Friday Oct 03, 2008

Computerworld praises Sun Fire X4150 server's flexibility for data center buyers

In a second review of the Sun Fire X4150 Server, MC Brown discusses its "sweet spot" for current buyers.

MC traces how purchases evolved from small add-on servers, to massive server infrastructure, and now to efficient uses of hardware through consolidation. With this in mind, MC said, "Whether the X4150 hits the sweet spot depends on your point of view, but I'm finding it really hard not to justify a machine with this flexibility to anybody who wants a decent machine."

Regarding specific features, MC complimented the X4150 by saying, "At 1U high you could fit a lot of computing power into a cabinet. With two quad-core Xeons there's plenty of CPU power, and 64GB of RAM gives you plenty of memory to play with. The 8 SAS drives are also enough for you to have a system disk, and a 5 or 6 disk RAID configuration of your choice with one or two hot spares."

MC noted that with this "wealth of potential" in options, he tried several different configurations, but his favorite was using the X4150 as a consolidation box.

Overall, MC concluded that the X4150 provides a high level of flexibility, specifically noting, "flexibility like that in the modern datacenter is a must." Using the server's variety of options, "you can choose a variety of configurations to suit your needs, and if you decide to change your mind, you can do so without changing your hardware, just redeploy it."
Sun Fire X4150 Server

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Sun helps FAA bringing its air traffic systems into the 21st century

How many times have you had your meticulously planned travel itinerary go astray because of a system "glitch"? I can remember quite a few times during the past year alone... :-(

That's going to change!!! Yeay!!!

Well, at least for the glitches that are attributed to FAA. They have upgraded their legacy internal business systems to a new open-systems server and storage infrastructure from us.

Our OpenSolaris/ZFS/Sun Fire server/Thumper storage solutions, which feature built-in, state-of-the-art virtualization capability, is the key building block for the new infrastructure at FAA. And ZFS is playing a major role in their data centers.

ZFS won InfoWorld's BOSSIE award in 2007
ZFS won InfoWorld's BOSSIE award as the best open source storage platform
"The FAA uses a large quantity of Sun Solaris servers in a variety of configurations to support some of our noncritical business applications," Andy Isaksen, manager of the Communications Infrastructure Engineering Team for NADIN and architect of the original mainframe system, said. "ZFS is being used on at least one service within the Air Traffic Organization Enterprise Data Center."

Check out all the details in this eWEEK article.

Monday Sep 08, 2008

ZDNet Australia's big thumbs-up for X4450 server

ZDNet Australia's Michael Palamountain reviewed Sun Fire X4450 server and said, "for raw power Sun Microsystems' Sun Fire X4450 is the gutsiest server we've seen."

The server tested well for cooling fans and energy consumption, as well as software and application suites. The server was loaded with Solaris 10 OS and Michael found navigation straight-forward and logical.

For the application suite, Michael called the pre-loaded options a "veritable roll-call of major open source applications (for which Sun has often had major developmental input)."

Michael commented that the equivalent products from competitors, such as the IBM x3850 and a Dell R900, "are both 4 RU machines (the Sun Fire is just 2 RU in size), yet Sun manages to pack just as much inside the case."

Conclusion from the review: The benchmark results for the Sun Fire X4450 are "the best we have seen in high-end servers -- particularly the Sungard score -- although we cannot claim to have tested such a machine with specs quite like this before."

So check one out for yourself...
Sun Fire X4450 Server

Wednesday Aug 20, 2008

Positive ComputerWorld review of Sun Fire X4150 server

In an ongoing evaluation, Martin MC Brown of ComputerWorld wrote about some comparative performance testing he has completed on Sun Fire X4150 server.

MC is quite enamored with the X4150, "The box is very powerful for what is a single U high pizza box. The eight cores and potential for up to 64GB of RAM make this a small powerhouse of computing, even before you include the storage that you could fit into the same space."

In his testing, MC ran a series of web applications with the goal of creating real-world performance examples. For comparisons sake, he put the X4150 up against a T1000. "What I was really looking to compare was the power usage of the box between the T1000, which is a low power, low-MHz, but many threaded box against the multiple cores of the X4150 in terms of the response times and performance," noted MC.

MC also examined the differences in performance between ZFS (RAID-Z) and RAID-5 finding, "RAID-5 showed a small benefit in favor of the hardware, but by less than 5% in real terms. This is impressive, both for the hardware, and the efficacy of RAID-5."

Overall, MC found that the difference in performance of the X4150 is evident. He is still tallying up the results, but promises to cover other aspects of the X4150 in upcoming posts later this week.
Sun Fire X4150 server

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Linked In (... Via Sun) !!!

LinkedIn, the largest professional networking site with more than 25 million users, has added Sun's MySQL Enterprise database subscription to their existing infrastructure of Sun SPARC Enterprise servers running Solaris 10.
(Logo courtesy: LinkedIn )
Why did they choose Sun? Let's hear straight from the horse's mouth. :-)

"LinkedIn has continued to see incredible growth among professionals spanning all sectors looking to build and leverage their networks. As a leader in our field, we are committed to providing the best service to our users, and a web experience that meets members expectations and that starts with IT," said Jean-Luc Vaillant, Chief Technology Officer, LinkedIn. "The combination of Sun and MySQL means quicker access to the latest innovation in an open and reliable environment and this saves me time and money."

Happy networking!!!

Monday Jul 21, 2008

Sun -- the Olympic champion infrastructure provider!!!

Beijing Olympics is just around the corner, and we are in it too!

Sun is providing the technology platform to NBC Universal for its Olympic web site,, during the network's coverage of the 2008 Olympics.

Powered by 160 Sun Fire X4450 and Sun Fire X4150 servers, NBC's online coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing will set a new standard in delivering digital content to viewers with live streaming of events, video archives of completed events, blogs, live chat, athlete profiles and many other unique features.

Olympic fans will have access to approximately 2,200 total hours of live streaming of 25 different sports! -- powered by Sun
(Image courtesy : NBC)
Sun's infrastructure solutions will be working extra hard to make sure you've a pleasant web-experience of the 2008 Olympics.

Go Sun, GO!!! :-)

Monday Jul 14, 2008

InformationWeek loves Sun Fire X4150 server...

This week's print issue of InformationWeek has a very positive review of Sun Fire X4150 server.

Jeff Ballard examined this 1U powerhouse and wrote, "The Sun Fire X4150 delivers the goods with 16 DIMM slots, three PCI-e slots, and dual quad-core Intel Harpertown processors. The X4150 supports up to 64 GB of memory and sports four Gigabit Ethernet slots, double what is offered by the Dell 1950, IBM x3550, and HP DL360."

Jeff provided an excellent overview of the product, digging deep into the key features of processor, memory and expansion capabilities of the X4150. He wrote, "Sun crams a lot of gear into this 1U device. To put it in perspective, a standard rack can hold as many as 40 of these servers. Thus, a rack full of the units as we tested would give you a whopping 320 processor cores, 320 hot-swappable hard drives, 640 DIMM slots, 120 PCI-E slots, and 160 Gigabit Ethernet connections."

Jeff's conclusion: "With all of its disks configured as RAID 60, the X4150 would make an excellent compact database server, video server, virtualization platform, or other data-critical machine. Even without its disks, the X4150 is a powerhouse of performance in a small profile."

Sun Fire X4150 Server

Monday Jul 07, 2008

Customer of the week: Saudi Airlines

Saudi Airlines, the national carrier for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, started with a single aircraft in 1945. The airlines have undergone huge growth since then, and today they operate 139 aircrafts serving more than 13 million passengers every year. To manage growth and ensure business continuity, the airlines has turned to Sun for a complete systems upgrade that includes new Sun SPARC Enterprise M8000, T5120 and V490 servers as well as storage and back-up solutions.
Sun Customer -- Saudi Airlines
(Image courtesy: Saudi Airlines)
Muhammed Al Bakri, ERP Project Director and Chief Systems Engineering and Technology, Saudi Airlines, commented, "Sun's solution for SAP was convincing; Sun provided an integrated tested solution that can be deployed quickly enough to help reduce cost and risk, improve availability, scalability, security, flexibility, and manageability. The solution is performance-driven, ensures business continuity and has the capacity to accommodate a wide variety of business applications."

Check out the details from AMEInfo...

Wednesday Jun 25, 2008

Busting the Sun Ray myths

Paul Murphy of ZDNet dispels many myths surrounding Sun Ray. He has busted all the top myths people put forward to argue that it's not as good as a PC. He found that most of the more widely cited negatives for Sun Rays are pure nonsense.

According to Paul, Sun Rays are not the right answer for a hobbyist who wants to play games or pretend to program -- but for large organizations the negatives simply don't hold up. One of the lessons that can be learned from productivity change in the telecom industry is that centrally provisioned services can be extremely attractive to consumers provided that the service provider does not impose artificial controls on what the user can do with the device.
Sun Ray Thin Client Solution
We have many large organizations in different verticals who save a bundle by deploying this thin client solution of ours. Here is how Denver Health does it, and here is how Kuwait's Savings and Credit Bank saves money.

So why don't you run a pilot for Sun Ray in your organization and see for yourself how it stacks up.

Hint: You'll be pleasantly surprised. :-)

Wednesday Jun 18, 2008

Customer of the week: Reliant Security

Reliant Security provides information security products and services that help merchants secure and protect the confidentiality and integrity of a client's information.

Needless to say, they have to comply with complex security requirements such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. At the same time, they have to reduce merchants' cost to comply with the security requirements so that Reliant's offerings remain inexpensive as well as easy to deploy and manage.
Sun Customer -- Reliant Security
Reliant was looking to create a single security solution to replace combined solutions from multiple vendors. They chose Sun, and today Reliant Security depends on OpenSolaris, Solaris 10 and Sun servers to run its PCI compliant information security products.

"The level of enterprise customer service support that comes with Sun is exponentially better than what you get with other open source products and solutions. When you compare Sun with vendors such as Red Hat or Novell in the platform space, the difference is like night and day," said Richard Newman, president and cofounder of Reliant Security.

Check out the details here.

Monday May 26, 2008

AnandTech's Sun Fire X4450 Server Review

On the heels of a good InfoWorld review of Sun Fire X4150 server, AnandTech has published a positive review of Sun Fire X4450 server.

In this detailed 8-page review, AnandTech essentially concluded that X4450 is a 2U server that offers the same features and performance as the 4U servers from competition. In their tests, they found X4450 has better serviceability, 17% to 26% more power efficiency over a comparable solution, 7% to 18% better in performance, lower 3-year TCOs (in 2 different ways of measurement), and great pricing via Try-&-Buy program.

The reviewer, Johan De Gelas, has best summed it up in the conclusion:
Sun Fire X4450 Server
"IBM and HP better take notice: Sun has thrown down the proverbial gauntlet. We would be happy to review HP and IBM systems, but we think it will be very difficult to beat the Sun Fire X4450 ...

Unless HP, Dell, or IBM comes out quickly with an appropriate reply, we feel Sun has a winner here. Sun's aggressive pricing helps, but it is the exceptional hardware design that makes the difference. This 2U server is able to deliver the same performance and 95% of the expandability of the 4U competition, and it is easier to maintain than any of those bulky boxes are. We experienced it first hand, as we are used to working with Dell boxes. Lower power, a pretty face, but especially the "try and buy program" top it off: the Sun X4450 is ahead of the pack. Here's to hoping this will create a new wave of innovation throughout the x86 server world."

So check one out...

Friday May 23, 2008

Very Positive InfoWorld Review of Sun Fire X4150 Server

Paul Venezia of InfoWorld posted a very positive evaluation of the Sun Fire X4150 server, and awarded an "Excellent" rating.

"Sun has developed a 1U chassis design that can handle an impressive number of drives, yet also provide for a standard two-socket Intel-based mainboard and the company's signature four gigabit Ethernet interfaces, not to mention a relatively advanced Lights-Out Management coprocessor," said Paul.

In his evaluation, Paul did make competitive references, "it's a very real competitor to HP's ProLiant DL360 G5, IBM's x3550, and Dell's PowerEdge 1950 III. In fact, the fit and finish of the X4150 are generally better than the rest of the field's and far ahead in local storage." Paul was also impressed with the X4150's wealth of built-in features.
Sun Fire X4150 Server
In MySQL and LAMP stack testing, Sun Fire X4150 server performed extremely well. It was 12 minutes faster than Dell system for the disk-intensive sql-bench tests running on MySQL 5.0.22 database. Even in less disk-intensive tests, X4150 came out at least 50 percent faster than the Dell unit.

In conclusion, Paul summed up his evaluation by saying, "the most suitable roles for the Sun Fire X4150 will be in database, Web serving, and virtualization tasks. In these spaces, the X4150 provides significant bang for the buck in nearly all respects."

A great review!

Wednesday May 14, 2008

Customer of the week: SmugMug

SmugMug is a personal story!

Back in August 2006, SmugMug posted a very detailed unflattering review of T1000 running Ubuntu Linux. We assembled a team of experts to get to the bottom of their issues. Several fire-drills, phone calls and meetings later, we found that the Sun Fire X2200 server is a better fit for their target application.

SmugMug wanted to standardize on a server platform. After a set of server reviews from various vendors, they selected Sun as their infrastructure supplier. Subsequently, Smugmug CEO Don MacAskill posted a detailed blog reviewing the benefits they are seeing from X2200.

I was thrilled to see that they have recently done a video telling the world why they chose Sun. Nice one, check it out.

Wednesday Apr 23, 2008

Sun win's InfoWorld's “Green 15” award

Sun is named one of InfoWorld's top "Green 15" companies in the publication's first annual competition. The article praises Sun for its dedication to innovation with respect to power capacity and energy efficiency. 

According to the article, "Thanks to a massive datacenter consolidation, hardware refresh, and creative, energy-efficient facility design, Sun has reduced power capacity demand by 75 percent at its Santa Clara, Calif., datacenter alone, saving $1.1 million per year in energy costs, while increasing its datacenter processing power more than four times.  Overall, Sun estimates that its consolidation efforts will save 4,100 tons of CO2 per year and cut 1 percent from its total carbon footprint."
InfoWorld 2008 Green 15 Award

Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

Multi-socket CMT servers running wild...

Today is the day!!!

We are going multi-socket with Niagara-based systems.

2 CMT CPUs X 8 cores/CPU X 8 threads/core = 128 threads/system.

In simple terms, TONS of horsepower to run LOTS of applications.

As Wall Street Journal reports, found out early how these systems can change their business...

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 Server
"We have added SMP [symmetric multiprocessing] capabilities so you can add two of them into a single system, so within one rack unit or a two-rack-unit-high enclosure you are going to have 128 simultaneous compute threads," notes Sun's Mat Keep in a eWEEK interview. "What that means in comparison to other compatible systems is that you'll have two-and-a-half to five times the performance compared to a two-socket, Intel-based system and price performance that is five times better."

And Alan has a nice post on the reactions from the amped up engineers.

Let's cap it off with the best news -- our Try & Buy users can save up to 45% if they purchase trial units before June 30.

UPDATE: InfoWorld published a preview of the system today with the full review to come in the next couple of weeks.




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