By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2005-11-07 Print this article Print

The UltraSPARC IV+ faces fierce competition from rival processors, including IBMs new Power5+ and Intel Corp.s forthcoming "Montecito" chip.

Last month, for example, IBM began offering its Power5+ chip in its low-end p5 systems. Big Blue has plans to bring the chip to its midrange and high-end servers next year.

In addition, Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. will introduce dual-core technology in its SPARC64 processors next year.

While the new V490 is a solid server overall, we were disappointed to see that Sun has not improved the servers I/O. The new Sun Fire server has the same 9.6GB-per-second backplane Sun has been using since the V480, as well as six PCI slots (two 66MHz 64-bit slots and four 33MHz 64-bit slots). Most servers that eWEEK Labs tests these days have 133MHz PCI-X bus speed support. However, the built-in FC-AL controller allows the server to be connected to external storage arrays.

As with the UltraSPARC IV-based V490 we reviewed last year, the new Sun Fire server offers impressive serviceability features, including Suns RSC (Remote System Control). The RSC card allows IT managers to remotely access and monitor the Sun Fire system. IT managers also have the option to monitor servers using a command-line interface or a Java user interface.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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