Sun's 4-chip CMT system raises the bar
By allanp on Oct 13, 2008
Sun today announced the 4-chip variant of its UltraSPARC T2 Plus system, the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440. This new system is the big brother of the 2-chip Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 and T5240 systems released in April 2008. Each UltraSPARC T2 Plus chip offers 8 hardware strands in each of 8 cores. With up to four UltraSPARC T2 Plus chips delivering a total of 32 cores and 256 hardware threads and up to 512Gbytes of memory in a compact 4U package, the T5440 raises the bar for server performance, price-performance, energy efficiency, and compactness. And with Logical Domains (LDoms) and Solaris Containers, the potential for server consolidation is compelling.
Standard configurations of the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 include 2- and 4-chip systems at 1.2 GHz, and a 4-chip system at 1.4 GHz. All of these configurations come with 8 cores per chip.
The blogs posted today by various Sun engineers offer a broad perspective on the new system. The system design, the various hardware subsystems, the performance characteristics, the application experiences - it's all here! And if you'd like some background on how we arrived at this point, check out the earlier UltraSPARC T2 blogs (CMT Comes of Age) and the first release of the UltraSPARC T2 Plus (Sun's CMT goes multi-chip).
Let's see what the engineers have to say (and more will be posted throughout the day):
- The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server and technology. Denis Sheahan introduces us to the architecture of the T5440 and the architecture of the Zambezi coherence plane hub. Tim Cook gets us thinking about meaningful ways of measuring performance with his The Seduction of Single-Threaded Performance blog. Scott Davenport explains how the Fault Management Architecture features have been extended for the T5440, and Richard Elling outlines the ongoing Evolution of Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability (RAS) in the new system. Marc Hamilton ponders the economic implications of the new server in the New World Economics. And Josh Simons muses on The Death of Clock Speed.
- I/O Performance. Peter Yakutis outlines the PCI-E I/O Performance of the T5440, and then offers insights into T5440 PCI-E Reconfiguration.
- Network Performance. Amitabha Banerjee gives us the lowdown on T5440 Network Performance.
- Virtualization. Eric Sharakan tells us about Logical Domains (LDoms) on the T5440 and points us to a new LDoms Community Cookbook. Pallab Bhattacharya digs deep and shares details of using LDoms on the T5440 and then explains the subtleties of Creating IO Domains on the T5440. In fact these blogs are just the latest in a series from Pallab. If you've always wanted to understand virtualization and haven't been able to find the time or a straightforward explanation, take a look at the other 3 blogs in the series: Server Virtualization Concepts, Techniques, and LDoms.
- Solaris features. Steve Sistare explores Solaris features for the T5440 and explains why the new system scales so well.
- Application Performance. Giri Mandalika shows us what can be achieved running Siebel on the T5440, and also offers Siebel best practices on the T5440. Yun Chew reveals the excellent throughput and scalability achieved with SugarCRM and MySQL using Logical Domains on the T5440. Dileep Kumar shares the results of running the WebSphere Application Server on the T5440. Kevin Kelly reveals details of the World Record SPECjAppServer2004 result based on Oracle WebLogic 10.3 Application Server. Brian Whitney brings us Stream Benchmark results on the T5440. Russ Brown reports breakaway performance compared to the IBM Cell Broadband Engine with string searching on the T5440.
- Database Performance. Cherry Shu offers tips on running IBM DB2 UDB optimally on the T5440. Note that the results referenced below by bmseer were based on the Oracle Database: the SPECjAppServer2004 result used the Oracle 11g database, and both the Siebel benchmark and the SAP-SD result used an Oracle 10g database. The SugarCRM result referred to above used MySQL 5.0.67.
- World Record Benchmarks. Once again, the mysterious bmseer delivers the goods with some World Record Benchmark results on the new server, including noteworthy results with SAP-SD, Siebel, and SPECjAppServer2004.
- Sizing. I've posted a blog on Sizing a T5440 Server.
For more information on the new Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, check out this web page.