Sun Microsystems may have embraced the Xeon and Opteron processors, but that doesn't mean it's ignoring its commitment to its UltraSPARC line of processors.
On Tuesday, the systems vendor and its long-time partner Fujitsu unveiled a limited line-up of servers running Solaris on UltraSparc chips.
The two companies have jointly developed a series of new midrange and high-end servers built on a new SPARC64 VI processor, developed by Fujitsu and based on Sun's SPARC architecture.
The SPARC64 VI is a dual-core and dual-threaded version of the SPARC64 V, so performance is considerably faster due to the extra processing power.
The midrange systems are dubbed M4000 and M5000, while the high-end systems are M8000 and M9000. They will range from 2 to 64 processors, 16GB to 2TB of memory and from five to 288 PCI-Express slots. The machines can be configured in up to 24 separate partitions for server virtualization, with the ability to move resources around the system to maximize efficiency.
These new servers will run only Solaris 10, whereas previous servers from the two companies ran Solaris 8 and 9 as well. Sun is promising 100 percent Solaris binary compatibility with existing applications written for all versions of Solaris.
"This particular project is the culmination of three years of cooperative development between our two teams and the first one done at the system level to encompass all aspects of the system," said Bob McGaughey, director of enterprise servers in the Systems Marketing Group at Sun, on a conference call with journalists.
The new systems will provide a 50 percent performance improvement in mixed workloads over older systems, said McGaughey. "These systems are designed to solve the world's heaviest workload problems and bring mainframe reliability at open systems prices," he said.
The servers are available now, but they won't be cheap. The M4000/M5000 will run anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, while the M8000/M9000 line will start at $200,000 and scale to several millions of dollars, said McGaughey.
Sun and Fujitsu will sell their own branded products with identical hardware but will feature different service offerings.
Not to leave the smaller businesses out, Sun also announced a pair of rebranded entry-level servers based on its UltraSPARC T1 "Niagara" processor, which have eight cores, each able to handle four threads at a time, and 64GB of memory.
The T1000 and T2000 models carry the Sun, Fujitsu and Fujitsu/Siemens brand names.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.