Sun Microsystems is expanding its portfolio of blade servers to include new systems that take advantage of the company's own UltraSPARC T2 Plus processor along with Advanced Micro Devices' quad-core Opteron chip.
In addition to the AMD and UltraSPARC systems the company introduced Oct. 21, Sun unveiled a storage blade-the Sun Blade 6000-that offers up to 1.2TB of data storage and utilizes the company's own Solaris ZFS software, Sun's filing system for its operating system. While this storage blade will initially support SAS (serial-attached SCSI) drives, Sun will add support for SATA (serial ATA) drives and SSDs (solid-state drives) later.
During the past month, Sun has rolled out several new servers that take advantage of its UltraSPARC T2 Plus processor-formerly called Victoria Falls-which the company created for multisocket systems. On Oct. 13, Sun and Fujitsu jointly announced the SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, which uses this UltraSPARC processor.
The announcement also comes at a time when Sun is watching its overall sales decrease as the financial crisis looms over the IT sector. Financial services are an important part of Sun's business, and less IT spending on Wall Street is bound to impact the company's bottom line. On Oct. 20, the company announced that it expected to post a loss of 25 to 35 cents a share when it releases its full financial report on Oct. 30. Still, while the company has watched its sales of high-end systems slip as IBM and Hewlett-Packard increase the competition, sales of its UltraSPARC-based machines and systems that use Intel and AMD chips have helped Sun's bottom line.
The new Sun servers include:
The Sun Blade T6340, which can support two of Sun's UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors, which offer clock speeds of 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz, eight processing cores, along with 64 instructional threads with each chip. This blade also support 32 DIMM (dual in-line memory modules) and up to 256GB of main system memory. The blade will sell for a starting price of $14,955.
The Sun Blade X6240, which supports two quad-core AMD Opteron 2300 processors and can be refitted to support AMD's upcoming 45-nanometer chip called "Shanghai." This blade also supports up to 16 DIMM slots and can be outfitted to support 32GB or 64GB of main system memory. This system will sell for $2,610.
The Sun Blade 6000 Disk Module, which is Sun's blade storage offering. For now, the blade supports up to eight SAS drives and will store 1.2TB of data. Sun will later add support for SSDs and SATA drives. The storage blade starts at $1,595.
The Sun Netra CP3520 ATCA blade, which is part of Sun's a carrier-grade blade server portfolio. Sun chose to include a quad-core Intel Xeon L5408 processor (2.13GHz) with this two-socket system. This blade supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet and up to 24GB of main memory. The system has a starting price of $6,995.