Sun Microsystems is planning to update its line of telecommunications hardware by adding the companys recently released eight-core Niagara 2 processor, as well as chips from Advanced Micro Devices, to the portfolio.
The updated ATCA (Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture) portfolio will include two new blades—the Netra CP3260, which will use the UltraSPARC T2 processors, and the Netra CP3220, which will be powered by dual-core AMD Opteron chips. Sun also announced Nov. 13 that it will add a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch to the portfolio.
For Sun, telecom remains an essential part of its business as the company tries to build on the financial growth it has experienced in the last two years since CEO Jonathan Schwartz took the helm. Between 2006 and 2007, Suns telecommunication business has grown about 38 percent, and the company has recorded six quarters of financial growth, said Mark Butler, product line director of Suns Netra Systems.
Part of that success can be traced back the continued growth of cellular and broadband networks in North America and around the globe. With more users, telecom companies are looking to strengthen their infrastructures to deliver reliable services and to meet demand. Butler said that when WiMax becomes more broadly available, the new broadband service will add the demands of telecom data centers.
"There has been a tremendous amount of growth with both cellular mobile networks and fixed broadband markets, and Sun is in a good position to deliver new products into the telecom market," Butler said. "Weve had a number of early customers already looking at these new products, and we expect to roll out a lot more infrastructure products for the rest of the year and into 2008."
With the processing horsepower of the eight-core Niagara processors and the virtualization features in Suns Solaris 10 operating system, Butler said customers will be able to use the new blades to put older telecom applications onto fewer of the new systems, which will help in consolidation projects.
To help with consolidation, Sun will introduce the Unified Network Platform, a suite of hardware, networking and software that will help in consolidating older telecom infrastructure onto newer equipment.
The two new blades will also feature eight DIMM (dual in-line memory module) slots that can support up to 32GB of RAM. The system will also offer dual SAS (Serial-Attached SCSI) hard disk drives and will offer NEBS (Network Equipment Building Standard) Level 3 certification. This standard is designed to deal with the more rugged environments found in the telecom industry, as opposed to the conditions found in a typical enterprise data center.
The blades and the network platform will be available in December.