Feeds

At last, Sun unveils UltraSPARC revival

Erie and Ontario refreshed by Niagara

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Sun Microsystems has decided to admit that it does sell the Sun Fire T2000 and T1000 servers, ending months of denials.

El Reg first uncovered these systems back in September. Both boxes run on Sun's new eight-core UltraSPARC T1 - aka Niagara - processor and are aimed at handling web and application server software. The T2000 is a bulkier 2U box with plenty of networking and storage options, while the T1000 takes up just 1U of rack space.

For months, Sun refused to comment on our stories even though plenty of information on the new systems could be found in Solaris source code and via configuration information that slipped on the company's web site. During a Tuesday launch event in New York, Sun will end its vow of silence and flash the kit in front of Wall Street.

Sun has placed a large bet on these systems, as they're the first UltraSPARC-based gear in a long time to really stand out from the competition. Sun will offer the systems with both 1.0GHz and 1.2GHz chips in 4, 6 and 8 core versions.

The low-power consumption of the boxes coupled with the multicore chips should help customers save on energy costs while improving server density. You'll end up with hundreds of cores per rack.

To be sure, the systems won't perform well on all types of software workloads. For example, the UltraSPARC T1 only has one floating point unit, which hurts its performance on a lot of higher-end applications.

Sun, however, claims the new Sun Fire systems fly when crunching through web and application serving workloads. To back up these claims, Sun has released a number of new benchmark results that place its boxes well ahead of Xeon-based systems from IBM, HP and Dell. Sun has pointed to eBay, EDS and Air France as customers who have already purchased the new gear.

"The new server line is anticipated to save these enterprises an average of $371,000 in power and cooling costs for 100 servers in just three years," Sun said.

As we wrote before, the Sun Fire T2000 is available immediately at a starting price of $7,795. The T1000 ships in March at a starting price of $3,000.

These boxes have been a long time coming. Sun completed its acquisition of Afara Websystems, which did the original Niagara chip design, in July of 2002.

The boxes are sure to garner Sun a lot of attention in the short term. Given Sun's experience with mulithreaded software and the Solaris OS, you can bet that threaded workloads will indeed cruise on the new gear.

It's good to see Sun's heavy R&D investment pay off with something that is truly unique. None of Sun's Tier 1 processor or server rivals have discussed hardware that looks anything like these new boxes. We anxiously await customer feedback on the new systems to see if they're all that Sun expects. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?