By marchamilton on Oct 13, 2008
While timing is somewhat fortuitous, today's launch of the Sun Ultra Enterprise T5440 also goes back much farther to Sun's multi-core and multi-threaded hardware and software research of earlier this decade. But one thing is for sure, just as the last two weeks brought on new world economics, I'll be so bold as to say that the T5440 will redefine the economics of midrange computing. T5440 is the world's first midrange server to delivery 32 processor cores and 256 compute threads in a compact 4RU package (filling only 1/10th of a typical computer room server rack). Not only that, but since the rarest commodity in many computer rooms today is electrical power, the T5440 delivers its performance while using as little as 1/4 the energy of competing servers. One needs to reflect for a minute on those numbers to realize how amazing they really are. A single rack of T5440's can power up to 2560 compute threads with 5120 GB of memory, using 25% the power and 25% the floorspace of competing platforms.
So who would be interested in a server as powerful as the T5440? While the T5440's little brother and sister, the 64 compute thread T5220 and 128 compute thread T5240 are often used to consolidate multiple commodity servers, the T5440 is aimed straight at our competitors proprietary mid-range computing lines, costing 10,000s (or even 100,000s) of dollars more, using more energy, and without locking you into proprietary CPU or operating system technology. At the heart of the T5440 are CPUs based on Sun's OpenSPARC technology. Of course, those "industry standard" operating systems that you run on commodity boxes (be they defacto but proprietary industry standard OSes or open source ones) aren't used to dealing with 256 compute threads which is exactly why our competitors use their own proprietary operating systems on the vast majority of the midrange servers they ship. Luckily, the T5440 runs Solaris, Sun's open source operating system which has years of proven industry experience scaling to 256 compute threads and beyond in Sun's M-series enterprise class servers.
Starting at under $45,000 (US), the T5440 itself won't change world economics, but it certainly is destined to change the economics of mid-range computing. And if you are finding your credit line under pressure this month but still want to try out the T5440 for yourself, don't worry. Sun isn't a bank, but we will let you try out the T5440 for 60 days at no cost, we even pay the return shipping if you decide not to buy it. Better yet, when you try a T5440, if you purchase the system within 60 days we will even give you an extra 40% discount. Try getting that sort of loan from your bank.
You can follow the T5440 links above to get to Sun's official T5440 pages, but to read what Sun's own engineers who worked on the product have to say about the T5440, start with Allan's blog which links to all of today's T5440 blogs.