Fujitsu Competes For Sun's Customers

Real-estate firm replaces servers from Sun to protect 7 terabytes of property records
After years of growth through acquisition, First American Real Estate Solutions LP paused a few years ago to consolidate and integrate its IT systems on a single platform--Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system running on Sun UltraSparc-powered servers.

But senior VP and chief technology officer Evan Jafa feared he had painted his company into a corner by relying on one vendor, especially once First American began having problems with the cache and mirror cache on its Sun servers. Then he learned that Primepower servers from Fujitsu Technology Solutions use Sun's Solaris and UltraSparc technology. The idea of going to Fujitsu was a risk because its technology and presence in North America were unknown, Jafa says. But Fujitsu' technology and service proved to be better, he says.

First American's database has 7 terabytes of information on 100 million properties, including owners' names, locations, lot sizes, and types of buildings. The company has been collecting this data for 50 years and has a subscriber base of more than 500,000 lenders, real-estate agents, and appraisers. It gets 3 million new records a month and has thousands of bytes of data on each property.

First American has replaced most of its Sun servers and storage with Fujitsu and EMC products. Competition from Fujitsu is key to Sun's future success, Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice says. "Having someone chasing you is a virtue." Sun declined to comment.

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