Sun Microsystems is adding Intel Xeon processors to its line of carrier-grade Sun Netra server systems. In addition, Sun will also expand its Netra server line with new systems that use its UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors. These Sun servers are specifically designed for the telecommunications industry and offer specifications designed for more rugged environments.
is updating its line of carrier-grade Netra server systems
to include its own UltraSPARC T2 Plus chips as well as two new systems based on
Intel Xeon processors.
signing an agreement with Intel in 2007, Sun has looked to bolster its x64
(x86-64 bit) line of servers with Intel's Xeon
processors. For years, Sun only
used Advanced Micro Devices chips to complement its line of hardware based
around the SPARC and UltraSPARC processors.
The new Intel-based Sun Netra X4250 and Netra X4450 servers, along with the
Netra T5440, which is based on the UltraSPARC T2 Plus processor, officially go
on sale Sept. 29. However, the configurations for all three of these carrier systems are already available on Sun's
industry remains an integral part of Sun's business.
In a recent quarterly
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Sun reported that
while its high-end systems were not selling as well as in the past, it was
trying to make up ground by shipping more midrange and volume servers,
including its carrier-grade Netra line.
Sun is also hoping that telecom carriers continue expanding their cellular
and broadband networks in North America and overseas.
With more users eager for cell and Internet services, telecoms are looking to
strengthen their infrastructures to deliver reliable services and meet demand.
In addition, Sun is hoping that when WiMax and 3G become more broadly
available, these new broadband services will increase the demands on telecom
By incorporating Intel processors into the Netra line, Sun is also looking
to expand the base of customers that might not consider the company's hardware
without some systems based on Intel. Sun also ensured that the Intel- and
UltraSPARC-based systems share the same chassis to so that the systems are
"The fact that two of these systems are Intel-based gives me [a] new
addressable market for carrier-grade servers," said Mark Butler, the
product line director for Sun's Netra systems. "In addition, the X4450 and
the T5440 share the same chassis, which means they share high capacity when it
comes to I/O cards and disk storage ... We think this is good for our
installed-based customers who need to move their high-end carrier-grade systems
over. We also think this is good for the new applications that are out there
and new customers that we are selling to."
All three of the Sun Netra systems use either DC or AC power. While
the two Intel systems can suppport Sun's Solaris operating system or
Microsoft Windows and Linux, the UltraSPARC server only supports the
Solaris OS. In
addition, all three systems are NEBS 3 (Network Equipment-Building
which is important for servers that often are housed in more hostile
environments than those found in enterprise data centers. All three
10 Gigabit Ethernet.
The three new Netra systems are:
-The Netra X4250, a 2U (3.5-inch) system that
supports two quad-core Intel Xeon L5408 processors (2.13GHz). The server also
features 4 DIMM (dual in-line memory modules) slots and up to 16GB of memory
and four SAS (serial-attached SCSI) drives that each support 146GB of data
storage. This system starts at $4,295.
-The Netra X4450, a 4U (7-inch) server that
supports four quad-core Intel Xeon E7338 (2.4GHz) processors. The system has 8
DIMM slots that can support up to 32GB of memory along with 8 SAS drives that
each support up to 146GB of storage. The starting price is set at $14,995.
-The Netra T5540, a 4U system that supports two
UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors (1.2GHz).
In addition, it support 16 DIMM
slots and up to 64GB of memory along with 8 SAS drives that each support 146GB
of storage. The starting price for this system is $19,635.
The Sun Netra T5540 will eventually replace the
older Netra 240 and 440 servers that used the UltraSPARC IIIi processor.
Editor's note: This article was updated to
clarify which operating systems the three servers support. Only the Intel-based
systems support Linux, Windows and Solaris.