Sun Microsystems debuts Open Network Systems products for advanced data center computing

April 14, 2009
April 14, 2009 -- Sun Microsystems has launched new products and technologies aimed to deliver "huge gains in application performance, with massive efficiency and scalability, to maximize the economics of computing for data centers and clouds." Unveiled at the company's North American Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Sun's roll-out of new offerings spans the data center and includes a new blades architecture based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.

April 14, 2009 -- Targeting the market convergence of open computing, networking, software and storage systems, Sun Microsystems has launched new products and technologies in its Open Network Systems strategy aimed to deliver "huge gains in application performance, with massive efficiency and scalability, to maximize the economics of computing for data centers and clouds." Unveiled at the company's North American Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Sun's roll-out of new offerings spans the data center and includes a new advanced blades architecture, new networking technologies and seven new systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.

"Today's IT customer is looking for three things – speed, simplicity and savings. With Sun's Open Network Systems approach, we're combining our networking advancements, our system expertise, our core IP and our innovative designs to transform commodity components into new platforms with breakthrough application performance, efficiency and scale," saysJohn Fowler, executive vice president, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. "Our new x64 systems with integrated networking technologies, advanced thermal management, open software and Open Storage enhancements will give the data center an extreme makeover, boosting efficiency and maximizing IT investment."

The company contends that its Open Network Systems approach delivers speed, simplicity and savings by integrating Sun technologies, including: Flash-based solid state disks (SSDs) and Open Storage platforms for speed; integrated networking for simplicity; and advanced thermal management and the Solaris Operating System (OS) for savings.

Sun says that its new x64 systems deliver "breakthrough application performance" for virtualization, enterprise, web and HPC infrastructures. According to the company, the servers deliver maximum performance, efficiency and scale in the data center while supporting multiple operating systems like the Solaris OS, Linux and Windows, and a variety of virtualization solutions including Sun xVM Ops Center, VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Solaris Containers.

Sun's new x64 servers and blade systems powered by the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series are, according to the company:

For virtualization:

* Sun Fire X4270 server – A best value for consolidation and virtualization in a dense 2RU form factor for branch office and departmental settings as well as for horizontally scaled data center consolidation needs.

* Sun Blade X6270 server module – Provides up to 2x more I/O throughput than competing blade servers and provides an all-in-one virtualization solution, including server and network, when combined with the Sun Virtual Network Express Module (NEM).

For enterprise and Web:

* Sun Fire X4170 server – Delivers the performance of a 4U system in a compact 1U form factor with savings of up to 75 percent in rack space, while consuming 60 percent less energy at half the price of competing 4 socket, 4 RU systems.

* Sun Fire X2270 server – Offers 3x the performance at 66 percent the energy consumption of current generation systems. The most compact server in its class, the Sun Fire x2270 server delivers savings of up to 50 percent in data center real estate.

* Sun Fire X4275 server – An ideal server for the most demanding streaming multimedia applications, delivering 12TB of raw storage at less than $1/GB of storage, with significant space and energy savings.

* Sun Ultra 27 workstation – The only workstation in its class to support the NVIDIA FX5800, the Ultra 27 workstation offers virtually unmatched visualization performance in its class with up to 12GB of main memory and 4GB of graphics memory.

High Performance Computing:

* Sun Blade X6275 server module – The first blade server to support onboard quad data rate (QDR) InfiniBand for extreme performance and power efficiency for HPC applications. The Sun Blade X6275 server modules push the limits of performance, providing up to nine TeraFLOPS of peak performance in a fully populated Sun Blade 6048 chassis. Optional Sun Flash Modules provide 24GB of high performance, efficient and reliable storage per node.

Sun further claims to be the first vendor to deliver low-latency, high performance networking embedded in its new Sun Fire x64 servers and Sun Blades, leveraging integrated networking to help factor out cost and complexity. With Sun NEM technology for Sun Blade Modular Systems and servers, customers can dramatically reduce cost and complexity and simplify large scale blade server deployments into existing network fabrics.

Sun's integrated networking solutions include:

* Sun Blade 6000 Virtual Network Express Module (NEM) – A high-performance 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), zero management, rapid network virtualization provisioning network module that delivers nearly unprecedented cost per port, 10:1 reduced cabling and takes complexity out of the network infrastructure by eliminating a full switching layer.

* Sun Blade 6048 InfiniBand (IB) Quad Data Rate NEM (QNEM) – Industry leading solution for intense workloads with low latency and high throughput I/O requirements. Designed for the highly scalable Sun Blade 6048 Modular System and can easily scale from a single chassis to compute clusters with more than 5000 nodes.

* Sun Quad Data Rate IB and Host Channel Adaptors (QDR HCA) – Extends QDR functionality to blade and rack server compute nodes to provide the ultimate in price/performance.

Additionally with unified systems management via Sun's Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM), customers can simply and easily manage Sun blades and servers. Sun's ILOM also integrates simply and easily with leading System Management platforms such as Sun xVM Ops Center and other third party management and monitoring frameworks.

The new Sun Fire x64 products start at $1,488 U.S. list price.

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