Sun's new ATCA blade system
By relling on Apr 05, 2006
Today Sun announced a new Advanced Telecom Computing Archictecture (ATCA) blade server system. This system has one of the best high-RAS features of any server system on the market. If you have a moment, read the Advanced TCA and Sun Microsystems: A Technical Overview of Sun's AdvancedTCA White Paper, it describes the design in good detail.
I'd like to point out that to truly provide a highly available platform for running your applications, the platform itself is comprised of both hardware and software. There is a reason why our name is Sun Microsystems. The combination of a well designed blade chassis, outstanding blade board-level design, excellent processors (SPARC and Opteron), operating system (Solaris and Carrier Grade Linux), and HA software (Netra High Availability Suite) comprises a system platform which offers truly outstanding reliability, availability, and serviceability. I'm very proud of this system and give it a big thumbs up for its high RAS features.
While ATCA systems are very robust and represent good high availability design practices, they are not necessarily used in the enterprise data center environment. The Telecom market has environmental and servicing requirements which are somewhat specific to their environment. There are also very specific size and power requirements which lead to server designs which are, by enterprise standards, somewhat limited in computing capacity. This is ok for many Telecom applications, but perhaps not the best combination for, say, technical compute grids or large database servers. Not to worry, you'll notice that many of the robustness techniques used in Sun's ATCA systems are leveraged across the rest of Sun's product line. We aren't designing our systems by keeping the engineers pidgeon-holed in their cubicles. We are designing systems while leveraging the expertise across the company: hardware, software, services, sales, everybody! All of Sun can be proud of this, and I hope this is very evident when you look at the products in detail.