Sun Debuts Throughput Computing Systems, New Fire Enterprise Servers

2/12/2004 - Building on its leadership in the UNIX(r) server market, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) introduced the industry's first Throughput Computing Systems and the most comprehensive refresh of its Sun Fire(tm) systems family in more than a decade. Powered by the UltraSPARC(r) IV processor and the Java(tm) Enterprise System, the new Sun Fire Enterprise Servers set breakthrough benchmarks in commercial, high performance and technical computing. In competitive comparisons, Sun outpaced the fastest systems from IBM, HP, Fujitsu and others on system performance, price performance and other capabilities.

The new family of servers combine the advances of Throughput Computing technology from the processor and SMP architecture to the Solaris 10(tm) Operating System, Sun Java Enterprise System and multithreaded applications. These new systems tightly integrate on-chip capabilities with the operating system to enable customers to mix and match UltraSPARC III and UltraSPARC IV processors in their systems, nearly doubling their data center performance at a fraction of the cost.

"We're starting the year with our strongest product lineup ever and delivering customers the ultimate in throughput power," said Clark Masters, executive vice president, Enterprise Systems Products, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Only Sun can deliver this degree of integration between hardware and software, making our systems a smarter investment over the long term as customers evolve their data centers to respond to changing business demands."

"Sun allows us to mix, match and manage our existing UltraSPARC III uniboards with the new, more powerful UltraSPARC IV processors within our current servers," said Chuck Sears, Director of Research Computing, Oregon State University. "We were able to install the new boards in our Sun Fire 4800 servers quickly with no problems and immediately received sizable performance improvements. Our existing applications ran just like before, only much faster. It used to take us 28 days to complete a 50-year simulation of earth and weather patterns. With Sun's new systems, preliminary results show that we can accomplish the same simulation in only 13 days."

New Systems Set World Records
In the commercial marketplace, Sun has established the world record 36 processor two-tier SAP(r) R/3(r) 4.70 Sales and Distribution(SD) Standard Application Benchmark. This SAP-SD test, which used the Oracle 9i Database on a Sun Fire E20K system supported 5,050 users and was more than 25 percent faster than the 1.5 GHz Itanium2-based server which ran version 4.70.

Another commercial world record on the Manugistics NetWORKS Fulfillment v7.1 supply chain management (SCM) application for the retail industry supported 30 million SKUs per hour. The Sun Fire E6900 system was 1.97 times faster than a competitive UNIX system, providing a marked advantage for enterprises managing inventories.

Sun also established a new world record on the SPECompL2001 high performance computing platform, which tests 9 scientific applications, such as earthquake modeling and crash simulation, that use the standard OpenMP programming model. The Sun Fire E25K system set a record SPECompL2001 peak performance score of 316,182, beating a fully-configured Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER HPC 2500 and Itanium2-based HP Integrity SuperDome servers.

New Systems Double Data Center Productivity and Throughput
The new Sun Fire E2900, E4900, E6900, E20K and E25K servers are powered by Chip Multithreading (CMT) technology of the UltraSPARC IV processor. This new family of servers is the first implementation of multithreading technology and is one of the industry's most cost effective platforms for customers to run mission-critical applications and databases. Customers can easily mix and match speeds and generations of UltraSPARC processors within the same domain, and achieve nearly double the performance without disruption or downtime.

The additions to the Sun Fire family of products provide hot swap and plug-and-play capabilities through dynamic reconfiguration technology, as well as support for clustering and linear scalability. The new servers are based on the Sun(tm) Fireplane interconnect, multithreaded UltraSPARC IV 1.05 and 1.2 GHz processors and scalable high-end SMP architecture. A complete line of storage products complement the CMT performance of the new family of servers. For a limited time, customers can receive a 30 percent discount on the Sun StorEdge(tm) 6000 system, fully integrated through Sun's Customer Ready Systems program.

The new systems include the:

Increasing Investment Protection and Availability in the Data Center
Sun Fire servers will ship preloaded with Sun(tm) Remote Services Net Connect and enhanced dependability features. These technologies are designed to increase the reliability of a customer's computing environment and improve high availability in the data center.

By mixing and matching speeds and generations of UltraSPARC processors in the same domain, customers can speed productivity within the same infrastructure. This backwards and forwards compatibility combined with the ability to run the Solaris 8, Solaris 9 and Solaris 10 OS in the same system, results in unmatched investment protection.

Sun also announced updates to its software products – the N1(tm) Grid System, Solaris 10 Operating System and the Java Enterprise System – that will work seamlessly with Sun's new Sun Fire Enterprise Servers. Today, the N1 Grid System provides customers with N1 Grid Containers, Dynamic System Domains and Virtual Machine Managers that help enable increased server utilization through resource partitioning, which can lead to better manageability and lower total cost of ownership. Shipping since December 2003, Sun's second release of the Java Enterprise System will be available next quarter, concurrently with the upcoming Solaris 9 OS 4/04 release.

N1 Grid Container technology is supported in the Solaris 9 OS, the present version, and will be supported in the Solaris 10 OS, the upcoming version of Sun's Operating System. To further enable customers to reduce cost and complexity, Sun is offering an enhanced pricing strategy for its N1 Grid Service Provisioning System. This new pricing structure will help save customers money and enable them to have access to upgrades and technical support throughout the year.

Customers have early access to upcoming Solaris OS features through Sun's Software Express program, which helps enable IT managers and developers to plan ahead for new technologies coming in future versions of the Solaris OS, as well as test the new features in fault-isolated domains. In addition, customers can gain early access to the Solaris 10 OS through Sun's iForce(sm) Partner Program.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- 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

Results of the two-tier SAP R/3 Enterprise 4.70 SD Standard Application Benchmark Sun Fire[tm] E20K: 5,050 benchmark users. 36 1.2 GHz UltraSPARC IV processors, 288 GB, Oracle 9i, Solaris 9, SAP cert#2004006. NEC Express 5800 1320Xd, 4,030 benchmark users, 32 1.5 GHz Itanium2 processors, 256 GB, SQL Server 2000, Windows Server 2003 DE, SAP cert#2003067. Benchmark performance data as published on as of 02/10/04.

Manugistics NetWORKS Fulfillment 7.1, 30 Million stock keeping units (SKUs) per hour. IBM results:

Sun Fire E25K record SPECompL2001 316,182. SPEC, SPEComp reg. TM of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Comparison metric SPECompL2001. Results from as of 02/10/04.

SAP, R/3, and other SAP products and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and several other countries. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun Logo, Solaris, Java, Sun Fire, N1, Fireplane, Remote Services Net Connect, iForce 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 US and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. Unix is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, exclusively through X/Open Company, Ltd.

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