Sun Microsystems, Inc. Essay, Research Paper
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
NASD : SUNW
Industry: Computer Hardware
Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a worldwide provider of products, services and support solutions for building
and maintaining network-computing environments. The Company sells scalable computer systems,
high-speed microprocessors and high performance software for operating network computing
equipment and storage products. The Company also provides support, education and professional
services. The Company’s products are used for many demanding commercial and technical
applications in various industries including telecommunications, manufacturing, financial services,
education, retail, government, energy and healthcare. Sun Microsystems’ lines of business include
Computer Systems and Storage, Enterprise Services, Software Systems and Network Service Provider.
Computer Systems and Storage designs, develops and brings to market desktop systems, servers,
storage and network switches, incorporating the UltraSPARC microprocessors and the Solaris
Operating Environment. This segment also designs and develops UltraSPARC and MAJC
microprocessors, computer board platforms, processor modules, chip sets and logic products for Sun
systems products and OEM customers. The Company’s workstation products include the Ultra5, Ultra
10, Ultra 60 and Ultra 80 models. The Ultra 5 workstation is used for business applications and for
software development. The Ultra 10 workstation offers value and performance for 3-D graphics
applications and is designed for applications such as drafting and design, animation and rendering,
modeling and analysis. The Ultra 60 workstation, in both single and dual processor configurations, is
suited for modeling and virtual prototyping, medical imaging, animation and geosciences. Finally,
the Ultra 80 workstation has the highest memory bandwidth in the workstation product line with
uniprocessor, dual-processor, and quad-processor configuration, and is well-suited for simulation,
design and analysis, modeling and virtual prototyping, animation, imaging and visualization, medical
imaging, research and development and financial modeling.
Enterprise Services provides global services and support for heterogeneous network computing
environments, including system/network management, systems integration, and support, education,
and professional services. The Company’s Sun Enterprise servers consist of workgroup servers,
mid-range servers and data center/high-performance computing servers. These products run enterprise
mission critical application environments, directories, databases, websites and many other
applications. They offer significant scalability, reliability, availability, serviceability and performance.
In addition, enterprise servers share common components and offer binary compatibility for all
application environments because they all run the Solaris Operating Environment on the UltraSPARC
Software Systems designs, develops and brings to market Sun Microsystems’ Solaris Operating
Environment, the Java platform and the Company’s core technologies for consumer and embedded
markets including implementations that utilize the Java technology, Jini connection technology, XML
technology, software development tools and the StarOffice application software. The Sun Ray 1, Sun
Ray 100 and Sun Ray 150 enterprise appliances, with their Sun Hot Desk technology, are easy-to-use,
low-cost networked devices. Unlike personal computers, which require an operating system and
applications running locally on the desktop, the Sun Ray appliances allow for instant access to
existing applications and resources on the network, regardless of the underlying platform.
Network Service Provider designs, develops and brings to market carrier-grade software, systems and
storage for traditional telecommunications customers as well as service providers. The Network Service
Provider business focuses on the needs of network-based telecommunications companies, cable
operators, and the network equipment suppliers who develop products and technologies for the
broader service provider industry. Sun Microsystems’ Network Storage systems and software support the
Company’s strategy of providing products and technologies to network computing environments.
Through its broad product line, the Company is able to deliver not only storage connectivity, but also
storage intelligence to the network across multiple operating environments, including NT. The Sun
StorEdge line of disk storage, tape backup, management software and data services address workgroup
to enterprise requirements with solutions for server-attached storage, network-attached storage,
consolidated storage networks and storage area networks.
The Company’s SunSpectrum support services product offerings allow customers the power and
flexibility to customize their support services contracts. Customers can choose from different support
contract offerings that range from mission-critical to self-support options. The Company’s education
services provide customers with education solutions, from technical instructor led courses, to education
consulting services, to self-paced technology-based training. The Company specializes in UNIX and
Java technology training to assist customers with their network computing and Internet operations. The
Company’s professional services specialize in providing customers with platform integration, enterprise
management and operation, advanced Internet, Java technology and Enterprise Resource Planning
services. These offerings are tailored to meet specific customer needs in training, integration and
consulting services, providing technical knowledge and network computing/Internetexpertise.
Through an alliance with America Online, Inc. (AOL), the Sun-Netscape Alliance, the Company
designs, develops, markets, and sells enterprise and E-commerce software for consumers and
businesses under the iPlanet brand. These software products and technologies, commonly referred to
as middleware, complement the Company’s enterprise servers, storage and workstation products.
Combined, these products provide customers with comprehensive solutions to their enterprise and
Internet computing needs.
In December 2000, the Company compelted the acquisition of Cobalt Networks, Inc., a provider of
server appliances for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Application Service Providers (ASPs), and
small- to medium-sized businesses.
The Company’s competitors include Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), International Business Machines
Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation (Compaq) and EMC Corporation (EMC). The Company
also competes with systems manufacturers and resellers of systems based on microprocessors from Intel
Corporation (Intel) and Windows NT operating system software from Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft).
These competitors include Dell Computer Corporation, HP and Compaq, in addition to Intel and