Sun Boosts System Performance to Optimize Data Center Workloads

Over 2x Application Throughput and 34 Percent Better Price/performance on Solaris Servers on UltraSPARC Platform

February 23, 2005

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:SUNW) today reinforced its commitment to the SPARC platform, Solaris Operating System (OS) and optimizing its systems to run multithreaded, data-centric workloads by boosting performance across its popular UltraSPARC IV processor-based server family. The new UltraSPARC IV 1.35 GHz processor, available immediately, gives customers over 2x the throughput(i) at 34 percent better price/performance when compared to the fastest UltraSPARC III systems, and can be mixed and matched with previous UltraSPARC III and UltraSPARC IV processors(ii). This enables several primary customer benefits: enhanced price/performance significantly increases the product’s value proposition, while the versatile architecture helps deliver investment protection, significant deployment agility and improved risk management.

Sun also unveiled a new world-record benchmark the enhanced platform has already achieved, further demonstrating the best-in-class results made possible by the combination of the new 1.35 GHz processor and the leading Solaris OS. Sun has unmatched binary compatibility and there are over 8,000 Solaris applications. Solaris 10 delivers unparalleled availability, performance and security – all at an extremely competitive price.

“Sun reinforces its vision to create the next-generation datacenter providing customers with technology innovation and the best price/performance through its UltraSPARC processor-based servers,” said Sun’s David Yen, executive vice president, Scalable Systems. “Today’s announcement is further evidence of Sun’s commitment to the Solaris OS for SPARC platform roadmap to deliver throughput computing to optimize customer workloads and increase application performance in the datacenter. Each of the upgraded servers will be compatible with the latest version of Solaris in order to take full advantage of all its new features and functionality while supporting existing versions to ensure customer’s investments are protected.”

Double the Throughput and 34 Percent Better Price/Performance

Sun’s UltraSPARC IV 1.35 GHz processor upgrade gives customers enhanced throughput computing power on the Sun Fire V490, V890, Sun Enterprise 2900, 4900, 6900, 20000 and 25000 servers. These UltraSPARC IV and Solaris OS-based systems deliver Chip Multithreading Technology (CMT), driving over double the application throughput and 34 percent better price/performance in the same physical footprint as its predecessors, which helps reduce the cost and complexity of doing business for Sun’s customers. In conjunction with Solaris OS, Sun’s servers for the UltraSPARC platform deliver higher performance, utilization, security and RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) allowing IT groups to better meet Service Level Agreements. Full binary and application compatibility allows risk reduction as customers deploy new applications, services and infrastructure.

UltraSPARC IV processor-based Sun Fire mid-range servers deliver more than 7x the performance of UltraSPARC II servers(i), while offering greater scalability, RAS and investment protection with lower operating costs. For customers using UltraSPARC II technology, Sun is offering double trade-in values for upgrades to UltraSPARC IV technology through its Sun Upgrade Advantage Program. For more information, please visit

Record-Setting Benchmark Proves Superior Performance

The Sun Fire V890 server, based on the UltraSPARC IV 1.35 GHz platform, outperforms IBM Power5 on the Lotus Domino R6iNotes(iii) benchmark in users per processor.

Through the world record Lotus Domino R6iNotes benchmark, the Sun Fire V890 server delivers 16.5 percent more users per processor than proprietary IBM Power5 systems and the best overall price/performance in the mid-range class of servers.(iv) In addition, the UltraSPARC IV-based system delivers the leading number of users per processor for servers equipped with more than 2 processors.

The new 1.35GHz UltraSPARC IV processors can be mixed and matched with 1.05GHz and 1.2GHz UltraSPARC IV processor-based servers and UltraSPARC III processor-based Sun Fire servers. All processors run at their rated speeds, further enabling customers to take advantage of higher performance while increasing agility and efficiency.(v)

For more information on the new 1.35GHz UltraSPARC IV processors and world record performance benchmarks, visit and

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Sun Fire, Java, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.

(1) The Sun Fire E6900 server achieved a SPECint_rate2000 of 364 and the Sun Fire 6800 server achieved a SPECint_rate2000 of 180. The Sun Fire V890 server achieved a SPECfp_rate2000 of 161 and the 8 processor Sun Enterprise 4500 server achieved a SPECfp_rate2000 of 20.9. SPEC and the benchmark names SPECint and SPECfp are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Results stated above reflect results published on as of 02/17/05. Sun Fire V890/E6900 server results submitted to SPEC for review on 02/17/05. For the latest SPEC CPU2000 benchmark results, visit

(2) Price/performance based on $ per SPECint_rate2000. Sun Fire V480, configured with 4P/16GB memory = $58,995, produced a score of 31.7, resulting in $ per SPEC of $1,861. Sun Fire V490, configured with 4P/32GB memory = $75,995, produced a score of 65.2, resulting in $ per SPEC of $1,220

(3) Sun Fire V890 server (8 UltraSPARC IV processors) running the Solaris OS and Lotus(R) Domino 6.5.1 configured in 4 partitions achieved 16,600 users at $12.18 per user, 14,020 NotesMark tpm, and 464 ms average response time. The benchmark results stated above reflect results published on http:/ as of 02/15/05. The IBM iSeries 570 server (16 Power 5 processors), running OS/400 V5R3 and Lotus Domino 6.5.2 configured in 10 partitions achieved 28,500 users, 24,145 NotesMark tpm, and 269 ms average response time. The results reflect results published on as of 02/15/05.

(4) The Notesbench R6iNotes benchmark published as of 02/15/05 results can be found at

(5) Mixed CPU support offered on the Sun Fire V1280, 4800, 6800, 12K, 15K, E2900, E4900, E6900, E20K, E25K servers.