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Sun Announces World’s First Blade Server Uniquely Designed For Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processors


Previews Next-Generation Four-Socket, 2U Quad-Core Server, Bringing Customers New Capabilities Powered by the Solaris OS and Next-Generation Systems Design.

SANTA CLARA, Calif.- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced the Sun Blade X8440 Server Module, the world’s first blade server designed for Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. Sun also previewed a next-generation four-socket, 2U quad-core server that will be available by the end of the year, powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. Building on Sun’s momentum in the x86 server market, both systems enable customers to take advantage of Sun’s unique systems design approach built around the power of the Solaris Operating System (OS) and AMD’s much-anticipated native quad-core processors.

Both of the new systems will take Sun’s x64 (x86, 64-bit) server design to a new level of innovation and differentiation from competitive platforms. Just last month, Sun broke into the top 5 in x86 server revenue, gaining market share Y/Y for the seventh straight quarter, in addition to having the highest revenue growth (50.9%) Y/Y among the top 5 vendors in the worldwide x86 server market. (Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker Q2 2007, August 2007)

“Sun’s innovative systems design combined with AMD’s native quad-core architecture creates an ideal x64 platform optimized for performance, manageability and power efficiency,” said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems Group at Sun Microsystems. “Our next-gen systems built on Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors and powered by the enterprise-class capabilities of the Solaris OS will showcase Sun’s expertise in designing for HPC, virtualization and web-tier applications.”

In the future, Sun plans to incorporate Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors into a number of rackmount and blade platforms, including the Sun Fire X4600 M2, Sun Fire X2200 M2, Sun Fire X4100 M2 and Sun Fire X4200 M2 servers. In addition, the Sun Constellation System will be powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors when it goes into production at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas in Austin. The Sun Constellation System, one of the world’s first open petascale computing environments, is expected to be one of the most powerful computing platforms in the world -- an example of how quad-core computing and innovative design can be used in both commercial and scientific high performance computing environments.

The benefits of quad-core computing will also enhance Sun’s virtualization solutions, enabling customers to optimize their IT infrastructure to eliminate server sprawl and contain energy costs. By virtualizing and consolidating to Sun’s offerings, customers have already reduced IT costs by as much as $2 million per year, achieved 99.99+% availability, and more than doubled their application performance. For example, Sun customer NewEnergy Associates reaped massive savings by consolidating 18 servers, 22 power supplies, 44 hard drives and 26GB of RAM - all consuming more than 14,000 watts of energy - onto a single Sun Fire x64 server running VMware virtualization software and using 550 watts of energy. When available with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors, the Sun Fire X4600 M2 and other Sun Fire x64 servers will provide even greater scalability and performance for virtualized environments.

“Sun and AMD share a similar philosophy rooted in customer-centric innovation. We are pleased to underscore this mutual legacy by delivering Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors to build out Sun’s expansive line of x64 systems,” said Randy Allen, corporate vice president and general manager, Server and Workstation Division, AMD. “At the same time, AMD will continue to support Solaris as an enterprise-class OS that is ideal for multi-threaded applications, and highly optimized to take advantage of the performance, scalability, and virtualization functionality offered by the world’s most advanced x86 processor.”

For more information on the Sun and AMD alliance, please visit:

Sun Blade X8440: Designed for Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processors

The Sun Blade X8440 Server Module is available today with dual-core, Second-Generation AMD Opteron Model 8222 processors (3.0 GHz), and is scheduled to be available with Quad-Core AMD Opteron 8300 Series processors by the end of the year. The Sun Blade X8440 module also features the largest memory footprint for a blade server, providing up to 128 GB of memory per blade; and the most I/O throughput for a blade server, with six PCI Express interfaces per server module and 192 Gbps I/O throughput per blade. Additionally, the blade server is designed to support AMD’s new Dual Dynamic Power Management technology, which allows the cores and memory controllers to operate on different voltages, determined by usage.

Taking advantage of the latest design innovations and with the help of the Solaris 10 OS and Sun Studio 12 compiler, the Sun Blade X8440 Server Module, equipped with four AMD Opteron Model 8222 processors, topped the charts with an 8-thread World Record on the industry-standard SPECompM2001 benchmark. This benchmark compares the performance of shared memory servers running scientific workloads typical for high-energy physics, weather modeling and computational chemistry disciplines.(1)

Availability and Pricing

The Sun Blade X8440 Server Module is available now, with entry-level pricing starting at $12,785 per server module. For more information on the Sun Blade 8000 Modular System, including pricing, availability and promotions, please visit:


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