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Sun Grows Sun Fire Line With New Entry Server, Introduces New Netra Server

By Kevin Reichard (Send Email)
Posted Oct 30, 2001


Sun Microsystems Monday introduced the newest member of the Sun Fire family.

Sun Microsystems introduced the newest member of the Sun Fire family.

Although an entry server, the Sun Fire V880 has "90 percent of the RAS features found on a mainframe," John Shoemaker executive vice president and general manager computer systems for Sun Microsystems said.

Available immediately, the V880 is a 2-way to 8-way, UltraSPARC-III-based server. Its pricing and performance make it more similar to Wintel offerings than other Unix servers.

Neil Knox, vice president and general manager of Sun's Volume Systems Products Group, described the server as an "enterprise-class system at a better-than Wintel price." According to Knox, the V880 is priced 30 percent to 46 percent lower than similar offerings from Wintel competitors.

For example, in tests comparing the V880 server to the Compaq Proliant 8500, the V880 delivered a price-per-user cost of 8.47, compared to Compaq's price-per-user cost of 4.88. The V880 server also demonstrated 37 percent faster mail server performance using NotesBench, Lotus Domino's Mail application, than the Compaq Proliant 8500 did when running Windows NT. Based on test results, the V880 server delivers a price/performance ratio 26 percent better than that of the Compaq 8500.

Like it did with the Sun Fire 15K, the mainframe-competitive server at the high end of the Sun Fire line, Sun is emphasizing the server consolidation capabilities and lower total cost of ownership it believes the V880 offers.

Key capabilities in the V880 server include automatic system recovery, hot-swappable PCI cards, online upgrades, concurrent maintenance, cluster support, multipathing, system management, and remote access and administration.

Key technical features include: four dual CPU/memory boards, a 9.6 GB per second CPU bus, nine hot-plug PCI slots, three media bays, 12 hot-plug FC-AL drives with multipathing to disks, a Fibre Channel on-board controller, 10/100 BaseT Ethernet and GB Ethernet, two USB/2 serial ports, N+1 hot-swap power supplies and hot-swap fans, and Remote System Control and Automatic System Recovery.

Sun believes the V880 is ideally suited for ERP, PDM/CPC, CRM, e-commerce, value chain supply chain management, intelligence, and other applications. Industries the vendor is targeting include government, service providers, manufacturing, and technology. Early customers include Xerox, Cray Supercomputing, and Texas Instruments.

Entry servers are nothing new for Sun, as such revenue represents the fastest growing segment of its server business. Sun's total share of the entry server market for 2Q01 was 21 percent, according to IDC. The company also exhibited a 6.7 percent growth in entry server sales between the first two quarters of 2001.

The V880 is priced from 9,995 for a 2-way UltraSPARC III 750 MHz processor system with 4 GB memory and six 36 GB hard drives; from 9,995 for a 4-way UltraSPARC III 750 MHz processor with 8 GB memory and six 36 GB hard drives; and from 19,995 for an 8-way UltraSPARC III 750 MHz processor with 32 GB memory and 12 36 GB hard drives.

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