Sun intros new Fire Opteron servers, workstation

Santa Clara (CA) - Following AMD's introduction of Socket F- and AM2-based Opteron processors, Sun has announced updated version of its x86 server and workstation products.

The x86 server segment has been driving server industry growth for some quarters and especially reignited Sun's presence in the server and workstation market. According to Sun officials, year-over-year x86 shipment growth has reached 76%, so it is little surprising that Sun is upgrading its products with the new Opteron "Rev F" processor.

The company offers two new entry-level servers - the Sun Fire X2100 M2 and X2200 M2. Both servers come in a 1U for factor and are similar in their design, but the 2100 model is limited to the use of one processor and eight DIMM slots, which does not allow the system to make use of virtualization features offered by Vmware, according to Sun. The 2200 can be equipped with up to two 2000-series Opterons as well as up to 16 DDR2 memory modules for a total of 64 GB of system memory. The X2100 is offered from just under $1000; the X2200 model is priced from $1600.

Sun also announced the Ultra 20 M2 workstation, which is offered for $995 in a base configuration; the high-performance model is priced at $2800 and includes an Opteron 1218 (2.8 GHz) chip, 2 GB DDR2-667 memory, an Nvidia Quadro FX 1500 graphics card and a 250 GB hard drive.

Despite a 2004 announcement of Sun and Microsoft that the two companies would collaborate on server technologies, it is interesting to see that Sun is not selling Windows as an optional operation system for its x86 servers and workstations. The 2100 and 2200 come with Solaris 10 by default and Red Hat Enterprise Linux as well as Suse Linux Enterprise Server 9 are offered as options.

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