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10/13/2008
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Sun Unveils Midrange Sparc Enterprise Server

The T5440 is Sun's first quad-socket, general-purpose server powered by the company's UltraSparc T2 Plus processor.

Sun Microsystems on Monday introduced a midrange Sparc Enterprise server with up to four sockets.

The T5440 is Sun's first quad-socket, general-purpose server powered by the company's UltraSparc T2 Plus processor and running the open source version of the Solaris operating system. Each processor packs eight cores and 64 simultaneous threads on each single piece of silicon. In addition, the server has "logical domains," or LDoms, virtualization technology that provides up to 128 isolated domains per server.

Until now the Sun Sparc Enterprise server was primarily used for running Web applications. Increasing the machine to four sockets makes it powerful enough to run enterprise resource planning and online transaction processing applications and other software for medium-sized organizations, said Nancy Riley, head of group volume systems at Sun. The new system is expected to compete with IBM's Power Series servers and Hewlett-Packard's NonStop S series servers powered by Intel's Itanium processor.

Riley told InformationWeek that Sun's server is substantially less expensive than competitors' products. A Sparc Enterprise T5440 with 64 GB of memory will cost $80,000, compared with $90,000 for a comparable HP machines and $105,000 for an IBM server, according to Riley.

The Enterprise server is also available from Sun partner Fujitsu, which sells the machine under its own brand. Until now, Fujitsu did not have a midrange server available for the U.S. market, a spokesman said.

The 4U T5440 has a maximum heat dissipation of 8,970.5 BTU per hour. A thousand BTUs, or British thermal units, per hour is equal to about 293 watts. Sun is shipping the server in volume starting Monday.

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