales: the introduction of the new eServer x335, a rack-optimized two-way server based on Intel's Xeon processors. It sports a 1U chassis, as well as support for Ultra320 hard disk drives, integrated dual gigabit Ethernet, and two 64-bit/100 MHz PCI-X slots. The server can run both Linux and Windows operating systems, and IBM said it can easily be linked together with other servers in clusters or computing grids.

The third part of the plan is the new IBM eServer Cluster 1350, an integrated and validated Linux cluster offering based on the new eServer x335 and x345. IBM said the eServer Cluster 1350 includes storage products, third-party networking, and robust cluster management software. Big Blue also trumpeted its suitability for grid deployments.

"IBM believes that the UltraSPARC/Solaris customers switching to Linux need a vendor that is 100 percent committed to Linux and open standards," said Rich Michos, vice president of IBM Linux Servers. "IBM's partnership with the open source community to extend Linux into the enterprise, combined with our tremendously powerful Linux servers, make us uniquely qualified to fulfill customer requirements in this fast-growing market."

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