RealTime IT News

Sun V480 System Gets a Speed Bump

Sun Microsystems Monday sped up one of its most successful servers, drilling deeper into the price/performance ratio war it is waging with Unix server rivals HP and Dell .

The Santa Clara, Calif. vendor's Sun Fire V480 server now has 22 percent more processing power than the last iteration of its four-processor machine, thanks to the company's UltraSPARC III 1.05 gigahertz chips. The V480 previously ran on UltraSPARC's 900 megahertz chips.

Powered by Sybase's IQ 12.5 database and its own Solaris 9 operating system, the entry-level machine serves applications for e-mail and Web hosting e-commerce, online transaction processing and online banking.

Warren Mootrey, director of marketing, volume systems products at Sun, said the Sun Fire V480 server outperformed Dell and HP by as much as 8 percent in recent TPC-H 100 GB benchmark tests. Specifically, the V480 server competes with Dell's PowerEdge 6650 and HP's DL580 G2 servers, which are powered by Intel's 2GHz Xeon MP chips.

Mootrey said Dell has shown signs of dropping out of the enterprise hardware market of late because it backed off a prior pledge to compete in the 8-way systems space with the rest of the pack. Mootrey said this proves Microsoft's Windows is not a viable operating system for high-end machines.

"This prevents Dell from looking like an enterprise player," Mootrey said. "They're at the shallow end of the pool." Sun, he said, plans to step in and pick up the slack going forward.

According to recent figures from market research firm IDC, Sun held 21 percent of the overall market share of four-way rack servers in the first quarter. HP lead with 33.4 percent, while Dell sat at 14.7 percent. IBM declined from 24.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2002 to 18 percent in the last quarter.

The Sun Fire v480 features two or four 1.05 GHz UltraSPARC III processors, up to 32 GB of memory, two hot-plug FC-AL disks, two hot-swappable (N+1) power supplies, dual integrated 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet, 6 PCI slots, and Remote System Control in a 5RU, 24-inch deep, rack-optimized chassis.

Available now, the Sun Fire V480 starts at $19,995 for two 1.05 GHz CPUs and 4GB of memory. The 4-way machine with 8GB of memory starts at $34,995 while the 4-way, 16GB memory server begins at $42,995. The system is complementary to the Sun StorEdge 3510 Fibre Channel and 3310 SCSI arrays.