Sun, Fujitsu Unveil Enhanced SPARC M3000 Server

The upgraded SPARC M3000 system from Sun and Fujitsu, an entry-level server with the RAS features of mid-range and high-end servers, offers 23 percent greater performance than the previous version, thanks in large part to the new quad-core 2.7GHz SPARC64 chip. Sun and Fujitsu officials are pushing the enhanced M3000 as a consolidation tool, enabling businesses to reduce their space, energy and cooling costs in the data center.

Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are rolling out an enhanced entry-level M3000 server that officials say can be used to consolidate multiple low-end systems to save money and space.

The upgraded M3000, announced Jan. 12, is a single-socket system now powered by the new quad-core 2.7GHz SPARC64 VII processor. The new chip not only has a higher frequency than its predecessor, but combined with its faster system memory offers up to 23 percent better performance, according to the companies.

Officials with both Sun and Fujitsu said the 2U (3.5-inch) server has many of the same mission-critical qualities as the mid-range and high-end SPARC64 enterprise systems, including mainframe-class reliability and availability.

The rack-mount server, first introduced in 2008, can run such enterprise workloads as database, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) applications, while the consolidation capabilities it offers helps businesses save on data center space, energy use and cooling costs. It improves the ratio of energy consumption to application throughput by 13 percent over the previous M3000 system.

"SPARC Enterprise M3000 is the best suited entry-level server for all-around system use," Noriyuki Toyoki, Fujitsu corporate vice president, said in a statement. "It offers performance and RAS [reliability, availability and serviceability] features suited for mission-critical systems in a green form factor, compact and power-efficient."

Oracle officials touted the systems capabilities in running their latest Oracle Database software.

"We performed extensive testing of Oracle Database 11g Release2 on Enterprise M3000 servers running Solaris 10, Andy Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies at Oracle, said in a statement.

Oracle is in the process of buying Sun for $7.4 billion. The software giant is awaiting the final OK from the European Commission after regulators there expressed concern over the deal, which would give Oracle control of MySQL database technology.

Oracle officials, who made some concessions in hopes of easing the regulators' worries, have said they hope to complete the deal this month.

A key question raised by analysts and customers when Oracle announced the deal last year was about the fate of Sun's hardware business, which had been struggling for years against such rivals as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell.

However, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and other executives have said that they not only intend to keep Sun's hardware business, but to invest more money than Sun had in SPARC development.

Ellison said in December that once Sun is bought, Oracle will focus the server business on the high-end of the market, ceding the high-volume, low-margin space to the likes of HP and Dell.