Introduction

Several weeks ago, we took a look at Sun's first attempt at an Opteron workstation with the W2100z workstation. Today, we have a follow up to that piece of hardware with the acclaimed Sun Fire V40z 4-way Opteron 850 entry server. The Sun Fire V40z is the first four-way Opteron lineup in Sun's portfolio; the two-way variation of the V40z is dubbed the V20z.

The V40z is an entry-level server geared for everything from data mining to CAE to database work. Granted, "entry-level" for Sun might be a bit different than what other people consider entry-level. Our forums database runs on a similar four-way Opteron machine, currently the 11 th largest forum on the internet. Regardless of application, the need for powerful, reliable servers is still universal. In January, Sun sent us a V40z demonstration unit that was complete with four Opteron 850s and 8GB of PC2700. For the last several weeks, we spent some time getting to know the machine while it ran data mining exercises on our own Price Engine database.

With the recent introduction of AMD's Opteron/Athlon64 "E4" stepping, Sun has also introduced a newer version of the Sun Fire V40z based on four Opteron 852 processors and PC3200 memory. Availability for the four-way 2.6GHz Sun Fire V40z is a few weeks away, and in the interim, Sun reduced prices on the entire V40z lineup and also put a few rebates out. The machine that we reviewed has an MSRP of $20,995, but there are several rebates available through Sun.com right now that make the machine a bit more desirable (and affordable).


Click to enlarge.

The Sun Fire V40z is fully supported under Windows Server 2003 and (of course) Solaris, but our primary focus on this initial analysis of the V40z is under Linux. In particular, Red Hat 9 came preconfigured on our demo unit. SUSE Professional and Enterprise are also certified for the Sun Fire, but the beauty of Linux is that we can completely roll our own distribution with whichever components of SUSE and Red Hat that we need for management or driver support.

Taking a Look Inside
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  • dougSF30 - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Typo page 1: "In January, Sun sent us a V40z demonstration unit that was complete with four Opteron 250s and 8GB of PC2700."

    It should be "four Opteron 850's"

    Also, page 3: "The older 130nm "CG" stepping on Opteron 8xx only allows for PC2700 memory"

    This is not true, generally. I don't know about the v40z, but CG Opterons can use PC3200 no problem.

    See here, for example: http://www.spec.org/osg/cpu2000/results/res2004q3/...

    Reply
  • Ardan - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I agree with #16. Fantastic work, Kristopher! I have a family member that works for a division of Lockheed-Martin and they are dealing with Sun more and more now and he enjoys your articles when I show them to him. He said a few weeks ago that he shows some of these articles to co-workers because of the thorough evaluations and it is helping them to decide whether or not to outfit their systems with Serial ATA drives (for Destroyers) and now with Opteron systems from Sun.

    Good work! ;)
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Excellent work Kris. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Something is wrong with the DB graphs: i am fixing it now.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    http://www.newisys.com/products/4300.html Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    This server is aperantly made by Nhttp://www.newisys.com/products/4300.html Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    OOPS, this is suppost to go where the blank post is.

    To the author or whom it may concern: A bad link is located on page 3 and reads:

    two Samsung 1GB PC2700 – link to Samsung.jpg>
    Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • Googer - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I want Game Benchmarks too! (just for fun though) Reply
  • nourdmrolNMT1 - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    database benchmarks arent workin here either.

    MIKE
    Reply

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