Server Farming

Oct 28 2008   2:49PM GMT

Sun, Fujitsu push out smaller Sparc64 server

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu today announced the M3000, a 2U, single-chip server based on the quad-core Sparc64 VII processor.

It might seem odd to have a single-processor server that has no room to expand for more processors. Most likely this machine will cater to existing Sun users running old Solaris applications on old Sparc64 infrastructure — particularly those homegrown applications that are geared to run on single threads and just need to go, go, go. For that purpose, the M3000 is probably a good bet. It’s a smaller footprint that doesn’t run as hot as older Sparc64 servers, and it has a lot more power.

The Sparc64 processor, unlike the multithreaded UltraSparc chips, is more focused on single-thread applications such as database and batch transactions. UltraSparc-based chips are better used for Web-serving applications that serve a lot of users at the same time, but at slower speeds than a Sparc64.

Earlier this year, Sun and Fujitsu came out with their M-series line of servers based on the Sparc64 VII. Those included boxes as big as the M9000, which can have as many as 64 processors.

The M3000, meanwhile, tops out at one chip. That along with 4GB of memory will cost you about $15,000. Memory is expandable up to 32GB, and it has 4 I/O slots.

Tom Donnelly, product manager of enterprise systems at Fujitsu, and Tom Atwood, Sparc systems manager at Sun, both said the M3000 is targeted toward existing Sparc customers looking to upgrade their Solaris infrastructure, as well as toward existing HP-UX and AIX users.

“We are focused on the RISC market,” Donnelly said, “displacing IBM and HP systems whenever we can.”

Atwood added that the M3000 will take up half the space and half the power while giving twice the performance as two equivalent UltraSparc IIIi-based servers from five years ago.

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