Sun Microsystems has introduced its first virtualization-enabled servers based on its new eight-core UltraSparc T2 processor, which is codenamed "Niagara 2." The three new systems are designed to run the latest iteration of Sun Solaris.
From back office and database applications to Web services and virtualization projects, Sun's latest product releases promise to boost system and power consumption efficiencies in enterprise applications by delivering the equivalent computing power of 64 individual systems on a single server or blade.
Sun Executive VP John Fowler predicted that the company's latest server offerings "will completely change the economics" of application deployment. "Good design is about creating an experience and solving technological challenges in efficient and cost effective ways, not just in a single line of servers, but across platforms," Fowler said.
Targeting Web Infrastructure
The single-rack, four-drive T5120 and double-rack, eight-drive T5220 are squarely targeted at I.T. managers looking to build out the large-scale Web infrastructures required for delivering Web services to millions of online customers.
The new server modules "can run the thousands of commercial and open-source applications that are important to our customers," said Fujitsu corporate senior vice president Tatsuo Tomita. "The 'eco-friendliness' of the Sparc Enterprise T5120 and T5220 is an extra benefit to our customers in terms of lowering their environmental costs."
Sun maintains that the two server modules are capable of serving over four times the number of users in just 25 percent of the space and at nearly one-fourth the cost of Unix/RISC-based servers. Performance per watt is also boosted by a factor of six in comparison with rival offerings, the company said.
The T5120 and T5220 are the first Sun servers to integrate 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology and I/O directly on the chip. In addition, the new modules ship with native on-chip support for 10 of the most common cryptographic ciphers. Sun said this encryption function is capable of delivering up to 20 times more cryptographic operations per second over competitive x86 processors, or 17 times more operations per second than today's dedicated cryptographic accelerator cards.
The onboard virtualization technologies on the new servers are designed to reduce the administration costs of I.T. departments by achieving better resource use when many applications are deployed on a single server, Sun said. In addiition, Sun's multithreaded modules integrate 64 processor threads per processor with Solaris containers and logical domains.
The software-based Solaris containers are virtual "shells" that enjoy a high degree of isolation from other applications running on Solaris, while Sun's logical domains enable each logical server's operating system, data, and applications to be partitioned and run independently of the others, but still share the processing and storage resources of the server.
Designed for data centers and back offices running CRM and ERP applications, the new blade module can be mixed and matched with other architectures and operating systems within the same chassis, allowing I.T. shops to address their multitier application requirements.
The new Sparc Enterprise T5120 and T5220 servers are available now from both Sun
and Fujitsu at list prices that start at $13,995.