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Sun Microsystems Outpaces the Market with New World Record-Breaking Servers and Workstation


Sun Adds Muscle, Longevity to Industry-Leading Server Portfolio with Nine New Sun Fire Servers and a Sun Ultra Workstation

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. August 15, 2006 Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) today further solidified its server leadership with the addition of 10 new products to its Sun Fire server and Sun Ultra workstation families that run the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS), the most advanced operating system on the planet. With the broadest systems portfolio in the world and over 170 world-record performance marks, Sun raises the bar on the industry and steals share from competitors with new 1.8 GHz UltraSPARC(R) IV+ processor-powered servers and new x64 (x86, 64-bit) systems and workstations powered by the Next-Generation AMD Opteron processor family.

Having recently gained marketshare from competitors for server leadership, Sun continues to offer customers more choices to improve efficiency and lower cost in the datacenter. No other server company offers the depth and breadth of Sun’s server portfolio, which consists of high-performance UltraSPARC processor-based servers, x64 systems and the breakthrough Sun Fire servers with CoolThreads technology.

“As our recent revenue growth helps illustrate, Sun’s server business has never been stronger,” said John Fowler, Sun’s executive vice president, Systems Group. “Today we add new systems and additional firepower to our existing line, building on the success of our industry-standard x64 and CoolThreads servers and leveraging the world-record performance, reliability and industry-leading virtualization capabilities of the Solaris 10 OS. With systems that scale from multi-core and multi-threaded 2- to 72-ways, a broad range of pricing and capabilities and support for multiple operating systems, Sun’s rock-solid portfolio serves every aspect of computing.”

The new servers and workstation have generated wide support from a variety of Sun customers, including the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center (ARSC), Broadcom, High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory (HPCVL), Mentor Graphics, Toshiba Solutions Corporation and the University of Michigan.

“We rely on Sun’s latest technologies to allow HPCVL’s researchers from six universities and colleges throughout Canada to do more work with faster processing time and larger workloads,” said Dr. Ken Edgecombe, Executive Director at the High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory (HPCVL). “Sun’s new UltraSPARC IV+ servers with new, powerful 1.8 GHz processors running on the Solaris 10 OS have enabled over a 5x increase in throughput performance. We are working closely with Sun to protect our long-term investment in Sun’s latest innovation.”

“The Arctic Region Supercomputing Center needed a flexible, cost-effective, high-performance supercomputing environment in order to facilitate a wide range of scientific research -- such as ocean and climate modeling, tsunami analysis, regional weather forecasting and other applications that require basic computational fluid dynamics,” said Frank Williams, ARSC Director. “Sun’s new AMD Opteron-powered products, with huge memory, large disk bandwidth and a fast cluster interconnect, comprise an overall cost savings and energy-efficient architecture, making them the ideal systems to drive our compute-intensive work.”

Sun Adds Up to 8x Performance Boost to UltraSPARC Server Family: Over 70 World Records Strong

The new 1.8 GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processor demonstrates Sun’s ongoing commitment to the SPARC platform, powered by the Solaris 10 OS that offers customers the only “on-the-fly” upgrade path for quickly and easily taking advantage of the latest server technology. Giving customers up to an 8x performance increase over previous SPARC processor generations, improved I/O and expanded memory capabilities, these enhanced systems are ideal for enterprise applications, consolidation projects and migrations.

Available for purchase immediately, the new Sun Fire V490, V890, E2900, E4900, E6900, E20K and E25K servers are powered by new 1.8 GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors with double the memory capacity and improved I/O. Sun now owns over 70 performance records, today adding new world-record benchmarks for performance and scalability that surpass competing servers from IBM and HP.

* The Sun Fire V890 server, equipped with 8 UltraSPARC IV+ 1.8GHz processors achieved the overall World Record performance in the r6iNotes Notesbench benchmark with 40,000 users, using the Domino7 messaging server. With the new r6iNotes result, the Sun Fire V890 beats the IBM p5 550 (8 Power5+ 1.5GHz) with 54% more users and beats the much more expensive 16-way IBM p5 p570 by 40%(1).
* The Sun Fire E25K server configured with 1.8 GHz US-IV+ processors and Sun StorEdge 3510FC arrays set a new World Record for the LHS BSCS iX billing and customer care system benchmark, achieving 1,264,490 invoices/hr, a speedup of over 12% compared to the previous Sun Fire E25K server World Record of 1,125,179 invoices/hr set with 1.5 GHz US-IV+ processors(2).
* The Sun Fire E25K server with 72 UltraSPARC IV+ 1.8GHz processors beat the best IBM result, the recently announced IBM eServer p5 595 with 64 POWER5+ 2.3 GHz processors by 9% on SPECint_rate2000(3).
* The Sun Fire E25K server with 72 UltraSPARC IV+ 1.8GHz processors improved the performance over similar Sun Fire E25K’s with UltraSPARC IV 1.2GHz and UltraSPARC IV+ 1.5GHz processors by 93% and 13% respectively on SPECint_rate2000(4).

Sun Introduces New Upgrade Program for Sun UltraSPARC Processor-Based Systems

The Sun Fire E6900 or E25K Chassis Upgrade Promotion provides an E6900 and E25 chassis free of charge for trading in qualified Sun and competitive servers, allowing customers to consolidate at their own pace. Enabling the mixing and matching at various processor speeds, these systems can be tailored to a variety of workloads with no box swap required and enable customers to add faster processors as they become available, consolidate thousands of applications onto a single server via Solaris 10, replace old IBM Power 4 equipment with Sun Fire UltraSPARC IV+ based servers and avoid costly box swaps and upgrades for half the cost versus competing IBM systems. Customers can expect to pay approximately double for an IBM upgrade within the same architecture versus upgrading within the Sun Fire UltraSPARC processor family.

Sun Beats Competition for Performance, Energy Efficiency with New Sun Fire x64 Servers

Sun today also introduced the best performing and most energy-efficient entry-level x64 servers, in addition to an x64 workstation with the industry’s best price/performance.

Designed for high-performance computing (HPC), web-tier applications and visualization, the Sun Fire X2100 M2 server, Sun Fire X2200 M2 server and Sun Ultra 20 M2 Workstation deliver a combination of performance, energy efficiency and manageability that is unmatched by competitive x64 systems. The Sun Fire X2200 M2 server has up to twice the memory capacity and networking connectivity as other servers in its class, making it the perfect solution for compute-intensive simulation or modeling with large data sets. The systems are pre-installed with the Solaris 10 OS, in addition to giving customers the flexibility of running standard distributions of Linux and Windows.

Adding to over 100 world records established by Sun’s x64 systems to date, the Sun Fire X2100 M2 server and Sun Fire X2200 M2 server, powered by the Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors with Direct Connect Architecture, offer better performance and energy efficiency than similar Intel processor-based servers:

* The Sun Fire X2200 M2 server is the highest performing and most energy-efficient 4-way server with 38% better performance and 15% lower power consumption than systems based on the Intel Xeon 5160 processor, such as the HP DL360 G5 and Dell PowerEdge 1950(5).
* The Sun Fire X2100 M2 server has established multiple world record benchmarks using the AMD Opteron 1000 Series processor, which surpasses the performance of Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU. The Sun Fire X2100 M2 server provides at least 52% higher performance than the HP DL320 G4, Dell PowerEdge 850 and IBM xServer 306m(6).

The complete list of 100+ record-breaking performance results achieved by Sun’s x64 platforms can be found at:

The new Sun Fire X2100 M2 and Sun Fire X2200 M2 servers come standard with comprehensive remote management capability, making system management easy and at no extra cost. The embedded Lights Out Manager enables remote power control, KVM and remote media capability, as well as monitoring of key hardware components. The embedded Lights Out Manager can be integrated with management tools such as Sun N1 System Manager and Sun N1 Service Provisioning System or customers’ existing management environments to simplify data center management and system configuration, as well as software provisioning and updates.

Since the release of the Solaris 10 OS just 18 months ago, Sun has distributed over 5 million Solaris 10 licenses. Today Sun supports Solaris 10 on more than 650 x86 and x64 systems from top manufacturers. In addition to world-record performance and advanced virtualization functionality with Solaris Containers, Sun’s recent update to Solaris 10 delivers mainframe class reliability features, including Predictive Self Healing designed specifically for AMD Opteron-based systems.

Sun Ultra 20 M2 Workstation Goes to the Head of the Class

The Sun Ultra 20 M2 Workstation outperforms other workstations in its class, with a single socket x86 world record for floating point calculations(7), and is available at a starting list price of $995USD, making it the industry’s best price/performance x64 workstation. The system also comes pre-loaded with the Solaris 10 OS and a suite of Sun’s developer tools, including Sun Java Studio, Sun Java Studio Creator, Sun Java Studio Enterprise and the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

Data Centers Stay Up to Speed with Sun Refresh Service

Sun also announced today the Sun Refresh Service, which enables customers to always have the newest and fastest compute modules in the Sun Blade(TM) 8000 Modular System. Customers that subscribe to the service will get an automatic refresh of server modules equipped with the latest and fastest AMD Opteron processors as soon as they become available, gaining up to 40% or more performance on average annually, including upgrades to future generations of multi-core CPU technology or for future memory technology. Ultimately, customers can save up to 40% in overall costs over a three-year period. More program details will be announced in the coming months. For more information on the Sun Refresh Service, please visit:

Availability and Pricing

The new Sun Fire Servers running the USIV+ processors are immediately available. Pricing begins at $40,995USD for the Sun Fire V490 server.

The entry-level pricing for the Sun Fire X2100 M2 server and Sun Fire X2200 M2 server starts at $945USD and $1,595USD, respectively. Entry-level pricing for the Sun Ultra 20 M2 Workstation begins at $995USD. All three products are expected to ship this month.

For more information on the Sun Fire server family, please visit:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

A singular vision -- “The Network Is The Computer” -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world’s most important markets. Sun’s philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Fire, Sun Ultra, Solaris, CoolThreads, Sun StorEdge, N1, Java, NetBeans, Sun Blade and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. AMD and AMD Opteron are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

SPEC, SPECint, SPECfp reg tm of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Results from as of 8/11/06. Sun’s results were submitted for review. For SPEC comparisons, socket equates to chip.
1. NotesBench R6iNotes Sun Fire V890 (8x1800 MHz UltraSPARC IV+, 64GB), 4 partitions, Solaris 10, Lotus[R] Domino 7, 40,000 users, $7.19 per user, 33,862 NotesMark tpm, 324 ms avg response time; IBM p5 550Q POWER5 (8x1500 MHz POWER5+), 4 partitions, AIX 5L V5.3, Lotus[R] Domino 7, 24,000 users, $5.97 per user, 20108 NotesMark tpm, 932 ms avg response time; More info
2. LHS BSCS iX Telco Billing E25K 1,125,179 invoices/hr, 72 1.5 GHz US-IV+, 578 GB, StoreEdge 3510FC, Solaris 10,; E25K 1,264,490 invoices/hr, 72 1.8 GHz US-IV+, 578 GB, StoreEdge 3510FC, Solaris 10, Oracle 10g; More info
3-4. Sun Fire E25K US-IV+ @1.8GHz (72-way, 72 chips, 144 cores), 1,644 SPECint_rate2000; Sun Fire E25K US-IV+ @1.5GHz (72-way, 72 chips, 144 cores), 1,456 SPECint_rate2000; IBM eServer p5 595 POWER5+ 2.3GHz (64-way, 64 cores, 32 chips, SMT on), 1,513 SPECint_rate2000; Sun Fire E25K US-IV @1.2GHz (72-way, 72 chips, 144 cores), 852 SPECint_rate2000.
5. Sun Fire X2200 (2xAMD Opteron Model 2218, 4 cores, 2 chips, 2 cores/chip, Solaris10): SPECfp_rate2000 - 117. HP ProLiant DL360 G5 (2xIntel Xeon 5160, 4 cores, 2 chips, 2 cores/chip, RedHat Enterprise Linux ): SPECfp_rate2000 – 84.7. Dell PowerEdge 1950 (2xIntel Xeon 5160, 4 cores, 2 chips, 2 cores/chip, RedHat Enterprise Linux ): SPECfp_rate2000 – 83.4.
6. Sun Fire X2100 M2 (AMD Opteron Model 1218, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip, Solaris10): SPECfp_rate2000 – 56.5. Intel DG965WH Motherboard (2.93GHz, Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip): SPECfp_rate2000 – 53.1. HP ProLiant DL320 G4 (Intel Pentium D 930, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip): SPECfp_rate2000 – 34.3. Dell PowerEdge 850 (Intel Pentium D 950, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip): SPECfp_rate2000 – 37.1. IBM eServer xSeries x306m (Intel Pentium D 940, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip): SPECfp_rate2000 – 34.7.
7. Sun Ultra 20 M2 (AMD Opteron Model 1220SE, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip, Solaris10): SPECfp_2000 – 3073. Dell Precision 390 (Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800, 2 cores, 1 chip, 2 cores/chip): SPECfp_2000 – 2872.


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