Sun's New Blade Server Can Mix And Match Blades And Operating Systems - InformationWeek
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4/4/2006
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Sun's New Blade Server Can Mix And Match Blades And Operating Systems

The servers are designed for the telecom industry, which is Sun's largest vertical industry market.

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday expanded and upgraded its carrier-grade Netra server portfolio with an AdvancedTCA line of blade servers that can mix and match both Sparc and x86-based blades, as well as Solaris and Linux operating systems, within the same chassis.

"We have what we believe is the most flexible, best performing, and most reliable server for the telecom market," says Raju Penumatcha, VP of the Netra systems group for Sun. "We are reaffirming our commitment to the market with this very powerful blade offering."

Telecommunications is Sun's largest vertical industry market, providing more revenue than any other market segment, Penumatcha says. Since the Netra platform was introduced in 1998, it has been adopted by 40 of the top 50 telecom equipment providers and the top 10 network equipment providers, he says.

The new Netra products are based on the PICMG 3.x, or Advanced Telecommunications Computing Architecture and Service Availability Standards, which provide for a larger board area that can allow for better density and performance than the PICMG 2.x, or CompactPCI standard.

Sun is offering the ATCA blades with either a one- or two-socket UltraSparc IIIi processor implementation or a single- or dual-core AMD Opteron processor. Sun plans to offer a version of the ATCA blade using its eight-core UltraSparc T1 processor later this year, as well as a dual-socket Opteron version. The servers will support Solaris 10 and Monta Vista Linux CGE operating systems.

Chassis for the Netra system have 14 slots, two of which are used for 48-port Gigabit Ethernet switches, leaving room for 12 of the UltraSparc or Opteron blades and providing up to 24 processors in a chassis.

Sun also plans a re-entry into the general-purpose server blade market around midyear, when it will introduce a bladed version of its Galaxy server family using Opteron processors.

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