Sun pushes new Galaxy, blade servers

Opteron-based Fire X4500 and 4600 appeal on price, performance

When Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim made a triumphant return to the company, his first major act was to introduce a new line of Opteron-based Galaxy servers that earned a thumbs-up from many quarters, including the InfoWorld Test Center. This week brings news of Bechtolsheim’s next big production: the Sun Fire X4500 and X4600 servers, plus the company’s first enterprise-class blade server.

In keeping with Bechtolscheim’s philosophy, the objective with the new Galaxy servers is optimum price performance using industry-standard technology. According to David Lawler, director of product definition and strategy at Sun’s Systems Group, the X4600 is the only tier one, enterprise-class, 16-way Opteron system on the market. The X4500 data server scales to 24TB of SATA disk storage in 7 inches of rack space and uses PCI Express motherboards to achieve screaming I/O.

Sun’s first entry into the enterprise blade server market, the Sun Blade 8000, supports as many as 10 four-socket blades, each with a claimed I/O throughput of as fast as 192Gbps.

Windows and Linux versions of the X4600 and blade servers come out this month, and the X4500 in August.