12/20/2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc., a founder and steering committee member of the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA), announced its intention to leverage InfiniBand technology in the build out of next-generation data center infrastructure. The company will incorporate the open interface standard into future server, software and storage products. Customers can benefit from the new high-speed technology's ability to integrate easily with their existing environments while providing improved application performance, scalability, resource utilization and management capabilities.

"Since the beginning, Sun has been developing Infiniband technology with integrated hardware and software teams to deliver some of the most robust, high-performance systems in the world," said Neil Knox, executive vice president of Sun's Volume Systems Products. "Sun will provide a complete platform for the next-generation data center -- anchored by Solaris, with significant enhancements in I/O architecture, systems and network protocol interfaces using remote direct memory access, and N1 for management. Future InfiniBand-equipped blade servers will be just one of Sun's many stepping stones to virtualized computing where previously siloed resources behave and are managed as a single, powerful system."

InfiniBand is a high-speed switch fabric architecture which offers advanced features for I/O interconnects, including a mechanism to share I/O components among many servers. The new architecture is designed to create a more efficient way to connect storage, communications networks and server clusters together, while delivering an I/O infrastructure that will produce the efficiency, reliability and scalability that data centers demand. With link speeds from 2.5 Gbps to 30 Gbps, InfiniBand is designed to efficiently integrate with Ethernet and Fibre Channel infrastructure. InfiniBand's high-bandwidth, low-latency fabric can offer significant improvement to application performance.

Sun plans to leverage InfiniBand technology in future server platforms, application environments, switches and storage. Future InfiniBand-based platforms are expected to include Sun's next-generation horizontally scalable blade servers expected in 2004 and future vertically scalable enterprise servers. Sun expects applications (such as databases, directories, applicaton servers, J2EE[tm] environments, ERP and CRM) running on these systems to show significantly improved performance. Sun also plans to integrate InfiniBand into storage virtualization and aggregation products and controllers.

"Infiniband's standard low latency and high bandwidth capabilites create new opportunities in the software architecture of the data center," said John Fowler, chief technology officer of Sun Software. "The Solaris Operating Environment will transparently deliver those advantages to existing applications as well as provide interfaces for development of new applications. Sun plans to use InfiniBand to enhance our Sun ONE products for high-performance continuously available web services."

Sun has pioneered numerous I/O technologies, clustering and system advancements that improve the efficiency of data centers - from supporting and implementing standards like Gigabit Ethernet, ATM, CompactPCI, PCI, SCSI and Fibre Channel to developing the recently announced Sun Fire[tm] Link high-performance interconnect for clustering high-end systems.

Sun's leading role with the IBTA began in 1999 as one of seven founders. As a steering committee member, the company participates in all IBTA technical committees and is current co-chair of the Link Working Group and Marketing Working Group. In May, 2000, Sun acquired Dolphin Interconnect Solutions, Inc., a developer of high-performance interconnects, allowing Sun to develop higher-performance and lower-cost interconnects for its server and storage systems.

Sun is also participating in the OpenGroup's Interconnect Software Consortium, which is defining UNIX APIs for InfiniBand and similar transports.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, J2EE, Sun Fire and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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