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Sun Announces Niagara 2 Servers

Sun Microsystems today announced the first servers to utilize its new UltraSPARC T2 processor, also known as Niagara 2.

The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120/T5220 servers will be the first rack mount systems to use the T2 processor, which features eight cores and supports eight threads per core. And the 5120 is a 1U unit with 64GB of memory, a single processor and room for four hot-pluggable disk drives.

The 5220 is a 2U unit with a single processor, 64GB of memory and room for eight hot-pluggable drives. Both machines can run either a 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz processor. They are designed to run the Solaris operating system and feature Sun's Solaris Containers and Logical Domains (LDoms) for enabling virtualization.

The Sun Blade T6320 module is a single wide blade design that fits into an existing Sun blade chassis, so it can be mixed and matched with x86 blades running Solaris, Windows or Linux. It runs the 1.2GHz and 1.4GHz processors, supports 64GB of memory and four drives.

"Today's product announcements will double up the performance of our existing product line," Warren Mootrey, senior director of volume SPARC systems at Sun, told InternetNews.com.

With eight times the floating point performance of the Niagara 1, Sun sees new opportunities for the Niagara 2. "What this has allowed us to do is expand it to new markets, like financial where they do heavy floating point. We really couldn't do it with the prior chipset," he said.

Sun is also introducing Sun Management Center 4.0, an update to its network monitoring and management software for SPARC and x64 systems running Solaris and Linux. It features a common interface called ILOM, or Integrated Lights Out Management, to performance automated checks on performance, function and security.

With Solaris Containers and LDoms in Solaris, Sun is making a renewed push to be a player in the virtualization market. Mootrey said expect more announcements around virtualization shortly.

"Everyone has a virtualization story, but I believe Sun has a stronger story and it's free. We're bundling this up and letting people do what they need to do," he said.