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With the recent introduction of AMD's Opteron/Athlon64 "E4" stepping, Sun has also introduced a newer version of the Sun Fire V40z based on four Opteron 852 processors and PC3200 memory.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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  • RadeonGuy - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    I Wish I Had One

    *drool*
    Reply
  • Ahkorishaan - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    That thing is a monster! I can't even think of something to do with that much power... It would be wasted on anything I throw at it, that's for sure. Good thing I don't have 22,000 to throw away... Reply
  • Viditor - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Wow...what a machine! I'd read the pathscale record setting previously, but it looks like HP has a real headache here...(Dell isn't even in the game...) Reply
  • Doormat - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Yea the benchmarks are missing. I'd also like to see some reviews of "cheaper" (by an order of magnitude or so) 1U/2U 1/2-way systems. It'll be interesting to see what happens when dual core goes live later this year. I'd love to get some 1U 2-way servers and stick dual core chips in them. 4 procs in a 1U housing. Yeah. Baby. Reply
  • bersl2 - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    #3: On the contrary. PPC runs embedded all the time. Reply
  • mickyb - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    They don't work for me either. On another note, the PowerPC management board is interesting. I am familiar with the HP Integritry Management Board. I don't think it runs Linux. I wonder if AMD would be interested in making a management board based on the Geode processor. PowerPC seems a bit much. Reply
  • vaystrem - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    Are the database benchmark images not working for anyone else? Reply
  • LeadFrog - Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - link

    That is a beast. Reply

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