Feeds

Sun finally crafts proper x86 and SPARC blades

Once, twice, three times a lady

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Contrary to public perception, Sun Microsystems does want to play in the mainstream blade server market.

Sun today revealed yet another take on blade systems, showing a compact chassis that holds Opteron-, Xeon- and UltraSPARC T1-based servers. The new Sun Blade 6000 chassis compares favorably with existing systems from blade leaders HP and IBM. More importantly, the chassis should prove much more appealing to the average customer than Sun's hefty Blade 8000 chassis released last year.

"This system is aimed squarely at the volume heart of the blade marketplace," said Sun's server chief John Fowler. "It's a fully functional replacement of what you might expect from a rackmount server."

Customers can slot up to 10 of the dual-socket (x86)/single socket(SPARC) blades in the 10U chassis. The ability to mix x86 and SPARC systems in the chassis could prove attractive to some Sun customers, although the vendor has tried and failed before at the neapolitan approach.

Customers will likely find Sun's take on I/O more impressive. They can purchase off-the-shelf PCI Express adapters that plug into the rear of the Blade 6000 chassis. HP and IBM often require customers to shell out for custom I/O gear to accommodate their proprietary chassis designs. The rivals can also demand up to $30,000 in networking gear alone to have any I/O at all in their boxes.

HP has enjoyed the strongest blade sales of late due to its impressive c-Class chassis design. Customers can squeeze 8 full-height or 16 half-height blades (x86 and Itanium) into the 10U system.

Sun cannot match HP's density but claims an edge where memory and storage are concerned. For example, Sun has made room for 16 DIMMs and 4 HDDs per blade versus 8 DIMMS and 2 HDDs for HP's half-height blades or 12 DIMMs and 4 HHDs for HP's full-height blades. Sun also has twice the I/O.

"We used to have a blade chassis that had more systems and did less," Fowler said. "We learned from experiment."

To Fowler's point, Sun exited the blade market in 2005 after failing to make any meaningful headway with the Sun Fire B1600 chassis. Then, Sun returned to blades last year with hulking 19U and 14U chassis designs that make use of four-socket Opteron-based systems.

So, Sun notably now has three different blade server chassis designs versus one design each from HP and IBM and a single upcoming design, very similar to HP's c-Class, from Dell.

Fowler, however, defended Sun's extravagance. He noted that the larger blade designs were already underway when Sun brought co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim back to the company via its Kealia acquisition. In addition, Sun expects such wide blade adoption that it's willing to go after both the low- and high-ends of the market.

"I am very confident these systems will show returns from an R&D standpoint," Fowler said.

HP and IBM currently own about 80 per cent of the blade server market with a variety of vendors splitting the remaining sales.

Following a launch event later today, Sun will issue more detailed specifications on its new blades. Customers can expect to see the Sun Blade 6000 Modular System chassis and the T6300 (SPARC) blade, the X6250 (quad-core Xeon) blade and the X6220 (Opteron) blade. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.