Fujitsu, More Than Just the Status Quo
April 10, 2009
Fujitsu America of Sunnyvale, Calif., hasn't made any huge announcements since the previous server snapshot at the start of 2008. The old PrimePower line is no more. Although it stopped being manufactured quite a while ago, it has continued to sell, and all stock is basically now gone. Little has changed with the PrimeQuest line since it moved to dual-core Itanium 2. Similarly, the company continues to co-market the SPARC enterprise server line with Sun.
All the action, though, is with Fujitsu's Primergy servers. These have been upgraded to newer Xeon processor and have around double the RAM compared to the previous generation.
"Our new Primergy S5 series of servers provide a new level of scalability for dual-socket systems and are perfect for today's increasingly virtualized server environments," said Richard McCormack, senior vice president, server and solutions business at Fujitsu America. "As a part of this update, we have improved power efficiency and cooling."
Fujitsu calls its latest chassis design methodology "Cool-Safe," which incorporates a variety of improvements to extend its cooling capabilities, cut down on energy consumption and optimize the performance of the servers in general.
The Primergy S5 server family consists of several models. The RX200 S5 is a 1U rack server. It comes with dual, quad and turbo quad-core Xeon 5500 series processors, up to 96 GB of memory and space for up to 8 x 2.5 inch SAS or SATA disks.
The RX300 S5, on the other hand, is a 2U rack server, also using Xeon 5500 series. As this dual-socket machine crams in up to 144 GB of RAM, it's a good fit for running demanding applications, server consolidation or virtualization projects.
"The Primergy RX300 S5 is designed for efficiency via our latest generation Cool-Safe chassis," said McCormack. "ServerView Power Management features allow IT customers to control system power consumption and achieve low server energy costs."
The S5 line also features a tower (the TX300 S5) and a blade server (the BX620 S5). Like the RX300, the tower makes use of the Xeon 5500 series and has 144 GB RAM. Similarly, the dual-socket BX620 S5 blade takes advantage of the latest Intel has to offer.
These servers are in response to trends Fujitsu believes are emerging in the marketplace.
"We see increasing consolidation and focus on virtualization in this challenging economic environment," said McCormack. "Our new platforms can be used to save operating costs through the consolidation of large numbers of old servers on a smaller number of Primergy systems."
Another trend that Fujitsu is aligning with is the green IT movement. A big part of the design for the S5 server family, said McCormick, was energy efficiency and sustainability. These latest models will be the first to be marked with Fujitsu's own Green IT label.
The S5 release is certainly the highlight of recent activity from Fujitsu. Already released in Europe and Asia, these servers will be generally available in the United States by the end of April 2009.
Otherwise, Fujitsu has performed incremental updates across all models within the Primergy brand in general. The 1U RX100 S5, for example, has a dual-core Xeon 3200/3300 series CPU, integrated RAID 0, 1 data protection for up to 2 x 3.5-inch SATA or 2 x 3.5-inch hot-plug SATA/SAS disks and 8 GB memory.
The only casualty among the Fujitsu server ranks is the Econel brand. It was recently been folded into the Primergy line. The Econel 230R, for instance, has been replaced by the Primergy RX330.
The persistent gripe about Fujitsu is its distance from the U.S. market. While it is a respectable fifth in analyst server rankings and is consistently the best of the rest behind IBM, HP, Sun and Dell, its North American efforts sometimes seem little more than an afterthought. Strength in Asia accounts for the bulk of sales. In fact, Japan alone has more than a 60 percent share of total revenues. The Americas hover around 10 percent.
But the company is rolling out ambitious plans to emerge as a global presence in enterprise hardware, software and services.
"Fujitsu appears to be more serious about being an integrated worldwide business rather than a Japanese company that opportunistically sells elsewhere," said Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata (Nashua, N.H.).
Its goals are to double its annual server sales to 500,000 units globally during the next two years. In addition, it plans to establish a much larger services arm in the United States.
"Fujitsu America now ranks among the top North American IT services and solutions companies, and we are poised for growth with the addition of a greater range of managed services offerings," said Farhat Ali, president and CEO of Fujitsu America. "We are uniquely positioned to combine industry-specific solutions, expertise, resources and scale of a global IT leader with the direct accountability, intimacy and responsiveness of a local service provider."
Fujitsu's Servers, At a Glance