Sun Sharpens Netra Arsenal With Telecom Blades

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Who says the telecom industry is completely built out? Certainly not Sun Microsystems, which Monday inked a deal with Lucent Technologies to target service providers and business customers in Asia, Europe and Latin America, in addition to those in North America.

Sun Monday inked a deal with Lucent Technologies to target service providers and business customers worldwide. It also introduced two NEBS-certified blade servers designed for wireless and other telecom applications.

The two companies said they are pursuing joint sales of their products for IP Centrex central office phone systems, customer relationship management, network management, mobile high-speed data systems, unified communication messaging systems, and business continuity systems.

The partnership is being augmented with Sun's introduction of its latest NEBS-certified blade servers for wireless and other telecom applications, an offering for which Lucent has agreed to serve as an original equipment manufacturer.

"Lucent is a key customer and they will replace of their in-house system with one of ours. For a while, the network equipment providers have been building chipsets and boards and now are switching to off the shelf systems," Sun Senior Product Manager Pocheng Shyu told internetnews.com.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based networking company's latest offering includes its Netra CT 410 and 810 cPCI telecom blade servers, Netra CP2140 and CP2160 cPCI blades, and currently available Netra HA Suite Foundation Services (FS) 2.1 software.

Unlike Dell Computer's just unveiled (and long-delayed) PowerEdge 1655MC, which is designed more for data centers, Sun's Netra series are designed for carrier-grade systems. In addition to being NEBS-certified, the boxes are full upgrades of the Netra CT server product line that can expand to 16 processor blades per shelf and 48 processor blades per rack.

But while the popular sentiment is that Sun does not have a blade server, Shyu says the company has been in the blade business since 1999.

"It really depends on your definition," said Shyu. "Some people define blades as high density computing with either single or dual processors. If that is the case, then the Netra T1s and even the new LX50 fit that definition. And with our solutions, we provide an I/O to support it.

Sun said its Netra system management and HA software, the system can create up to seven node clusters in a single cPCI bus segment. Upgraded system management features FRU ID for active components and additional midplane features, including PICMG 2.9 IPMI system management and HA Hot Swap.

The Netra CP2140 and CP2160 run the Solaris operating environment, including the Netra HA Suite software and the new version, FS 2.1 on the UltraSPARC IIi 650 MHz processor with expanded maximum memory configurations. Both blades have Hot Swap control and IPMI system management


The CP2140 functions as a system slot controller blade that includes dual 10/100 Ethernet and SCSI, one PMC slot and up to 4 GB of RAM, the most memory on any COTS, SPARC-based board in a single slot. The Netra CP2160 cPCI blade works with the Netra CP2140 and functions as a satellite processor blade. The CP2160 features two PMC slots, front and rear I/O and 10/100 Ethernet, batteryless/TOD, 8MB of User Flash and 3GB of memory with 1GB on-board memory with expansion up to 2 GB.

Lewis Carr, senior product marketing manager for Netra Systems told ServerWatch that that the new servers are capable of 50 percent higher performance than their predecessors (the 400 and the 800) due to a new processor and other attributes.

The DC version of the Netra CT 410 and 810 servers start at $19,195 for the Netra CT 410, and $22,995 for the Netra CT 810. The AC version of these servers is expected to be available in December. The Netra CP2140 blade is currently available and starts at $3,995, while the Netra CP2160 blade isn't scheduled to ship until early 2003 with an anticipated price tag of $4,395.

Sun said it is actually "experiencing some product growth with this product line," and that the deal with Lucent is just the beginning of partnerships that it is working on with the 12 or so major telecom carriers.

This article was originally published on Nov 26, 2002
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