Thursday Apr 03, 2008

Project Blackbox strikes again!

Last week, the Sun Modular Datacenter S20, aka Project Blackbox, made a stop in Washington DC (it was housed in the South Parking Lot of the Pentagon!).

This week, the results are in from this year's Government Computer News (GCN) Best of FOSE awards -- the annual competition designating the best new products showcased at the annual FOSE Conference and Exposition, being held this week in Washington.

And our Project Blackbox is a WINNER. YEAY!!! :-)
Project Blackbox wins Best of FOSE Award

Monday Mar 31, 2008

InfoWorld's positive review of the Sun SPARC T5120 server

Last week InfoWorld posted a very positive review of the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120, featuring the UltraSPARC T2 processor. The server scored 8.3 out of 10, a rating of "very good."

The in-depth review discusses the new features that differentiate the T5120 from previous SPARC servers. The reviewer, Paul Venezia, discusses why the T2 processor is significant, stating, "this architecture is a significant departure from the rest of the industry, and positions these servers to fill specific, highly transactional roles, foregoing the rest. In that capacity, they do quite well."
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

Paul also highlights the (local) storage benefits of the T5120, which he cites as unusual -- given that the T5120 is built for computing not storage -- but that it is not unwelcome. He discusses running the T5120 with Solaris ZFS as it provides more storage options. He says, "it's easy to see the T5120 supplanting many physical SPARC-based servers by collapsing their workloads into Solaris Containers that feed from the T5120's 64-thread trough."

Finally, Paul provided a quick comparison of the T5120 running both Solaris and Ubuntu 7.10. For everyday tasks, he found the performance on both to be very similar, but stated that running Solaris resulted in better FPU and crypto performance.

Overall, this is a positive review for Sun that demonstrates the strength of our server products.

Sunday Mar 16, 2008

Customer of the Week: University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison more than doubled compute power per square foot of datacenter floor space while increasing the compute power per CPU by replacing its legacy rack servers with Sun Blade 6000 servers.

"Everything about the Sun Blade 6000 system was just extremely easy and simpler than any product we've dealt with before," said David Parter, Associate Director of the University's Computer Systems Lab. "Anything that simplifies our physical management, inventory management, or even debugging and diagnosing node failures is a huge win for us."

Get the details here.
Sun Customer -- University of Wisconsin-Madison

(Image courtesy: University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Wednesday Feb 27, 2008

PC Magazine Posts A Very Positive Review of Sun Fire X4150 Server

PC Magazine has posted a very positive review on the Sun Fire X4150 server as side bar to a round up review of other SMB-focused x64 servers.

The review praises the powerful features and functions that are included in such a small box -- stating that "Sun has kept its new Sun Fire in a 1U enclosure but has sacrificed absolutely nothing in the way of hardware or management features, building a box capable of competing with servers twice its size."
Try X4150 free for 60 days
Oliver Rist, the reviewer, goes on to list the CPU and driver components that are included on the system he tested, such as two quad-core Intel Xeons, 16GB of RAM and four 136GB 10,000-rpm SAS drives attached to an Adaptec RAID controller. He then positively highlights that the X4150 has "enough memory and disk space to run a heavy virtualization load in half of the space you'll find in most other server solutions ...[positioning] the Sun Fire as one of the greenest servers of 2008."

The review wraps up mentioning "... the Sun box would have blown the doors off anything else here" and Sun "deserves kudos for managing all this in a box this small."

PS: Had we known this opportunity in time, we would have sent a similarly configured and priced Sun Fire X4150 server that would have blown the doors off others anyway. ;-)

PPS: If you don't believe it, try it out free for 60 days via our Try & Buy program. You pick the configuation (and price range, we're sure you're going to buy it once you try... :-) )

Monday Feb 11, 2008

Positive comprehensive review of Sun 5x20 servers from "Sparks and White Noise"

Octave Orgeron, Sparks and White Noise blogger and contributor to various USENIX publications, today published his full review of the T5120 and T5520 servers.

Titled "The SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220," Octave opens the review by explaining that these products represent a huge advancement in server technology for SPARC customers and calls the servers "amazing."

Octave explains that the UltraSPARC T2 processor is the second generation of the CMT processor design from Sun and notes that the processor is really a "system on a chip." Its built-in components, explains Octave, allow for higher throughput and reduced I/O overhead that would normally require external ASICs or option cards.
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

Octave covers virtualization as well and notes that one of the unique features of the UltraSPARC T1 and T2 servers is the ability to virtualize the server intro discreet virtual machines called logical domains through an integrated hypervisor, which provides additional layers or privileged access. He explains that this type of virtualization can increase the utilization of a single server in ways that previously were not even possible. It opens the door to consolidating development environments, infrastructure services, QA environment testing and production applications.

Octave summarizes the review by explaining that the Niagara servers offer many unique and exciting features that set it apart from the competition. He believes that the UltraSPARC T2 processor with 8 cores, 64 threats, 10Gb Ethernet, PCI-E, and cryptographic features are revolutionary in the computing industry, and ends by saying that it's amazing to think that not long ago, it would have taken a much larger and more expensive solution to equal the features and benefits of these servers.

A very nice comprehensive review!

Tuesday Feb 05, 2008

Greening the Data Center

A recent Smart Enterprise Magazine article highlights efforts that CIOs can take to reduce consumption within the data center and highlights Sun's work in this area. The piece notes, "Awareness among CIOs is growing, thanks to skyrocketing energy prices, growing concerns over global warming, a series of worldwide droughts and the general prominence -- on both the political and cultural fronts -- of the need for greater energy conservation. Many CIOs also have a floor-space problem: While they're being asked to do more, they are not being given additional funding for extra data-center space."

So what's the solution?
Greening the Data Center

Tuesday Jan 29, 2008

Customers line up for data center in a shipping container

Today we announced new customers for Sun Modular Datacenter S20, widely known as Project Blackbox. These new implementations for Hansen Transmissions, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (UMCN), Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) and a second unit at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) highlight the global demand for Project Blackbox -- a virtualized, modular datacenter housed in an enhanced 20-foot shipping container.

"We have found that it has broad applicability," notes Sun VP for Integrated Platforms Darlene Yaplee. "We have seen different examples of customers using the data center in different ways. It's not just one segment. What we are hearing from our customers is that many of them are growing out of their current data center space and they are looking for a high density solution that is eco-efficient."

Need one? Contact Sun. ;-)
Project Blackbox

Monday Jan 14, 2008

UltraSPARC T2 Processor-based Servers Take Gold in Product of the Year Awards

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220 servers were named's "the best data center products of 2007" in the category of servers with four processors or less.

These UltraSPARC T2 processor-based servers double the number of processing threads and increase floating point capabilities eight times over the previous generation, and are the first servers to integrate 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology and I/O directly on the chip.

Judged on criteria including ease of integration into existing environments, innovation and value, notes the energy efficiency and performance per watt of the systems as well as the "free virtualization capabilities with Solaris Containers and Logical Domains (LDoms) that help keep IT costs low."

Additionally, highlights the systems for using "the same chassis, power supplies, disks and fans are used on the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel Corp. processor-based variants of the servers, and the remote management capabilities are compatible with Sun's x64 family of servers, with standardized interfaces that are backwards compatible with the previous generation of SPARC remote management facilities."

This new year is turning out exceptionally good for Sun products... :-) Gold medal for Sun in 2007 Products of the Year



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