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New Sun Microsystems server runs Linux, Windows with AMD chip

The new Advanced Micro Devices Opteron in Sun Microsystems Netra servers gives customers their choice of x86/x64 operating systems.

Sun Microsystems Inc. today introduced the Netra X4200 M2 server, its first Network Equipment Building Standard (NEBS) Level 3 certified rack-mount server that uses low-power Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) Opteron processors.

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That means that unlike other rack-mount servers in Sun's Netra line, which are based on the UltraSPARC chip, the new model supports more operating systems than just Sun's own Solaris 10 operating system -- it also supports Red Hat and SUSE Linux, and Windows.

Based on the Sun Fire X4200 M2 server introduced in October 2006, the Netra X4200 M2 server is also Sun's first Netra rack-mount server for the x64 (x86, 64-bit) architecture, extending Sun's choice of platforms.

"The new offering eliminates any reason one might have for not purchasing this grade of server from Sun" said Aljeet Grewal, senior product line manager for Netra Systems at Sun. "Customers can pick any architecture they want now. They didn't have these options before." The Netra line of servers can use AC or DC power and uses low-voltage AMD dual core chips that are upgradeable to quad-core, Grewal said.

The Netra X4200 M2 comes in a 2U, 20-inch package with up to four, 146 GB SAS drives and up to 32 GB of memory, and ships ready to support the new Sun multithreaded networking card.

Sun will be adding support for the Sun multithreaded 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) networking technology to the Netra family of servers, adding up to four times the performance of Sun's current NICs when paired with x64 or SPARC multicore servers, the company reported.

The Netra X4200 M2 server is geared toward telecommunication companies and are best utilized for media servers, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), signaling gateway controllers, element management systems, network traffic analysis systems, operation management systems and data management systems, Grewal said.

One customer is Siemens Networks, which is deploying Netra X4200 M2 servers to run its VoIP applications. Siemens is in the platform verification phase with the new Netra, and so far, it has exceeded performance expectations, said Joachim Ungruh, senior vice president, VoIP Solutions at Siemens.

A number of independent software vendors (ISVs) are developing applications for the Netra X4200 M2 server, including Adax, AppGate Network Security, Appium, jNetX and Surf, Sun reported. In addition, Sun's Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (ATCA) products are being used for large wireless operation, administration, maintenance and provisioning systems, multimedia messaging servers, next-generation IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) platforms, wireless access and gateways.

Sun intends to make its multithreaded 10 GigE networking technology available across the ATCA portfolio in the near future.

The two socket version of the Netra X4200 M2 server is available now, and the one socket version is scheduled to be available in May. Read more on the Netra X4200 M2.

Let us know what you think about the story; email: Bridget Botelho, News Writer

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