Systems vendor Sun Microsystems will today unveil its long-awaited ‘Cherrystone’ UltraSparc-III workgroup servers.
The new server, branded as the Sun Fire V480, is a rack-mountable product sporting up to four 900 Megahertz (MHz) UltraSparc-III microprocessors. It is a slightly more expensive replacement for the UltraSparc-II based Sun Fire 450. A two-microprocessor version with 4 gigabytes of memory will start at about $23,000 (€24,380).
Sun bosses say the V480 – until now known internally as the 480R – is being positioned against Intel-based four-way servers, running 1.6GHz Pentium III Xeon microprocessors. It supports either Solaris 8 or the new Solaris 9 Unix operating systems from Sun.
It fills in the gap in the Sun Fire server line between the 280R, which started shipping in September 2000 with the initial ‘Cheetah’ UltraSparc-III processors, and the Sun Fire V880s, which were launched in October 2001.
Sun will also announce today that it will bring its faster 900MHz UltraSparc-III processors to the V880, which previously used the earlier 750MHz chips.
The release of the new product cannot come quickly enough for Sun, say analysts.
It has suffered some customer defection – eroding its market share – after delays in moving its server lines to the UltraSparc-III architecture. Sun is the sixth biggest server vendor in the western European market with a 6% share at the end of 2001 – behind Compaq Computer (32%), IBM (18%), Dell Computer (14%), Hewlett-Packard (13%) and Fujitsu-Siemens (7%).