Monday Oct 05, 2009

PC Pro: "X4170 undoubtedly delivers a choice specification in a well-built package"


PC Pro's Dave Mitchell recently published his review of the Sun Fire X4170, which he described as a rack server for the most demanding applications,” saying it “delivers a cracking specification,” giving the server's performance a 5 out of 6 star rating.

Dave noted that “the X4170 is well endowed in the storage department,” and also pointed to the SAS, SATA, and SSD variants available. He stated that this storage potential puts the X4170 “on a par with HP's ProLiant DL360 G6,” and said it is better than “the A-listed Dell Power Edge R610.” Dave also noted that “plenty of array options are on offer,” including RAID 6 and 60.
He highlighted the fact that “the X4170 has room to expand,” and credited Sun with being the first to embed four Gigabit ports into rack servers, saying Sun set the trend now emulated by the PowerEdge R610.” He also pointed out that the X4170 can be remotely managed with Sun's embedded ILOM chip, which uses a Fast Ethernet port and provides full KVM over IP services, “allowing the server to be controlled regardless of its condition – so as long as you have power you have access.”

Dave concluded by saying: The X4170 undoubtedly delivers a choice specification in a well-built package.”

Tuesday Sep 01, 2009

eWEEK: X4170 is a "compelling offering for data center IT managers"


eWEEK's Cameron Sturdevant recently reviewed the Sun Fire X4170 server, which he described as "a compelling offering for data center IT managers." Cameron noted that the X4170 packs “copious amounts of computer power, local storage, network bandwidth, and PCIe expansion capability into a neatly engineered, 1U footprint.”

Using eWEEK Labs' VMware vSphere 4 as a test environment, Cameron reported “the X4170 ably functioned as a virtualization host.” He highlighted X4170's carefully crafted compartmentalization and fan architecture that expels air through the top rear of the unit, thereby saving space for connectors and expansion cards on the back side.
Cameron also pointed to the flexibility offered through the X4170's smart configuration, including the three PCIe 2.0 slots and dual hot-swappable power supplies, while noting that the top lid is articulated to enable access to the fan trays without exposing the processors and memory. He also highlighted the ILOM 3.0, which he noted can be configured to be accessed via the standard network interfaces.

Cameron noted that the X4170 is a part of a family of performance- and capacity-oriented servers, and recommended it to organizations already invested in the Sun platform that need “a reliable, easy-to-service rack-mount production server for virtualization or for applications such as e-mail and file/print."

Thursday Aug 20, 2009

InfoWorld Bullish on Sun's Nehalem Servers



Sun Fire X2270 Server
Sun Fire X2270 Server

Sun Fire X4270 Server
Sun Fire X4270 Server

InfoWorld's Paul Venezia published a glowing review of the Sun Fire X2270 and Sun Fire X4270 servers, which he described as "the fastest x64 servers Sun has ever produced." The Sun Fire X2270 received an overall rating of an 8.2 (out of 10), and the Sun Fire X4270 received an 8.8, which classified both servers as “very good” on the InfoWorld scorecard.

Paul tested each server on his baseline VMware test application and in the lab, "the X2270 moved like a much more expensive system." He performed two test runs with the X2270: one with the vApp running first on a single 500GB SATA drive, and another with the VMs housed on an NFS share to a SAS array run from an Adaptec Snap Server 650. He reported "the difference was noticeable and resulted in a performance increase of around 15 percent," and concluded saying "there's a lot of power in this little package."

Paul described the X4270 as "the best of both worlds, offering the 2U form factor that adds significant expansion opportunities and a wealth of local disk options." He reported that the X4270 "performs extremely well in the VMware tests," saying "it has power and expansion to spare." He highlighted the many features of the X4270 to include the expansion bus and CompactFlash slot which lead him to declare "there's little that this box can't handle."

All in all, Paul concluded by saying "both models are impressive entries into the Nehalem-based server market." He said these solid server platforms that successfully leverage the power of the Nehalem architecture "should find a home just about anywhere."

Wednesday Aug 19, 2009

IT Pro: X4275 puts forward a strong proposition as a storage server



IT PRO's Dave Mitchell published an exclusive review of the Sun Fire X4275 server which he described as having "a sharp focus on storage hungry applications such as multimedia, data warehousing and video surveillance."

Dave took a close look at the server's build and said the X4275 has a "very tidy interior that is designed to make the most of the internal real estate." He also noted "Sun has the virtualization angle covered" with the motherboard offering an internal USB port and a CompactFlash card slot for booting an embedded hypervisor. He pointed out that "the X4275 certainly has room to grow with demand," highlighting the three riser cards in the back that offer a total of six PCI-Express 2.0 slots.

Additionally, Dave noted "the X4275 doesn't go short in the network department as it has four embedded Gigabit ports." He also reported that the X4275 was "reasonably easy on the utility supply," when tested on an inline power meter, and pointed out that the server comes with 1050W hot-plug supplies included in the price.

Dave also called out the X4275's ILOM chip, and its secure web interface which provides a status report on all critical components and their condition. All in all, Dave was pleased with the build quality as well as the solid three-year on-site warranty. He concluded by saying: "The X4275 puts forward a strong proposition as a storage server as it has a high potential capacity and plenty of room to expand."

Sunday Jul 05, 2009

ZDNet Review: "X4275 is an excellent all-rounder"


ZDNet's Craig Simms evaluated Sun's newest 2RU Nehalem-based Sun Fire X4275 server, focusing his evaluation on the design, architecture and performance aspects of the unit he tested.

The reviewer began with a rundown of hardware design features and system specifications. Specifically, he called out the two Xeon E5540 "Gainestown" CPUs with four physical cores each.

"With a Hyperthreading-aware OS, though, it presents itself as capable of handling 16 threads, resulting in a task manager likely to create a bit of envy," he noted. Craig also highlighted the vast configuration, OS and service options available for the server.

Overall, Craig was quite pleased with the X4275. His verdict: "Sun Microsystem's Sun Fire X4275 is an excellent all-rounder that can be custom-specced to suit most small-to-medium-business needs. Whether you need to apply yourself with some dense storage or just need the compute power of 16 cores, its flexibility is commendable."
Sun Fire X4275 Server

Friday May 01, 2009

Sun Delivers Performance Boost to University of Central Florida


The University of Central Florida offers more than 220 degree programs to 50,000 students and is served by more than 5,000 faculty and staff who have relied on Sun servers, storage, software, and services for more than 10 years.

In 2007, UCF sought to increase the capability and scalability of its Oracle/PeopleSoft platform to meet growing computational and storage demands. This upgrade required a high-performance storage area network in addition to related system upgrades, all of which needed to be in place for the Fall 2008 semester to facilitate class scheduling and registration.
Sun Customer UCF
Logo Courtesy: UCF
UCF ultimately selected the Sun StorageTek 9990V system and said they chose it because it was "best of breed" in its product class for both performance and reliability. For its PeopleSoft application servers UCF chose eight Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 servers, and five Sun Fire T2000 servers.

UCF is pleased with the fast operation of the new solution, which offers a 10-fold improvement in overall performance. Robert Yanckello, Chief Technology Officer at UCF says "Even during peak loads of the semester's first week, when many students are adding and dropping classes, everything moved smoothly. The systems are simple to manage and use, and Sun has been easy to do business with."

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Apr 29, 2009

Sun Fire X2270 Server Review in IT Pro


Sun Fire X2270 Server

IT Pro's Dave Mitchell reviewed the Sun Fire X2270, the new Intel Xeon 5500 processor based server, giving it a four out of six star rating and noting Sun's support for the processor ahead of HP and IBM. Dave said, "Sun's new 1U rack server delivers a good specification for the price, which includes Intel's latest Xeon 5500 processors and a good helping of DDR3 memory."

Dave noted that the "X2270 targets a wide range of applications and projects such as HPC and web services," as well as "some other interesting storage possibilities for this server as the embedded ICH10R controller provides six SATA channels."

The secure web interface and remote server management were highlighted as positive features in the review, with Dave saying the interface was "easy to use and opens with a status report on all critical components and their status," and the remote management was called "up with the best as the X2270 comes with Sun's embedded ILOM (integrated lights out management)."

In conclusion, Dave's review was positive for overall value and it highlighted X2270 as a strong product offering ahead of HP and IBM.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

Now Available: Sun's Open Network Systems Powered by Nehalem


Today we announced the latest Open Network Systems from Sun.

John's perspective:

"Today's IT customer is looking for three things - speed, simplicity and savings. With Sun's Open Network Systems approach, we're integrating our networking advancements, our system expertise, and our core IP and innovative designs to transform commodity components into entirely new platforms with breakthrough application performance, efficiency and scale," said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. "Our new x64 systems with breakthrough networking technologies, advanced thermal management, open software stacks and Open Storage enhancements will give the datacenter an extreme makeover, revealing new efficiencies and maximizing IT investment."

Dimitrios Dovas, Director of Product Management, x64 Volume Systems, joined me to talk about Sun's latest Open Network Systems products powered by Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series (aka Nehalem). Listen to the short segment below for the highlights.

Sun Fire X4170 Server

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Customer of the week: Liverpool Direct Limited


Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) is helping transform the way citizens in Liverpool access public services. A public/private enterprise of its kind, LDL's vision is to offer "joined-up government" whereby everybody has access to new technology for communicating with Liverpool City Council and its Business Units. Among LDL's responsibilities are contact centers, benefits services, human resources and payroll, and revenue services.
Liverpool Direct Limited
The organization was aiming to increase computing power and capacity, reduce operational and management costs, cut power and cooling costs and increase space available for scaling hardware platform.

Sun Professional Services provided LDL with a turnkey solution that included a high-performance, cost-effective platform based on Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 servers running the Solaris 10 OS, Solaris Cluster, and Sun Interim Operations Management to ensure a successful adoption of the new technology.

"Liverpool Direct Limited couldn't deliver Solaris-based shared services without the Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series servers running the Solaris 10 OS," noted Frank Oakley, Solutions Architect, LDL. "The platform has reduced our costs and doubled processing performance."

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Apr 01, 2009

Sun Fire X4440 Server Gets PC Pro's Recommendation


Sun Fire X4440 Server
Sun Fire X4440 Server
As a follow up to his X4140 review last month, PC Pro's Dave Mitchell tested the larger X4440, similarly rating the unit 5 out of 6 stars and bestowing it the publications "Recommended" rating. Overall he stated, "The one and only 2U quad Opteron 8300 server on the market delivers a superb blend of features and value that's more than a match for the competition."

Dave provided a comprehensive look at the 2U Opteron-based system, with an emphasis on price, features, and architecture. "As we found with the X4140, Sun seems to offer that little bit more than everyone else. It matches the competition on storage and expansion potential, but steps out for network connections as the motherboard has four embedded Gigabit ports up for grabs," he noted.

Overall Dave is quite positive about the X4440 and concluded, "With the X4440, Sun has achieved the remarkable feat of squeezing four Opteron 8300 sockets into a low profile 2U chassis - something no other vendor has achieved. Even better is the fact that this is not at the cost of storage capacity, expansion potential or general features, as this server is more than a match for the larger 8300 equipped systems from Dell, HP and IBM."

Wednesday Mar 25, 2009

InformationWeek ReviewCam: Sun Cloud's Drag, Drop & Deploy Virtual Datacenter Designer


David Berlind of InformationWeek sat down with Sun's Cloud Computing CTO Lew Tucker at our CommunityOne East Developer Conference for a demonstration of Sun Cloud, specifically the Virtual Data Center (VDC) design and deployment tool.

David was impressed. He notes, "... You start picking up servers, switches, firewalls, etc., and you just drop them into the cloud... Perhaps Sun should call it 4D; Drag, Drop, Deploy, and (voila!) Datacenter (in Sun's Cloud that is)."

Check out David's 7 minute video of the Sun Cloud VDC for a full glimpse to the tool.
Sun Cloud

Wednesday Mar 04, 2009

PC Pro recommends Sun Fire X4140 Server in March 09 issue review


PC Pro's Dave Mitchell took a look at the Sun Fire X4140 server, giving the unit the publication's "Recommended" rating and five out of six stars.

Overall, Dave is very positive about the server noting, "The Sun Fire X4140 is one classy 1U rack server that has more of everything than the competition and is very competitively priced."

The reviewer noted that the X4140 is "big on performance," highlighting the unit's storage subsystem and quad-core Opetrons. He also commented, "the X4140 seems to have more of everything," noting the systems power supplies, PCI-e slots and embedded Gigabit ports.

While not a comparative review, Dave makes frequent remarks about how the X4140 stacks up against similar offerings from Dell and HP. "The X4140 packs so much more into its chassis than the rest, it's extremely well built and designed and easily matches HP's ProLiant DL365 G5 on price," he concludes.
Sun Fire X4140 Server

Wednesday Feb 11, 2009

Sun Storage 6580 and 6780 Arrays named Network World's best products of the week


Sun Microsystems' Sun Storage 6580 and 6780 Arrays are highlighted as Network World's "Products of the Week" for the current week.

The slideshow notes, "Two new high-performance disk storage arrays from Sun are designed to help customers consolidate workloads and provide storage for a range of server architectures. The 6580 scales up to 256TB and the 6780 scales up to 448TB."

Sun's Nancy Hart said customers are taking advantage of Sun's upgrade and trade-in programs to maximize their investments in legacy hardware. "The trying economic times are weighing on our customers and they're thinking about alternative buying options," said Hart, who indicated the newly launched Sun Storage 6780 disk array is capable of reusing capacity already on the data center floor. "Given the budget pressures, doing more with less is imperative," she said. "Customers can use the 6780 to repurpose their existing investments for an administrative fee of a couple hundred dollars."
Network World's "Products of the Week"

(Image Courtesy: Network World)

Wednesday Jan 28, 2009

Sun SMB Virtualization Offering named one of Network World's best products of the week


Sun's new virtualization products aimed at small and mid-sized businesses are one of the Network World's "Products of the Week" for the current week.

On Slide 5, Network World notes that these new offerings combine Sun's storage and servers with hypervisor software from either VMware or Microsoft embedded in the systems. The VMware ESX configurations include Sun Fire X4150, X4250 or X4450 servers with the Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage system. The Microsoft Hyper-V configuration includes the Sun Fire X4250 server and Sun Storage J4200 system.
Network World's "Products of the Week"

(Image Courtesy: Network World)

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Sun receives recognition from SearchDataCenter.com and The VAR Guy


Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server received SearchDataCenter's Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year. The article notes that the T5440 server packs enough memory and CPU power to deliver up to four times higher performance per watt at about one-fifth of competitive servers, which is part of the reason the judges gave it the Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year.

One T5440 user, a massive, European-based Web hosting company called Strato, reported, "After testing the new quad-socket Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, we discovered that only one T5440 is sufficient to handle the whole load and can replace 10 of our existing Sun Fire T2000 servers."

In other news, The VAR Guy looked at the top open source companies disrupting and redefining the IT channel. Their "Open Source 50" list was released recently, with Sun being ranked #2 overall. We received many recognitions from The VAR Guy: Best of the Best (Sun ranked #2 of 25), Percentage of Revenue From Partners (Sun ranked #8 of 24), Company Size Based On Employees (Sun ranked #1 of 24), Partner Ecosystem (Sun noted in comments as not providing exact figures).
SearchDataCenter Award

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