Sun Ups Performance for Netra X1

Sun Microsystems Monday upped the performance specs for the Netra X1, its entry-level, single-processor, rack-mounted server, while leaving the $995 price tag intact.

Processor speed has been increased 25 percent from 400 MHz to 500 Mhz; memory and drive capacity doubled from 1 GB to 2 GB and 40 GB to 80 GB, respectively; and drive speed was upped 30 percent from 5400 RPM to 7200 RPM.

The Netra series, initially released back in January, is Sun’s product line of thin, rackable servers aimed at data centers, service providers, and telcos. The servers are designed to scale horizontally and load balance but lack redundancy components.

The Netra X1 features a rack-mountable 1 RU to enable easy racking and stacking, Solaris 8 preinstalled, a server footprint 17 inches wide by 13 inches deep, front and back LEDs, a removable system configuration card, space for system label, and cable management hardware.

The Netra X1 server also ships with the complete Solaris 8 Operating Environment and Lights Out Management. The new server configuration supports the Solaris
Network Cache Accelerator socket.

At $995 the Netra X1 is the least-expensive RISC server on the market, David Aronica, product manager for the Netra X1 told ServerWatch, citing comparable offerings and similarly configured systems from IBM and Compaq as his benchmark.

He describes the product as being virtually a “plug and play server solution,” as it should take customers about 20 minutes to get the product up and running.

Despite the power boost, Aronica emphasizes that this is not a new release. Enterprises that already have at least one Netra X1 can rack the server with the enhanced version. The processors themselves, however, cannot be moved around.

Thus far, Netra X1 customers have been primarily enterprises in the education market, brokerage houses and other firms looking to set up an online presence, and dot.coms, according to Aronica.

Sun’s Netra X1 thin server is available directly from Sun or through the vendor’s worldwide sales channels. The system comes configured with an UltraSPARC IIe 500MHz processor, 128 MB of memory (with a 2 GB max), 1 to 40 GB hard drive (with 2 drives maximum), and Solaris 8 and LOM management software.

Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site, ServerWatch.

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