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Fujitsu Siemens Goes up Against Sun in Europe >BY Rik Turner and William Fellows.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers GmbH yesterday launched its Japanese parent's GP7000F family of Sparc-based Solaris servers into Europe, hoping to steal business away from Sun Microsystems Inc especially at the high-end of the Unix server market in Germany, UK, France and Italy. It claims to be differentiating the systems by offering a slew of integration and professional services, areas in which Sun is not as strong. It promises new workstations and notebooks will follow in short order.

Fujitsu Siemens, the result of the merger of the European IT businesses of Fujitsu Ltd and Siemens AG, wants to become the number one IT supplier in Europe and number three worldwide. It's at number two and five respectively now.

Fujitsu Siemens launched the smallest machine in the family, the 8-way 600 model, promising 32- and 64-way versions in the second quarter of next year and, by the end of 2000, a 128-way machine. The 32- and 64-way models, called the 1000 and the 2000, were launched in Japan and the US on October 1, following on from the 8-way version unveiled in the second quarter of the year. The systems use the Sparc64 from Fujitsu's Hal Computer Systems unit.

Fujitsu Siemens' VP strategic marketing Joseph Reger emphasized the decision to launch the GP7000F family into Europe was "not a stop-gap measure or a temporary solution" to the problem caused by Intel's delay in delivering its IA64 architecture, after Siemens had committed to producing Solaris boxes based on that chipset. He insisted that the merged entity continues to be committed to that plan, adding that he expects it to be producing its first IA64-based machines "a year from now, with commercial delivery of enterprise-ready boxes in 2001."

To that end, he went on, Fujitsu Siemens and Sun are nearing completion of their joint work on porting the unique features of the German group's Reliant Unix flavor, which runs on a MIPS chipset, on to the Solaris-on-Intel which will run on these boxes, once the chipset makes it to market. Siemens has already said that the RM server family built on this platform will continue to undergo "active development and innovation" until the end of 2002, whereafter there will be a six-year maintenance period for the installed base.

In the meantime, however, Reger added, Fujitsu Siemens will be seeking to woo those RM users over to the larger GP7000F boxes being launched next year, the logic being that, as they approach a server consolidation decision, it will tout the 32- and 64-way boxes as their best choice.

Fujitsu Siemens was making no secret yesterday that its objective with the new box is to snatch market share, particularly from Sun, arguing Sun's E10000 box won't be able to be upgraded to handle UltraSparc3; customers will require a box swap. When Hal's recently-announced 1GHz Sparc64 chip comes to market, the functional equivalent of UltraSparc III, the existing GP7000F machines will be upgradable, Reger explained.

On the mainframe side of the house the IBM S/390-compatible, 16- way GS8800 CMOS mainframe Fujitsu Ltd will introduce next year as the GS8800 performing at more than 2,000 MIPS will be introduced by both Fujistu Siemens and Fujitsu's US-based Amdahl Corp unit in slightly different variants. The Fujitsu Siemens variant called BS2000 will run Siemens' IBM OS/VS1-alike BS2000 to which it has progressively added MVS features. They are not quite plug- compatible with IBM S/390s. There are said to be 3,000 BS2000 licensees. Amdahl will offer the systems as its Millennium 2000E system.

Fujitsu Siemens also offers the SR2000 servers which run the BS2000-OSD mainframe operating system from the CMOS mainframes on up to eight 250MHz MIPS R10000 RISCs, the same chips that power Siemens' Reliant Unix servers. Additional MIPS processors can be used for I/O and running Unix applications in separate domains. It claims to have shipped over 200 SR2000 systems.

It also sells the DS2000, effectively a high-availability implementation of SR2000 with two processing units and storage designed specifically to run SAP R/3 applications in conjunction with Oracle databases. With up to 16 general purpose R10000s across two nodes, the DS2000 also runs Reliant Unix and I/O tasks on separate CPUs. The servers run BS2000-OSD BC version 4.0, effectively BS2000 minus its communications infrastructure. The BS2000 operating system supplies mainframe high-availability, operations, data backup, job control and printing functions. The system incorporates EMC Corp Symmetrix storage.

The server is claimed to feel like a mainframe with all of the BS2000 administration and automation features while SAP, Oracle and other applications run on the Unix processors in a sandbox. The advantage, it says, is that they do not experience the same pain as IBM and other IBMulators have when they need to port every point upgrade of an new application to OS/390.

The company says it is currently in discussions with other ERP and database companies about developing other application- specific DS2000s. It's also going to swap out EMC storage in favor of Fujitsu's products
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Oct 22, 1999
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