Sun puts Intel-based server plans into action

Debuts two x86 systems with Xeon chips, following deal signed in January

Sun Microsystems will begin expanding this week its line of x86-based servers to include rack-mounted systems based on Intel processors -- an announcement that comes eight months after Sun and Intel signed a joint development agreement.

Sun is rolling out two Intel-based servers, topped off by the Sun Fire x4450. That system has sockets for four of the quad-core Xeon 7300 processors that Intel released earlier this month. The new server, which comes in a 2U (3.5-in.-high) enclosure and can support 2GB to 128GB of memory, starts at US$8,895 and will ship next month, according to Sun officials.

The lower-end model being introduced by the company is the Sun Fire x4150, which has two sockets and can support either dual-core Xeon chips or Intel's Xeon 5300 quad-core devices, which preceded the 7300 series. The x4150 comes in a 1U enclosure and is scheduled to ship before the end of this month, with prices starting at US$2,995.

Both servers support Sun's Solaris operating system as well as Linux and Windows.

Sun's embrace of the x86 platform began in earnest with its announcement four years ago of an alliance with Advanced Micro Devices. In 2005, the hardware vendor dropped several existing low-end systems based on Intel chips and began shipping AMD-based servers. Sun relied exclusively on AMD's Opteron processors for its x86 line until signing the development deal with Intel early this year.

As part of that agreement, Sun said it planned to develop a full of line of Xeon-based servers and workstations, and work with Intel to optimize Solaris for hardware built around the Intel chips. Its initial offering with Intel support was the Sun Blade 6000, a modular blade server system that was introduced in June and can be equipped with dual-core Xeon chips as well as with Opteron and Sun's own UltraSparc T1 processors.

Sun officials said the two rack-mounted servers being announced this week are only the start of the company's planned line of Intel-based systems, although they added that Sun will ship machines based on AMD's new quad-core Opteron by year's end. That device, which was code-named Barcelona, was introduced this month as part of an effort by AMD to recover ground it has lost to Intel in the server market.

Bill Heilman, a platform specialist at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, has been beta-testing the Sun Fire x4450. Heilman said he plans to use the system as a server consolidation platform to help cut power costs in the university's data center. "We want to get away from server sprawl," he said.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Patrick Thibodeau

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?