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Commercial organizations, niches targeted in latest sales plan

By Marc Ferranti

August  1995
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PARIS (7-25-95) - Sun introduced its Network Business Advantage marketing program, a set of server products and integration services designed to provide organizations with data-warehousing, customer-management, and industry-specific applications.

Sun has worked with database developers and consulting companies to develop the program, which consists of business-, data-, and financial-management applications optimized for Sun servers, officials said.

Components of the program, launched in New York, included the SPARCcluster HA server and related Solstice software; BusinessWare industry-specific applications; Customer Management Solutions; and Decision Warehouse data-retrieval programs.

"Sun's approach ensures solutions that are comprehensive, well-tested, and performance-optimized for a networked environment," said Ed Zander, president of Sun Microsystems Computer Co. (SMCC), the Sun division responsible for hardware.

Sun is seeking to offer corporations a path from legacy, host-based systems to distributed computing environments by working with third-party developers to integrate industry-standard applications and databases to Sun hardware.

"We have saved millions of dollars in equipment and staff time since switching from the mainframe," said Pete Wagner, director of systems and networks for HCIA Inc., a healthcare information company based in Baltimore. HCIA switched from a mainframe-based system to three Sun SPARCcenter2000 systems several years ago. "Reports that used to take weeks to generate can now be processed in hours or minutes," he said in a prepared statement.

An umbrella program
The Network Business Advantage combines existing and new products and services under an umbrella program. The services complement Sun's SPARCcluster family, designed to offer data services for mission-critical systems.

As part of the rollout today, Sun announced it would expand its SPARCcluster family with the SPARCcluster HA Server. An entry-level HA Server configuration includes two SPARCserver 1000E or SPARCcenter 2000E systems, two SPARCstorage Arrays, and a High Availability Cluster Foundation Package for fault management.


"The SPARCstorage and SPARCcenter hardware was previously available. What's new is the accompanying data modules and fault management software," said a Sun spokesperson.

The HA Server includes Solstice HA software -- fault management software that, based on user-specified criteria, automatically decides how best to recover data services to minimize disruption. For example, in some cases, the software will restart a data service rather than switch over to a redundant system, which is a more lengthy process, according to Sun.

Also included with the HA Server are data-service modules -- fault- management routines specifically optimized for NFS, Informix, Oracle and Sybase databases.New SPARCcluster HA Server packages range from $380,760 to $731,985 (US currency), and will be available in the fourth quarter.

The integration-service components that are part of the Network Business Advantage Program include:

In the past two years, Sun has tailored the management solution packages to financial services and telecommunications companies, but is now providing management applications for the retail, manufacturing, government and utilities markets. Sun and its third-party partners integrate software, switching systems, and voice-response units to help corporations streamline call centers and service departments.

--Marc Ferranti, IDG News Service, Paris Bureau

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