The Internet economy spares nobody. Just because a company hasn't grown to the size it takes to require a mainframe-class system doesn't mean that company won't be under pressure to deliver more juice as quickly as possible. But until Wednesday, Sun had an answer only for its largest customers--the ones purchasing its behemoth E10000 server. Fixing that, Sun said it would offer its Capacity On Demand feature to customers of its midrange 3500 and 6500 servers. The better-selling servers are the backbone of Sun's server business and are purchased by companies of every size.
Capacity On Demand is a simple concept: Pay as you go, rather than spending big bucks on a full-capacity server when only a fraction of its power is needed. With Capacity On Demand, customers who buy the 3500 and 6500 servers can purchase a fully loaded system but pay only for what they're using at any given time. When they need more processors, they contact Sun, which programs the systems for upgrades by telephone. The 3500 tops out at eight processors; the 6500 at 30.
Sun has also increased the memory capacity on the 6500 to 60 Gbytes. Moreover, Sun's own systems-management capabilities will be integrated with Computer Associates' TNG enterprise framework. That will let Sun customers manage heterogeneous systems from their Sun servers. Nancy Weintraub, Sun's director of marketing for enterprise systems, says companies of all sizes will be able to move at Internet speeds. "They'll be able to promise customers higher service levels and rapid response with minimal disruption for lower systems management and deployment costs," she says.