Sun Offers Servers Based On 8-Core Processors - InformationWeek

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12/5/2005
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Sun Offers Servers Based On 8-Core Processors

The availability of the Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers using the UltraSparc T1 processor completes a full revamp of Sun's server portfolio over the past four months.

Sun Microsystems on Tuesday announced the availability of the first servers based on its recently released UltraSparc T1, or Niagara, processor, which integrates eight processing cores in single device providing what the company says is a cumulative 9.6 GHz in processor performance.

The availability of the Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers using the UltraSparc T1 processor completes a full revamp of Sun's server portfolio over the past four months. By now offering low-end x86 servers as well as more powerful high-end servers, Sun has expanded the potential market it can serve by at least $20 billion, says David Yen, executive VP of Sun's scalable systems group.

"Sun has literally expanded and refreshed its entire server offerings from the [x86-based] Galaxy announcement in September, to the UltraSparc 4+ [in October], and now the T1000 series," Yen says.

The UltraSparc T1 processor has eight processing cores, each running at 1.2 GHz. Each core also has an ability to operate on four threads, providing a total of 32 threads in a single processor, Yen says.

Sun's CoolThreads technology will ensure that software written for the Solaris 10 operating system will run unmodified on all servers using the new processor technology, he says.

Strato AG, a German Web hosting company that currently handles about two million domains for one million customers, has been testing a prototype T2000 system, says Rene Wienholtz, chief technology officer. The company's data center is currently out of space, and its potential cooling capabilities are also at maximum, he says.

Strato would have needed to spend a minimum of $1.5 million to physically expand its data center. But Wienholtz says deploying the T2000 system will enable it to prepare for growth within its current data-center constraints. The T2000 server has demonstrated an ability to provide the same performance levels of the company's existing Sun servers using UltraSparc 2 and UltraSparc 3 processors, but will require only 10% of the floor space and 10% of the cooling infrastructure.

"Those are quite amazing numbers, I must say," Wienholtz says. "We are now looking at replacing between 80% and 85% of our Web farm with the new systems."

Other companies that have tested the new servers include eBay and Electronic Data Systems Corp.

The T1000 is a 19-inch deep server and is priced beginning at $2,995. The T2000 is a 24.3-inch server and is priced beginning at $7,995.

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