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Sun Increases Its Intel x86 Server Line

The company issues two Sun Fire servers powered by Intel's quad-core Xeon processors as a complement to its AMD quad-core products.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday introduced two Intel-based x86 servers, bringing to three the number of servers based on Intel's Xeon architecture.

The Sun Fire X4450 and X4150 are the computer maker's first servers powered by Intel's quad-core Xeon processors. Sun offers a choice of four operating systems, Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows, Linux, or VMware. "With a choice of operating systems and the ability to run a broad range of applications, they [new servers] can truly operate as a universal platform," John Fowler, executive VP of Sun's Systems Group, said in a statement.

The X4450 is a four-socket, 2U server powered by Intel's Xeon 7300 series processors. The X4150 is a two-socket, 1U system powered by Intel Xeon 5300 series processors. The latter server has more than 1 Tbyte of internal disk storage, making it suitable for running horizontal databases or other disk-intensive applications.

Advance Micro Devices' Opteron processors power the majority of Sun's x86 servers. Sun's partnership with Intel is less than a year old. Before the latest products, Sun only offered Xeon processors with its Sun Blade 6000 server. Sun launched its first Xeon-based blade server in June. The Blade 6000, which can be configured separately with AMD processors, is built on a 10U chassis design.

AMD this month officially launched its first quad-core Opteron processors, which arrived about a year later than Intel's quad-core Xeons. Sun said it plans to release its first AMD-based quad-core systems by the end of the year.

The Sun Fire X4150 is available now at an entry-level price of $2,995. The X4450 is set to ship in October at a starting price of $8,895.

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