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Sun: Four years to go in x86 transformation

Sun Microsystems began its pushing x86 server efforts in earnest two years ago, but the company still has several years to go before the transformation into a full-fledged x86 hardware maker is complete, said John Fowler, executive vice president of the network systems group that builds x86 servers. "I think we are in the first two years of six," Fowler said in an interview here Friday. The serious part of the effort began two years ago when Jonathan Schwartz took over as chief operating officer and carved out once-shunned x86 servers as a separate Sun business unit. Sun once sold only machines with its Sparc processors, but responding to market pressure added generic Intel-based servers in 2002. Last year, Sun introduced its own designs, the dual-processor X4100 and X4200 of the "Galaxy" family using Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron. Sun plans to release an eight-processor Galaxy by the end of June and also a blade server, but has a long way to go to catch up to x86 leaders Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM.

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