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Sun Solaris Platform Advancements Unleash the Power of the Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Series


Sun and Intel Collaboration Delivers Powerful Combination of Advanced Operating System and Advanced Processor Technologies
SANTA CLARA, CALIF.- Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced that the Solaris platform, including the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) and OpenSolaris, has been extended to provide performance, energy efficiency and reliability enhancements for the new Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. For more information visit:

“This is a real-world game-changer in the commodity x86 marketplace. Sun’s new Solaris advancements unleash the power of the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, delivering enterprise-class engineering and innovation in this market,” said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. “Sun’s systems and Solaris optimization provide record-breaking performance, scalability and huge energy efficiency to help customers maximize their business results.”

Bookmark and tune in on April 14 for more details on Sun’s major systems launch and how its approach to Open Network Systems helps maximize the economics of computing by delivering maximum scale, efficiency, enterprise manageability, performance and sustainability. For a ’sneak peak’ of the event, visit: Customers are already enthusiastically embracing Sun’s new systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. Sun has already shipped Sun Blade servers based on the new processor to several HPC customer deployments.

“For two years, Sun and Intel have been working together to optimize Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris to take advantage of the intelligent performance and automated energy efficiency built into the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series,” said Doug Fisher, Intel vice president, Software and Services Group and general manager, Systems Software Division. “The result of that collaboration is a fusion of software and silicon whose tight integration delivers outstanding performance, energy efficiency and reliability to the data center.”

Solaris is designed to take advantage of large memory and multi-core/processor/thread systems and enables industry leading performance and scalability on Intel Xeon processors. Solaris ZFS provides unparalleled data integrity, capability, performance and management and DTrace dynamic tracing framework allows close observation of system behavior, without degrading performance. In addition, Solaris Containers allow integrated virtualization with low overhead, at no cost. Solaris-based systems using the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series automatically leverage new Intel Quick Path Interconnect, Intel Turbo Boost and Intel Hyper-Threading technologies to further improve performance and scalability.

“With the world’s top five server vendors shipping Solaris on their x86-based systems today, and with more than 15 years of industry leading performance and experience in delivering enterprise platform support on multiple chip architectures from low-end servers to the largest multi-core systems, Sun’s Solaris OS is uniquely positioned as the best operating system to leverage the features of the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series,” said Jim McHugh, vice president Datacenter Software marketing at Sun. “The combination of the Solaris OS and the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series allows customers to take advantage of scalability, performance, power efficiency and reliability found in no other x86 platform combination.”

Sun and Intel have enhanced Solaris power management capabilities to leverage the advanced power states of the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, boosting energy efficiency by adjusting processor power on-demand in response to system utilization. The Power Aware Dispatcher, unique to Solaris, automatically monitors and optimizes a company’s system to maximize performance while minimizing power consumption. For example, it utilizes Intel’s new Deep C-States to dramatically reduce power consumed by idle cores.

As a major contributor to OpenSolaris and an active participant in the OpenSolaris community, Intel has worked with Sun to implement PowerTop functionality for Solaris. Intel PowerTOP utilizes Solaris DTrace to let developers and administrators observe where applications may be preventing part of a system from going into a power-saving state and to monitor in real time how effectively a system is taking advantage of new processor power-management features like Intel Turbo Boost.

To improve reliability, the Solaris platform also provides predictive self-healing capabilities for systems based on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series. The Solaris Fault Management Architecture (FMA), which detects and automatically avoids repeated hardware faults in system components, has been extended to utilize status information from the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.

World Record Performance

With these updates and optimizations, Sun and Intel have achieved the following new world record benchmarks for Solaris on the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.

Two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark

Sun’s newest dual processor server based on Intel Xeon processor 5500 series, the Sun Fire X4270 (2 processors/ 8 cores/16 threads), running SAP ERP application Release 6.0 Enhancement Pack 4 (Unicode) with Oracle Database on top of Solaris 10 OS delivered the highest two-processor Unicode result on the two-tier SAP SD Standard Application Benchmark, as of March 30, 2009(1). Sun has been working with Unicode versions of SAP software for the past two years and has gained significant expertise in that area. This leading benchmark result highlights the optimal performance of SAP ERP software on Intel Xeon-based systems from Sun as well as seamless multilingual support available for SAP ERP applications.

1) Sun Fire X4270 (2 processors / 8 cores / 16 threads), Solaris 10, Oracle 10g, SAP ERP 6.0 (Unicode) results: 3,700 SAP SD Benchmark users, 20,300 SAPS. SAP certification number 2009005.


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