Sun Extends Its Opteron Line

Sun plans to add a four-way server and two workstations to its Opteron-based server line.

Sun Microsystems Inc. this week will grow its Opteron-based server line by adding a four-way system and two workstations, the latest in Suns makeover of its server lines.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company will roll out the Sun Fire V40z system and the workstations—the single-processor W1100z and the dual-processor W2100z—as it continues development of a blade server and eight-way system based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit Opteron chip, said John Fowler, executive vice president of Suns Network Systems Group.

Sun released its first Opteron system, the two-way V20z, in February, the first of a three-phase plan for the Opteron, officials said. The first phase—a quick systems rollout to establish Sun in the $5.3 billion worldwide x86 server space—includes the V40z, W1100z and W2100z systems. Fowler said these systems, which run Solaris x86, Windows and Linux, combine Sun technology and best-of-breed components. The V40z will offer up to 32GB of memory, dual redundant power supplies and hard drive capacities of up to 143GB.

The second phase will build more Sun technology into the servers, such as redundant power supplies in 1U (1.75-inch) systems, and improve in-rack serviceability, officials said. The release of Solaris 10 will include such features as larger file sizes, virtual containers and virtual domains.

Sun plans to improve the service processor, which is a small computer on the motherboard that runs such jobs as diagnostics and boot management, Fowler said. These enhancements, which will come in the third generation of the systems, will offer better security, management and configuration capabilities, officials said.

Keyhole Corp., an application service provider that handles large amounts of streaming data, is looking to standardize on the Sun/Opteron platform running Linux and recommends Opteron systems to its customers, said John Hanke, CEO of the Mountain View, Calif., company. "I had a positive experience with SPARC systems in a previous company," Hanke said. "My feeling was, if Sun built it, it is a quality product."

Sun officials last week said that server shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter grew 46 percent from the previous year and that x86 server shipments jumped 115 percent from the previous quarter.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here for more on Suns Q4 numbers.

"The company seems to be shedding some of its evangelical deadwood," said Charles King, an analyst with Sageza Group Inc., in Union City, Calif. "In the years leading up to the [dot-com] bust, Suns mantra was SPARC/ Solaris über alles. In the past six to nine months, the company has done what it needs to retool."

/zimages/4/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.