Sun rises with new high end

Sun rises with new high end

Sun Microsystems has announced its new flagship high-end system, the Sun Fire 15K server.

"It is the real top-end, mainframe-size product in our range," said Sun Microsystems managing director Jim Hassell. "The systems will challenge IBM and HP, and will speed up the attack on data centre and mainframe rehosting services while reducing the cost of ownership by up to 300-400 per cent."

The Sun Fire 15K is the culmination of an 18-month rollout of its compatible product line. The new offering shares common components with the mid-frame Sun Fire products introduced six months ago, including its "uniboard" technology -- a common CPU and memory board compatible across the entire range.

The server features 106 processors, 576GB of memory and 18 input/output hugs for networking and storage connectivity, and is the largest single cabinet UNIX server system. Scalability is also a key feature of the new system -- the UltraSPARC III processors can scale beyond 1000 CPUs.

Sun is claiming a millions of instructions per second (MIPS) rating 2.5 times that of the largest mainframe.

Sun understands customers are not about to go out and ditch their mainframes, Hassell said.

"But we have a viable path to move from the mainframe," he said. "Where we have tried to get to is an end-to-end architecture for our customers.

"The whole setup is built on an open system so customers have a choice. The dream ticket is that the whole set will be Sun, but open systems is the key."

Pricing starts at $2.2 million, for four CPUs and four gigabytes of memory. A 72 CPU system with 288 gigabytes of memory is priced at $10 million and will be available by Q1, 2002.

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