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Sun unveils new servers; former Sun exec launches startup

Sans IBM, Sun Microsystems unveils x64 Sun Fire servers and blades with Intel Xeon 5500 chips, and an ex-Sun exec launches startup with IBM ties.

IBM-less Sun launches a slew of new products
In the wake of a failed deal with IBM, Sun Microsystems launched new blade and x64 rack servers, and new networking and cooling technologies.

Sun's new offerings include a new blade architecture, networking technologies and seven x64 servers based on Intel Xeon 550 "Nehalem" chips. The latest x64 systems are engineered for better I/O throughput to prevent virtualization-related bottlenecks, according to Dimitrios Dovas, the director of product management at Sun. The servers also use Sun's flash memory module, which it claims is hundreds of times faster than the hard drive memory and uses less power.

The Sun Virtual Network Express Module (NEM) is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet module that virtualizes the network for Sun Blade systems. The technology eliminates a full layer of switching and reduces cables, which reduces costs, Dovas said.

Sun Blades also feature new cooling units. The Sun Cooling Door for the Sun Blade 6048 system claims a capacity of up to 35 kW per rack. It can use existing chilled-water infrastructures or refrigerant gas and is more efficient than traditional rack cooling systems, according to Sun.

Pricing for Sun Fire x64 products start at $1,488, and all models can be ordered with onboard flash memory and solid-state disk drives. Later in 2009, Sun plans to offer Sun Netra systems with the Intel Xeon processor 5500 series.

Watch for more Sun news this week.

Ex-Sun research director launches data appliance startup
Startup Schooner Information Technology is collaborating with IBM on two data access appliances, the Schooner Appliance for MySQL Enterprise and the Schooner Appliance for Memcached.

From 1999 until 2006, the company's president and CEO, John R. Busch, was research director of computer system architecture and analysis at Sun Microsystems.

Schooner's data access appliances are built on a patent-pending architecture that integrates flash memory, Intel Nehalem chips and low-latency interconnects, along with data access and caching applications that can replace ordinary servers, according to Schooner. The machines are now in customer trials and will be available for volume shipment in the third quarter of 2009.

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

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