Armed with the new UltraSPARC IV+ processors, Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Fire V490 server boasts twice the performance of its predecessor, the UltraSPARC IV-based V490. For IT managers with an investment in Sun hardware, the value proposition is clear: With the new chip, the V490 midrange server will double horsepower in the same form factor, with the same power consumption and at the same price.The V490 is best suited for hosting midtier or back-end applications. Announced with the upgraded processor in September, the 5U (8.75-inch) V490 is aggressively priced at $30,995 for a basic configuration of two 1.5GHz UltraSPARC IV+ CPUs, 8GB of memory and dual 146GB hard drives. The server is also equipped with six PCI slots, hot-swappable power and cooling, and an onboard management processor. eWEEK Labs $58,995 test unit was equipped with four 1.5GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors, 16GB of memory and dual 146GB FC-AL (Fiber Channel-Arbitrated Loop) hard drives. The V490 system we tested also included a System Controller card and dual embedded Gigabit Ethernet. The V490 and the Sun Fire V890 (which was upgraded at the same time) were the first Sun servers to be armed with the new UltraSPARC IV+ processor, formerly code-named Panther. The UltraSPARC IV+ 64-bit processors have a speed of 1.5GHz, while the UltraSPARC IV chips top out at 1.35GHz. Sun is not limiting the top-of-the-line UltraSPARC IV+ to its midrange servers. Last month, the company implemented the new chip in its high-end Unix servers, including the 36-processor Sun Fire E20K and the 72-processor Sun Fire E25K. With the UltraSPARC IV+, Sun has increased Level 3 cache to 32MB and added 2MB of Level 2 cache to reduce latency when accessing data in memory. In addition, by moving from a 130-nanometer to a 90-nanometer manufacturing process, Sun was able to maintain the same power envelope. This is important for IT managers who want to reduce the server footprint in the data center and/or increase computing resources while keeping power consumption in check. Next Page: Chip mix.
Click here to read how the travel company Transat is boosting its infrastructure with UltraSPARC IV+-based servers.