Sun Unveils UltraSPARC 4, Opteron Servers

Sun Microsystems announced more than 25 new servers on Tuesday, including models based on the company's long-delayed UltraSPARC 4 processor to others based on AMD's Opteron processors.

February 11, 2004

2 Min Read
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Sun Microsystems continued its tradition of quarterly new product blitzes by unveiling more than 25 new servers on Tuesday.

The servers run the gamut from models based on the company's long-delayed UltraSPARC 4 processor to others based on AMD's Opteron processors, said Steve Campbell, vice president of marketing for the company's enterprise systems products.

The new UltraSPARC 4 processors are essentially two of Sun's UltraSPARC 3 processors wrapped together in a single chip. They offer double the performance of the UltraSPARC 3 processor and are capable of handling applications written for multithreading processing, Campbell said. They are available in 1.05GHz and 1.2GHz speeds, he said.

Like the UltraSPARC 3 processors, four UltraSPARC 4s come installed on a Sun UniBoard. The UltraSPARC 4 UniBoards can be "mixed and managed" with UltraSPARC 3 UniBoards in both new servers and previously installed servers, with each processor operating at its native speed regardless of how many different processors are in the server, Campbell said.

This mix-and-manage approach is aimed at protecting customers' investments in their server infrastructure, Campbell said. "Customers can upgrade old servers in the field, or add new UniBoards to empty slots for additional power," he said. "Or if a customer has an UltraSPARC 4 server, they can add an UltraSPARC 3 UniBoard if they want. Now they can mix and manage different generations in the same system running either Solaris 8 or Solaris 9."Along with the new UltraSPARC servers, Sun is debuting some features from its Solaris 10 operating system in advance of its expected October release. These features, part of Sun Software Express, include N1 Grid Containers, which runs multiple applications within their own virtual operating environment in a single server in much the same way multiple blade servers within an enclosure run their own applications, Campbell said. Should one of the applications fail, it will not affect the operation of the other applications, he said.

The three new midrange UltraSPARC 4 servers include the Sun Fire E2900, with up to 12 processors and 96 Gbytes of memory; the E4900, with up to 12 processors and hardware redundancy which increases fault-resistance for more mission-critical applications; and the E6900, with up to 24 processors. Starting prices range from $98,995 for the E2900 to $235,000 for the E6900.

Sun also introduced two new enterprise-class UltraSPARC 4 servers, including the 36-way E20K and the 72-way E25K. Pricing for the E20K starts at $640,000, compared with a starting price of $825,000 for the E25K. Both are expected to be available in April.

On the entry-level server side, Sun introduced a new server based on the Opteron processor, the first fruit of the company's alliance with AMD that was first discussed last November. The Sun Fire V20z two-way rack-mount server is expected to be available in April with a starting price of $2,795, Campbell said.

The company also unveiled the Sun Fire B200x, an Intel Xeon-based blade server that is available immediately starting at about $3,470.0

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