John Fowler, executive vice president of Sun Microsystems' systems group, shows the company's new Sun Blade 8000 server chassis at a launch event Tuesday in San Francisco. The system can accommodate as many as 10 four-processor blade servers.
Fowler removes a communications module from the back of the new Sun Blade 8000 server. All the server's components are hot-swappable, meaning that they can be removed or replaced without shutting the machine down.
The Sun Blade 8000, code-named Andromeda, is 33.25-inch-tall blade server chassis that accommodates as many as 10 four-processor blade servers. It accepts Opteron blades now, and later it will accommodate blades with two models of Sun's Sparc processors: the lower-end Niagara II and the higher-end Rock. Sun plans smaller blade-server chassis models in coming months.
Andy Bechtolsheim, a Sun cofounder and top designer of its x86-based server line, discusses Sun's new X4500 "Thumper" storage-server hybrid with Fowler. The system, called StreamServe when it was under development at Bechtolsheim's start-up, Kealiea, was originally intended as a media server. Sun canceled the system after acquiring Kealia in 2004, but Fowler resurrected the design, which accommodates 48 hard drives and 500 terabytes of capacity.
The Sun Fire X4500, code-named Thumper, has dual Opteron processors and accommodates as many as 48 hard drives, for a total storage capacity of 24 terabytes.
Sun Chief Executive Jonathan Schwartz makes the case that general-purpose servers, such as the array of Sun "Galaxy" models behind him, are ultimately more cost-effective than special-purpose models.
The Sun Fire X4600, code-named Galaxy4, accommodates as many as eight of AMD's Opteron processors. It's designed to support not just today's dual-core chips, but quad-core Opterons due in 2007.