Microsoft with Intel based servers are becoming more and more close to a direct competition with Sun in the market of enterprise level servers. The main factor in this counteraction is a cost for the servers' possession. The Windows NT on the Intel based servers is thirty six percent cheaper than the SUN SPARC servers with the Solaris operation system.
Microsoft developed the Windows NT Server initially as an applications server with built-in properties of the file server. Thus, the usage of Windows NT Server allows an easier development and deployment of the applications. The Windows NT Server is much stronger than the NetWare it the market of low end servers.
Currently, the Windows NT Server is taking part in a competition with commercial UNIX systems, such as Sun Solaris in the high-end applications servers market. Due to the results of the investigations of the "Distributed Computing Platforms: Requirements for High Availability Environments", ordered for the BRG company, twenty six percent percent from three hundred information systems managers (from the list of Fortune 1000 companies) answered that they use the Windows NT Server, since it possesses more critical applications in the distributed environment. Simultaneously, Unix takes twenty eight percent and six percent are for Sun. Solaris is still very popular for such tasks' support of the telecommunication systems that require an uninterrupted work. An administrator of average companies and organizations prefer the Windows NT on Intel based servers for a users' support or a quality control.
Solaris proposes to use many properties for the creation of distributed applications of a high level; Microsoft also moves in this direction. They multiply the number of functions that are available in the Windows NT Server and try to simplify the usage and management. As a result, the Windows NT Server needs less time for administrating than Solaris.
Saving time for the Intel based servers is a decrease of the supporting personnel members and this is far not a single advantage. Thus, the Wintel server is cheaper than the RISC system of the SPARC server and the software could be cheaper as well. Finally, the upgrade of the RISC systems and their software is very expensive. However, the Sun based systems require an update more rarely and answer to the given requirements for a longer time.
An average database size on the Sun systems is forty seven percent higher than on Microsoft/ Compaq systems. More Sun users than Microsoft users are working with applications that perform transactions and also more Sun users work on their workstations with web applications. Consequently, the Sun systems work with a bigger number of network connections and transactions per time unit.
Currently, there is a trend for changing this statistics in favor of the Windows solutions on the Intel hardware platforms. The major changes that were made in the new releases of the Windows server platform make it more efficient and increase a security level as well. Analysts of the servers' market expect a high growth of the Intel technologies in the nearest months.
As a matter of fact, the high performance RISC systems are still the leaders of the servers' market. That is the reason why Microsoft is improving its solutions for the server platform and their products are worth of competition.