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Sun Delivers Four-Way Opteron Server
Sun Delivers Four-Way Opteron Server

On cue, Sun on Monday wheeled out its expected new four-way Opteron server, the V40z, priced at $8,495 and claiming to best IBM, HP and Dell on price/performance since the industry-standard widgetry runs Solaris and the Java Enterprise System.

The box is from Newisys, the spoiled Opteron hardware start-up that had to seek refuge inside Sanmina-SCI.

Sun is also starting to deliver the Opteron-based Java Workstations W1100z and W2100z, a 1P and 2P respectively, that it previewed a few weeks ago. Running Solaris x86, the machines are supposed to be 61% faster than Red Hat Linux on a Dell Xeon-based Precision 650 workstation. The 1100 starts at $1,995, the 2100 at $4,695.

Sun peddling x86 workstations is déjà vu all over again for Sun, whose original glory was as a Unix workstation vendor, a line of iron that once included Intel 386 models. That business has shrunk badly in the face of competition from Windows workstations.

Sun is hoping these new models hold the ground it's still got, roughly a $600 million-a-year business now, according to the director of workstation product marketing Brian Healy and workstation product line manager Harmeet Chauhan, who even prophesy a bump up. A few hundred boxes have been sold in the last few weeks.

To exploit the new boxes' 64-bitness Sun is going to have to get the ISVs gunned up and moving their software to 64-bit Solaris x86, currently in early access.

Anyway, to mark the V40z's arrival, Sun put the thing up for auction on eBay. The system is supposed to be 40% cheaper than a comparable Xeon MP box and perform 76% better on the SPECweb99_SSL benchmark.

The 40's arrival has pushed Sun to create the Server Enterprise Essentials Program around the 40's two-way predecessor, the V20z, available since the end of April and reportedly not a runaway bestseller.

The promotion package, which includes a Solaris subscription and Silver-level service for $492 a year, is supposed to make the box 40% lower over three years than a comparable Intel-based Dell configuration running Red Hat. Two Opteron configuration are on offer: a entry-level uniprocessor with 2 gigs of memory and a 73GB hard drive for $1,485 and a two-way unit for $4,995. The promotion is supposed to run through December 31.

The V20's processor has been upgraded to the 1.8GHz Opteron 244, a model that starts at $2,795.

Naturally, any Opteron boxes Sun brings out run Windows and Linux as well as Solaris x86.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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