By Amy Newman
Sun Microsystems Tuesday unleashed more UltraSPARC arsenal in an attempt to lure potential customers away from the Wintel space with the release of the Sun Fire V480, the latest addition to the Sun Fire line, and a new, souped up V880.
The Sun Fire V480 provides 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors in a rack-optimized compact design. Described by Sun as an entry-level server, the V480 is being positioned within Sun's high-volume entry-level Sun Fire family, between the Sun Fire 280R and the V880 servers. The new server provides a rack-optimized, high-performance system in the 4-way server space.
The V480 comes in a 5 RU, 24-inch deep rack-optimized chassis that contains a DVD ROM drive, two hot-swap (N+1) power supplies, two hot-plug Fibre Channel disks (36 GB), integrated dual 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet, RSC, and six PCI slots. It supports up to 32 GB of memory.
The server also features front and back LEDs, automatic system recovery, and Remote System Control for monitoring and reporting system and component status.
Rich Partridge, VP Enterprise Servers, D.H. Brown Associates described the V480 as "a strong product offering, noting "The Sun Fire V880 has been well received in the very competitive Wintel marketplace. With the large memory capacity and attractive pricing of the Sun Fire V480, Sun is well-positioned to continue its success in the entry-level server market, serving the needs of enterprise businesses."
Sun is pitting the V480 against comparable Wintel offerings, citing various benchmarks and price points. For example, the Sun Fire Plane Interconnect provides 9.6 GB per second throughput, which the vendor claims is three times faster than Wintel systems on the market today. Sun also claims a new performance record for a 4-way server on the SPECweb99_SSL benchmark for the V480 server. The server is able to support 568 conforming connections. Sun also notes that the V480 server's 8 MB of CPU cache is more than six times the capacity available on Wintel systems.
According to Warren Mootrey, director of marketing for Sun's Volume Systems Group, the V480's 2,995 starting price tag is several thousand less than that of similar Wintel offerings from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, or IBM, the leading players in the Wintel space.
The standard V480 server base configuration is being sold with two 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors, 4 GB of memory, and two 36 GB Fibre Channel disks.
Sun also released a storage bundle on Tuesday. The package consists of the Sun Fire V480 server base configuration and a Sun StorEdge T3 Array with nine 36 GB Fibre Channel disks. The storage bundle is priced starting at at 4,595.
Sun also unveiled the new and improved Sun Fire V880. The V880 now features up to eight 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors and 64 GB of memory. The new model is priced starting at 4,995 and has two processors and six drives.