Sun delivers Cherrystone UltraSparc-III servers
Pitches at 4-way Xeons
Sun Microsystems Inc will today announce that its "Cherrystone" UltraSparc-III workgroup servers, one of the few missing pieces in its Serengeti lineup of Sun Fire servers, are finally ready to go to market,
Timothy Prickett Morgan writes
The Sun Fire V480 server was previously known internally as the 480R and is the bigger brother to the "Littleneck" Sun Fire 280R dual-capable UltraSparc-III server. It fills in a gap between the Sun Fire 280R, which started shipping in September 2000 with the initial "Cheetah" UltraSparc-III processors, and the Sun Fire V880s, which were announced in October 2001.
The V480 supports either Solaris 8 or the new Solaris 9 operating system from Sun and is aimed squarely at the four-way Intel-based server market where Pentium III Xeon and Pentium 4 Xeon processors are making headway running Windows 2000 and Linux. The V480 is a rack-mounted machine with a 5U form factor, which is a little fatter than the 4U form factor cases used in Intel-based servers these days. Whether or not this will matter to customers is unknown.
What probably matters more is that the V480 comes with two 900MHz UltraSparc-III processor, each equipped with 8MB of L2 cache. The base V480 comes with 4GB of main memory (expandable to 32GB, which is twice what most Intel-based machines offer in this class), and two 36 GB Fibre Channel disks. The V480 has dual 10/100Mbit integrated Ethernet NICs, N+1 power supplies installed, and six PCI slots. This base configuration sells for $22,295.
Sun reckons that an IBM x360 with two 1.6GHz Pentium 4 Xeon processors and a similar base configuration, including a $5,995 license to Microsoft Corp's Windows 2000 Advanced Server operating system, costs $27,537; a Dell PowerEdge 6650 costs $24,608; and an HP DL580 G2 costs $32,380.
A base V480 can be equipped with a T3 disk array with nine 36GB FC disks in a special bundle that costs $44,595. A V480 with four 900MHz processors, 16GB of memory, and dual 36GB FC drives costs $46,995. This same machine configured with that T3 array goes for $74,595. A fully configured four-way V480 with 32 GB of memory and two 36GB FC drives sells for $99,995; this machine with the T3 array sells for $122,595.
Sun also announced yesterday that the 900MHz UltraSparc-III processors are not supported on the eight-way Sun Fire V880 servers and that it has doubled the amount of main memory on these machines to a maximum of 64GB. This will enable the machines to offer more performance and scalability on OLTP and other enterprise workloads, and it will also allow Sun's V series line of machines to be differentiated from Intel-based servers because of the larger memories that they support. The V880s use 72GB Fibre Channel drives, not the 36GB drives used in the V480s, and up to a dozen can be put under their purple skins.
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