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Sun, Fujitsu stuff 32 cores into 4U Sparc server

The T5440 Sun/Fujitsu server packs up to four eight-core UltraSparc T2 processors in four units of rack space, ideal for data centers where space is at a premium.

Today, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Fujitsu Ltd. announced a new four-socket Sparc-based server that is a larger version of the 1U and 2U servers the companies released earlier this year.

For more on Unix servers:
Sun, Fujitsu pack 16 cores into 1U Sparc server

Sun Microsystems unveils Niagara UltraSparc T2 chip 

Comparing Unix operating system vulnerabilities

The new T5440 is a 4U, four-socket machine and can hold up to four UltraSparc T2 processors – each with eight processing cores – for a total of 32 possible processing cores. The server is a follow-up to the T5140 and T5240 released in April, each of which max out at 16 Sparc processing cores. Branding aside, the Sun and Fujitsu servers are the same.

David Simon, a chairman at Software as a Service startup, said his company has considered a T5440 for its expanding business in Japan to deploy a data center in a box, as it were. The company's current data center in Sunnyvale, Calif., consists of three cabinets filled with Sun server, networking and storage equipment. If the company were to replicate these resources in Japan, it would cost $1 million.

"As chairman I would never authorize another million-dollar investment to go into an emerging market," he said. "But if I can basically do it on one box, that's a huge advantage to us."

The T5440 can be equipped with one to four UltraSparc T2 processors running at 1.2 GHz or 1.4 GHz, with eight cores per processor, and up to 512 GB of memory. The box has begun shipping, starts at about $45,000 and maxes out at around $200,000.

Where space is at a premium
"Largely what we're seeing is customers are looking to save real estate and reduce environmental costs," said Tom Donnelly, Fujitsu's enterprise systems product manager. "The line between low end and midrange is becoming more muddled now, and you can get a lot more power for a lot less money."

Simon, who also works as a managing director for New London Associates, a New York City-based IT consulting company, said that the T5440 is a solid upgrade option for banks looking to increase their processing capability in space- and power-constrained Manhattan real estate.

He acknowledged that the higher clock speed of IBM's Power processors, for example, can be an advantage for online transaction processing and performing trades but said the lower clock speed is offset by Sun servers' bus architecture which allows more transactions to be processed in parallel, thus completing more total transactions in the same amount of time.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. You can also check out our Data Center Facilities Pro blog.

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