Sun talks up ‘uniqueness’ of cool new servers

Sun Microsystems is making an all-out attack on the high-end data centre with its new range of x64 AMD-based servers. These include its first data server, an eight-socket rack-mount server and a return to the blade server market.

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By  Colin Edwards Published  July 17, 2006

Sun Microsystems is making an all-out attack on the high-end data centre with its new range of x64 AMD-based servers. These include its first data server, an eight-socket rack-mount server and a return to the blade server market. The launch takes its AMD lineup beyond the two-socket level - essentially the entry-class rack-mount offerings that make up the bulk of the market. The new range provides what Sun claims are unique offerings for the data centre. Certainly unique is the SunFire x4500. This delivers storage density that is five times that of traditional systems and enables companies to host high-bandwidth applications and data, such as digital media streaming, digital surveillance and high-performance computing (HPC) on a single platform at reportedly half the cost of alternative solutions. It is the industry’s first data server to combine a 4-way server powered by AMD Opteron processors with the highest storage density available and high data throughput. The SunFire x4500 reduces system complexity and allows data centre managers to make more efficient use of their data centre space, offering up to 24Terabyte of storage in seven inches of rack space, sustained throughput of 2GB/s from disk to memory and costing as little as $2/GB. Sun is now back in the blades business with its enterprise-class SunBlade 8000 Modular System. This is based on Sun’s x64 server architecture and delivers both higher performance and twice the investment protection of competing blades, while using 20% less power and half the space of a typical rack mount server. “Customers around the world have told us that they are looking for maximum computing speed, ease of manageability, longevity in the data centre, and energy efficiency – our customers in the region would stress that on top of all these points comes the critical element of heat emission,” said Aaron White, x64 business development manager, Sun Microsystems MENA. “When it is fifty degrees outside and you have the air conditioning running to keep your employees cool, you can’t justify twice the amount of A/C being pumped into a packed server room alone. By improving the speed, bringing down the size, and increasing the functionality of these servers, businesses can look at projects that they couldn’t previously envisage due to the computing power required. The Sun Blade 8000 alone offers twice the investment protection of competing systems, making real business sense in the competitive atmosphere here in the region.” Also in the new range is the SunFire x4600, the industry’s fastest 4-16way server in a 4U chassis, built for the data centre and designed to handle the complexities of data centre applications, high-performance computing (HPC), virtualization and web-tier applications. Sun is looking to leverage the low powered, cool running single eight socket server to win back market share from competitors IBM and HP. It says a single x4600 unit is the equivalent of 50 Xeon-based x86 servers making it ideal to meet server companies’ server consolidation moves, especially as the 4U server consumes 1,500 W compared to the 10,000W used by the 50 smaller servers. The Tokyo Institute of Technology has built a supercomputer comprising 655 of Sun's X4600s, each with eight dual-core processors, for a total of 10,480 cores. The system is ranked the seventh largest in the world and is used by 10,000 engineering students.

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