Sun slices into new blade system

Sun Microsystems Inc. will announce new blade server products and accompanying software and tools during a special Webcast today.

The offerings are the first wave of systems that fall into Sun's N1 architecture, which the company began talking up last year.

The unifying idea behind N1 is to be able to provision resources automatically and on the fly. If an application, for example, needed more processing power, it would take it from another processor on the same network. When its processing needs lessened, it would release the processor for other applications to use.

Blade servers are thin boards that host multiple processing chips and can be networked together, harnessing vast amounts of computing power in a small space. Sun's new servers are ideal for processing large volumes of data that are stored elsewhere, so-called "stateless" data, said Clark Masters, Sun's executive vice president and general manager of enterprise systems products.

"These are initial introductions of product, but we expect our uptake to be very good," Masters said.

The new products include the Sun Fire Blade Platform, some specialty blades, a network-attached storage product, a provisioning server and several related services.

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