Sun Fire set to blaze into midframe market

One of the few IT companies to meet first quarter expectations, and with these results behind them, Sun has set its sights on the future. In Singapore today, they unveiled their new line of Sun Fire servers.

One of the few IT companies to meet first quarter expectations, and with these results behind them, Sun has set its sights on the future. In Singapore today, it unveiled its new line of Sun Fire servers, all based on the new UltraSPARC III processors.

Sun hopes that these four new midframe servers - powered by up to 24 new UltraSPARC III processors and eight years of experience in Solaris 8 - will be able to improve its current standing at the midrange markets. The Sun Fire 6800, with 24 processors, 192 GB of RAM and 4 domains, is designed to take on the mainframes from IBM.

Besides the new UltraSPARC III processors, the Sun Fire servers also include fault isolated domains to prevent across the board failures in a system as well as the ability to mix different processors of different speeds in the same machine.

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When asked about the glitch earlier reported to affect floating point calculations in the UltraSPARC III processors, Anant Agrawal, vice president & general manager of Networking and Security Business Unit at Sun, replied that the software patch provided fixed this and that Sun had also fixed the performance degradation caused by the patch. He also added that all new units installed with UltraSPARC III processors had been fixed of all problems.

With many in the IT industry facing difficulties and the overall level of IT spending by companies falling, Sun believes that the new Sun Fire range of servers will only help to consolidate its position as one of the leading server providers in the world. Sun is also proud of the fact that its servers run on the same platform rather than the ‘hodge-podge’ supplied by its competitors. Agrawal called this Sun's singular focus at delivering capable machines that are available today.

To support these new servers, Sun also unveiled a new range of services. According to Keith Milan, director, Marketing & Business Development, “Our (Sun’s) focus is on system availability through quality in everything we do.” To bring this to their customers, Sun revealed some new availability services for real time access.

Probably, the feature they are proudest of is the Sun RAS Profile. Standing for Reliability, Availability and Scalability, Sun can identify potential problems in a customers existing system and provides a detailed analysis as well as possible solutions and an action plan. Sun hopes to be able to uncover hardware and software issues that could result in system downtime before it arises, a feature commonly available on big iron mainframes.

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