Quad-Core AMD Opterons Now in Sun Servers

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News Posted: Tue, May 13 2008 9:57 AM

Sun Microsystems is a long-time player in the enterprise-level world of servers, software, and services. While the company prides itself on its Java technology, Solaris operating system, and UltraSPARC processors, its true bread-and-butter comes from its servers--including rackmount, x64, blade, enterprise, and other types of servers. Sun's server options seem endless with multi-processor solutions featuring processor choices from Sun UltraSPARCs, Intel Xeons, and AMD Opterons. Today, Sun's Opteron processor-based options just expanded even more:

"AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced enterprise customers now have more choices for rack-mount and blade systems based upon Quad-Core AMD Opteron(tm) processors with the launch of eight new innovative servers from Sun Microsystems. All systems are specifically designed to take advantage of the enhanced power management and virtualization capabilities offered with Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors and the overall system efficiency and scalability of AMD's Direct Connect Architecture."

This marks the first time that the Sun Fire and Sun Blade systems will be powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors. A press release from Sun states that the "Sun Fire X2200 M2, Sun Fire X4100 M2, Sun Fire X4140, Sun Fire X4200 M2, Sun Fire X4240 and Sun Fire X4440 servers powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are available now. The Sun Fire X4600 M2 and Sun Blade X8440 servers powered by Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors are expected to be available by the end of the quarter."

Enterprise-level servers are no longer the necessity that they used to be. Server farms made up of many lower-power computers have gained in popularity the last few years and have supplanted the need for larger servers for many companies. It is no wonder then that both AMD and Sun Microsystems have been having financial troubles lately with losses, restructuring, and job cuts. The introduction of quad-core Opteron processors onto Sun servers could be the boost both companies need if corporations are still willing to embrace the enterprise-level server.

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How exactly does having Opterons in Sun servers help the company? Or a better question would be, what is the benefit of having Opterons over UltraSPARCs? Is it only in the specs? I have little idea of the comparison as I have never worked with either processor.
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