Sun Boosts Application Server SpeedSun Boosts Application Server Speed
Speed increase was achieved in part by switching from aluminum-based processors to high-performance copper-based models.
November 6, 2001
Sun Microsystems fired the latest salvo in its server war against IBM Tuesday, claiming new chips make its Sun Fire line "the fastest application servers in the world."
The Sun Fire 3800, 4800, 4810, and 6800 mid-range servers, generally used for running Internet applications like credit card transactions, will now be outfitted with 900-MHz UltraSparc III chips. Previous models in the Sun Fire line ran at only 750 MHz. That speed increase was achieved in part by switching from aluminum-based processors to high-performance copper-based models. Sun claims the new servers are significantly faster than IBM's competing systems. "[In benchmark tests,] our Sun Fire 6800 server outperformed IBM's high-end server by a few percentage points," says Chris Kruell, group marketing manager of Sun's enterprise systems group. "But in terms of price performance, which is what IBM's really been banging the drum about, our price performance is 31% higher than theirs."But analysts seem skeptical. "It's a little bit of an apples to oranges comparison," says Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice. "It's marketing bravado." Sun is comparing a 24-way server configuration against IBM's 16-way p690 Regatta system, according to Technology Business Research analyst Bob Sutherland. "IBM has superior technology for now," says Sutherland. "The real coup would be for Sun to beat IBM on the next CPU release in speed and cost."
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