Sun last week fired off a barrage of product promotions, upgrades and service announcements in an attempt to retake its traditional stronghold in the financial community.NEW YORK -\u00a0Sun\u00a0last week fired off a barrage of product promotions, upgrades and service announcements in an attempt to retake its traditional stronghold in the financial community.Making the case that the company's Solaris operating system offers better computing performance and system management for less money than comparable Linux systems, Sun President\u00a0Jonathan Schwartz\u00a0told a banquet hall full of investment banking analysts and financial services executives that the company delivered what its customers on Wall Street said they wanted.Customers were asking for versions of Solaris that ran on multiple platforms and higher levels of performance for lower prices. "Now our shelves are full," Schwartz said.In an effort to take back customers it lost to\u00a0Linux, Schwartz announced a 50% discount on Solaris right-to-use licenses for customers upgrading from Linux.Also on the pricing front, Sun said it would begin offering utility computing services at $1 per processor, per hour. Such services would be targeted at applications such as simulations, modeling and rendering that are easily optimized for grid computing. However, Sun did not say when it would roll out such services.But for financial industry users, pricing is far from the whole story."We're not as big as some of the companies here, so we may have tens of servers, not hundreds, so the dollars don't add up as fast," said Steve Rubinow, CTO for Chicago Archipelago Holdings, an electronic trading system in Chicago. "If I can manage an environment of [just] Sun servers and avoid support headaches, running Sun offers an advantage."Sun promotions geared to financial companies in New York included a Xeon trade-in program offering cash credit for customers switching from Intel Xeon servers to Sun Fire systems based on Opteron processors. The credits range from $560 for low-end Sun Fire V20z servers to $1,250 for midrange Sun Fire V40z servers and $860 on Sun Java Workstations. Sun also is offering a free trial of a Sun Fire V20z server and the upcoming Solaris 10 to selected customers.In addition, Sun released pricing information for products announced earlier but that shipped last week. These include the Sun Fire V490 and V890 servers, at starting prices of about $31,000 and $40,000, respectively. The servers boast four and eight dual-core processors, respectively.Building up to the launch of Solaris 10 next month, Sun also announced that new products, migration tools and support will become available over the next 90 days through its Software Express for Solaris system adoption program. These include Predictive Self Healing, the Dynamic Tracing resource management feature, and Project Janus, which offers Linux\/Solaris interoperability.Ferranti is an executive news editor for the IDG News Service.