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Sun Still Taking RISCs

By Doug Barney

Sun Microsystems (Mountain View, CA) might have a healthy line of Intel quad-core Xeon-based servers, but it is far from backing away from the SPARC family of processors. At a Las Vegas press conference, the company trotted out new servers based on the UltraSPARC T2 it claims has unmatched density and impressive energy savings.

And when it comes to competing with IBM, Sun is clearly taking the gloves off. At its spring announcement, IBM claimed its Power6-based System p570 server was the fastest server ever built — and was based on the fastest microprocessor ever built.

Sun’s press releases beg to differ. The company claims its SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220 servers pack the same performance as the p570 for 25 percent of the cost and take up a quarter of the space.

Sun touts the advantages of the servers’ built-in virtualization, but it is clear that rival IBM has plenty of virtual punch built into its Power6-based line as well.

Sun also sharpened up its blade line with the Sun Blasé T6320 server module that works with the Sun Blade 6000 chassis and matches the capabilities of the T5120 and T5220 servers.


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