With Blue Away, Sun Micro targets $1-billion mainframe push

DQW Bureau
24 May 2002

Hot on the heels of announcing a major increase in server marketshare, Sun Microsystems is launching a strong 'Blue Away' initiative to build up its replacement program, targeting IBM's abandoned mid-range mainframe (NUMA-Q) customers.

"The mid-market mainframe represents a potential $1-billion opportunity that Sun plans to capture with its Sun Fire Midframe server family," a senior company official has said.

"The benefits of a mainframe must be justified in terms of its costs," the official said. "Enterprises that use a smaller mainframe have higher operating costs per unit of processing, primarily because they pay more for
operating software, than do enterprises with very large mainframes, or those that are running similar workloads on Unix servers. In many cases, Sun's
mainframe migration program will offer them significant lifecycle cost savings."

Oracle Corporation, a Sun partner, offers leading enterprise business solutions that can help companies significantly improve the bottom line. The combination of the Sun Fire server family and Oracle applications and technology provide a strong alternative for the midrange market. "In today's challenging economic environment, companies are taking a hard look at their bottomline and growth strategies," Doug Kennedy, vice-president (Platform Partnerships), Oracle said. "Together, Oracle and Sun can provide these companies with a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to their mainframes running legacy applications that scales as their businesses grow," he added.

"Sun's Project 'Blue Away' offers mainframe customers' increased return on investment through high availability, reliability and performance. The Sun Fire 3800-6800 mid-frame servers are specifically designed to offer the availability and resource management capabilities of mainframe computing at a fraction of the cost," the Sun official added. He also pointed to benchmark results, which claimed that Sun Fire mid-frame servers offered over four times the price-performance advantage of an IBM mainframe.

"In the last quarter, Sun shipped over four times more MIPS than IBM," Shahin Khan, chief competitive officer, Sun Microsystems said. "Since IBM is the only vendor of mainframes, it has been raising prices on captive mainframe customers and paying less attention to customers with small or mid-size mainframes. Through this 'Blue Away' initiative, we are offering a tried, tested and more cost-effective solution," Khan added.

Sun was recently named by Afcom, the leading association for data center professionals, as its 'Vendor of the Month' for its mainframe rehosting solution. According to Afcom, "Customers experience more than a 50%
reduction in cost-of-ownership, in addition to a noticeable improvement in both online and batch performance, when they rehost mainframe applications on the Solaris operating environment."

Rajeev Narayan 


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