Sun expands NEC alliance; opens South Korea Java research centre

Source: Sun Microsystems

Earlier this week at a press conference in Tokyo, Sun Microsystems' (SUNW) Chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy, and NEC President, Akinobu Kanasugi, agreed to expand the strategic alliance between the two companies, calling for the creation of new solutions that will incorporate technology and products from both companies.

"This alliance is all about enhancing the strategic collaboration and development efforts between Sun and NEC," McNealy said. "We can now say that our visions, from the chip level to the middleware layer and all the way through system integration are aligned and complementary."

The alliance will see the expansion of the Sun-NEC Systems Integration business relationship, development of secure voice and data solutions, and enhanced collaboration in the development of middleware software.

While in Japan, McNealy also met with businesspeople, government officials, customers, and technology partners to talk about Sun's new product pipeline and recent company developments, such as the rollout of Solaris 10 Operating System (OS), which passed the 1 million license mark in the first two months of this year.

McNealy's press conference and meetings in Japan were part of a weeklong Asia tour that also included visits to China and South Korea. The Asian IT market, bolstered by the region's strong economic growth and technology leadership, is of significant strategic importance to Sun's business.

Sun Opens South Korean Java(TM) Technology Research Center

While visiting South Korea, McNealy announced the opening of a Java Technology Research Center in southern Seoul, along with Sun's plan to invest $50 million into the promotion of Java technology, across mobile and embedded systems, during the next four years. The Research Center will initially house 12 researchers.

"From what I've seen, South Korea is the world leader in both mobile Java technology and IT infrastructure," McNealy said. "Our investment is testament to the fact that we believe in, and place enormous value on, the state of innovation and strong growth potential this country has to offer."

Also in South Korea, McNealy addressed a luncheon meeting of the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry and met with customers and business leaders.

Sun Donates 100,000 CPU Hours to China's Academic GRID

During his keynote address at Sun's Education and Research Conference (ERC), held at the Beijing International Convention Center, McNealy pledged to donate 100,000 CPU hours to China's Academic GRID. The grant to Tsinghua University, where the country's academic research computer network is hosted, reinforces Sun's commitment to education and the global marketplace. It is also part of the company's promise to donate 1 million CPU hours to education and research institutions around the world throughout the year.

"Sun's roots are in the academic and research worlds, and we really understand the power of the network," McNealy said. "China's Academic GRID is a great example of the way higher education is taking the next logical step toward Grid Computing. At Sun, that's exactly the kind of goal we want to support, to help students and educators push the boundaries of research."

Chinese officials plan to connect an additional 20 universities to the GRID this year, with the eventual goal of becoming the largest of its kind in the world by supporting up to 100 universities throughout the country.

Along with CPU hours, Sun will also provide Sun Grid Web-based training courses to Chinese students, Sun Java System Portal Server software to support China's Academic Grid, the development of user ID management solutions, and assistance to students conducting research in fields such as bio-informatics and remote education.

During his address, McNealy shared his perspective on "what's hot" in education and "what's not" - making the point that the digital divide should and can be eliminated by improving the state of education in developing nations. He also pointed out that innovative technology has the potential to enhance the quality and accessibility for students and educators everywhere.

While in China, McNealy also addressed 550 attendees at Sun's DataCenter Summit and Storage Symposium in Beijing. He met with numerous telecommunication service and content providers and handset manufacturers to discuss China's exploding demand for cellular service.

McNealy is one of many executives from Sun Microsystems who regularly travel to the Asia/Pacific region, recognizing the rapidly growing economy, demand for and utilization of, cutting-edge IT infrastructure and services.

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