Sun today introduced two new servers that are designed from the ground up to tackle the challenge of saving companies money and continue to do so for the entire life of the servers. Called T1000 and T2000, the new servers are based on Sun's new UltraSPARC T1. Anand is currently at the launch and reporting some of the details back to us via his Blackberry.
Niagra, Sun's newest UltraSPARC core, launched a few weeks ago but without a server platform to run it on. The UltraSPARC T1 processors each house 16KB instruction, 8KB data caches and 3MB of integrated L2 cache. Sun will be producing UltraSPARC T1 processors that range from 4 to 8 cores with each core being able to execute 4 threads simultaneously for an astonishing maximum output of 32 concurrent threads on the 8 core UltraSPARC T1. Sun has also integrated a DDR memory controller onto the UltraSPARC T1, which supports 4 channels delivering 25.4GB/sec from processor to memory. Currently, Sun is the only manufacturer that is producing 6-cores and 8-cores processors.
Both of Sun's T1000 and T2000 will be using a single UltraSPARC T1 processor. The T1000 is aimed at high density computational situations and will be shipping in the first quarter of 2006 with either 6-cores or 8-cores UltraSPARC T1 processors in a U1 configuration. T2000 is a U3 server and supports 4-cores to 8-cores UltraSPARC T1 processors and also come equipped with 4 hot-pluggable drive bays and other redundant swapping features.
With both T1000 and T2000 servers, Sun is also introducing a technology it calls CoolThreads, which "aims to create environmentally sound computing products". The technology is squarely based on the UltraSPARC T1 processor and its ability to processor a large number of threads concurrently. Sun's aim is to replace those servers which contain 2 or more discrete processors. Sun claims that using a T1000 server with CoolThreads technology, it was able to achieve 60% greater energy savings costs. The UltraSPARC T1 processors themselves run typically at 72W, which when you consider its maximum 8 cores and 32 simultaneous threads, is a huge savings in terms of energy. Corporate customers and data centers spend incredible amounts of money annually on operating costs such as cooling, electricity and server management and they all know too well that greater eco-efficiency can save them hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
CoolThreads technology allows eBay, EDS, Air France and other enterprise customers to help reduce the number of servers in the data center by up to 75 percent. The new server line is anticipated to save these enterprises an average of $371,000 in power and cooling costs for 100 servers in just three years.
Sun has also today announced a partnership with PG&E (Pacific Gas & Eletric) to create power and energy incentives for customers who are considering building energy-efficient data centers.
Sun's T1000 and T2000 servers will also ship with Solaris 10 which Sun guarantees application compatability with those that have running applications on previous versions of Solaris. This is a relief for many customers who frequently have to upgrade OS revisions to support the latest applications. This guarantee from Sun will be another cost savings factor for those looking into the T1000 and T2000 servers.
Oracle today also introduced a software licensing plan that is based on a core-factor model rather than a per-socket or per-core billing model. For example, Oracle will bill a customer at a rate of 0.25 to run a piece of software on a Sun T1000 with an 8-core UltraSPARC T1 processor, which will translate to a bill for 2 physical cores. While this model doesn't quite give the superior cost savings of charging per-socket, it is much more economical than charging based on the number of cores, as Oracle was rumored to adopt. Customers of Sun's new multi-core T1000 and T2000 servers will be happy to know that they can save on purchasing software as well.
Sun will be shipping its T1000 in Q1 of 2006 for a price tag of $2,995.00 while the T2000 is immediately available for $7,795.00. To compare that to typical multi-core/multi-chip Xeon processors, the T1000 and T2000 servers come in at roughly one-third of the cost of an equivalent Xeon-based server.