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Sun preps several servers

Feb 04, 20032 mins

* Sun expected to unveil range of servers next week

Sun is expected to announce next week in San Francisco several new server products.

Observers say the company will announce its first server blade, a new version of its v Series server and enhancements to the Sun Fire 12K and 15K servers.

The company is the last of the major systems vendors to introduce server blades, but the first to use UltraSPARC processors on the blades. Other vendors – such as IBM, RLX Technologies and HP – have based their blades on Intel processors.

Few details are known about Sun’s Sun Blade 16000s, other than that they are single-processor blades and fit 16 blades in a rack-mount enclosure. Sources say that Sun’s blades are designed for use by Internet and application service providers and the telecommunications industry, where space is expensive, cabling must be simplified and servers must be repurposed on the fly.

Sources expect that the company’s uni-processor blades will be deployed as hosts for edge, load-balancing and caching applications and as front-end relay servers in Tier 1 of the Internet infrastructure. The blades will run the Solaris operating system and are expected to have Gigabit Ethernet connections. They will also support network-attached storage. In the future, Sun is expected to add InfiniBand support for clustering and connection to external network and storage gear.

Sun is also expected to launch the Sun Fire v1280, a server that sources say is designed primarily for remote offices, workgroups and departments within enterprise-size businesses.

The v1280 has two to 12 UltraSPARC III processors running at 900 MHz and is the largest of Sun’s line of v Series servers. It has some of the same capabilities as Sun’s higher-end Sun Fire 12K and 15K systems, including dynamic partitioning and reconfiguration of systems resources. These technologies let IT managers run multiple applications on a server processor in protected partitions and automatically balance the memory, bandwidth and number of processors to accommodate tasks.

Sun is expected to announce performance enhancements to the Sun Fire 12K and 15K servers.

Sun declined to comment on its announcements. Pricing and availability of the new servers is not known.

CORRECTION: In a recent newsletter, we reported incorrect information about HP’s blade servers. The BL40p uses an Intel Xeon MP Gallatin processor, operating at 1.5 MHz or 2.0 MHz. The next-generation BL20p uses the Intel Xeon DP Prestonia processor and the updated BL10e uses a Pentium III running at 900 MHz.