Sun's 4-chip CMT system raises the bar

Find out about Sun's new 4-chip UltraSPARC T2 Plus system direct from the source: Sun's engineers.

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):

For more information on the new Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, check out this web page.

Comments:

Very exciting stuff! Browsing the available Sun systems shows only rack mount servers available. For the home/hobby hacker, what is the easiest way to buy a workstation or rent access to machines built on the T2 or T2+? Such a box seems like the most practical way to get experience on large scale parallelism on real hardware.

What's the best alternative system in terms of hacking on apps that scale to such large thread level parallelism? I guess there would not be sufficient volume for Sun in a workstation or 'mac mini' style server for home hackers to use for learning and software development? (Assuming it wouldn't be too crippled in terms of disk io etc).

Posted by no thanks on October 13, 2008 at 05:00 AM PDT #

The T5440 is being offered on our 'Try and Buy' programme, you can play with the server for 60 days at no cost...

Peter

Posted by Peter A. Wilson on October 13, 2008 at 05:14 AM PDT #

Thanks Peter - though part of my problem is that I can't put a test box like that in my employer's data center. And, no matter how well engineered, I think my wife would veto putting it on our kitchen table ;-)

The ideal for me, as a lowly hacker, would be an amazon ec2 style access program where I pay by the hour for access to some slice of such a box.

Posted by no thanks on October 13, 2008 at 05:25 AM PDT #

Please contact me (ram.kunda@sun.com) if you would like to have free remote access to the systems to play with.

Posted by Ram Kunda on October 13, 2008 at 07:36 PM PDT #

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I'm a Principal Engineer in the Performance Technologies group at Sun. My current role is team lead for the MySQL Performance & Scalability Project.

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