PLATFORMS: Enron Capital & Trade Resources (ECT) utilizes Sun's Ultra Enterprise 10000 server (Starfire) and the Sun RSM Array 214 storage subsystem on the Solaris 2.5.1 operating system.

BACKGROUND: ECT is the wholesale merchant arm of Enron Corp., one of the world's largest integrated energy companies with over $19 billion in assets. From physical transactions involving the trading and delivery of energy resources to risk management and financial services, ECT provides unique solutions for its customers.

PROBLEM SOLVED: ECT was in need of higher performance and throughput for its mission-critical, real-time risk management applications.

STRENGTHS: ECT chose the Starfire for migration from a two-tier to a three-tier architecture because of Starfire's high availability, versatile dynamic partitioning capabilities and scalability up to 64 processors. Starfire has helped eliminate system downtime, one of the most critical systems hazards posed to ECT's around-the-clock trading operations.

WEAKNESSES: Starfire lacks the ability to interface storage to all domains. However, Sun is addressing this with new products.

PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS: The Ultra Enterprise 10000 is a very large-scale, high-performance server that can be configured from 16 to 64 UltraSPARC processors. It runs any of the more than 12,000 Solaris-based applications now available. However, the most significant aspect of Starfire is its logical partitioning capability. Logical partitioning allows a single Starfire to be divided into multiple servers, all running separate copies or versions of the Solaris operating environment.

SELECTION CRITERIA: ECT was looking for reliable, high-performance products with a long-term competitive price-performance ratio. Sun's products met ECT's criteria, and Sun's strength in pioneering technology won ECT's confidence. Sun's ability to provide an upgrade path was also compelling.

DELIVERABLES: Sun's Starfire server provides ECT with the highest levels of reliability, availability and scalability.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Sun's service representatives have always addressed ECT's needs thoroughly and with a sense of urgency.

DOCUMENTATION: Both hard-copy and on-line documentation are adequate.

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