Sun’s New Solaris Systems for SPARC architecture Take the Market by Storm

One Quarter After Launch, Hundreds of Customers and Solution Providers Embrace Sun’s New 4- and 8-way Servers based on Chip Multithreading Technology

January 18, 2005

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced that it is seeing healthy market acceptance and support from customers and partners for the Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890 servers – the UltraSPARC(R) IV and Solaris Operating System-based systems launched in September ( Harnessing the power of chip-multithreading technology, these are powerful application server and decision support platforms that help customers reduce the cost and complexity of doing business.

Customers and solution providers alike are finding significant benefits from Sun’s breakthrough Chip Multithreading (CMT) technology, as it doubles application throughput in the same physical footprint making upgrading to UltraSPARC IV-based systems very easy. CMT can successfully protect customer investments in both software and skills while maintaining full binary compatibility. Those who reported enthusiastic results following evaluations include Xerox, ESRI, and Sylantro.

“Sun is really turning up the volume and showing the market they remain serious about their SPARC roadmap,” said Vernon Turner, Group Vice President, General Manager, IDC. “The performance enhancements we’re seeing from UltraSPARC III to UltraSPARC IV along with Sun’s commitment to binary compatibility are the leading factors for the current success. The long-term system roadmap that includes radical new chip designs running Solaris 10 has also generated a lot of pent-up excitement and demand.”

Customer Investment

The new Sun Fire V890 server builds on Sun’s leadership in the 8-way market to help deliver the best price/performance. World-record benchmark performance affirms Sun’s standing, with the Lotus Domino R6iNotes benchmark as just one example in which the Sun Fire V890 server demonstrated outstanding processing power by setting a triple world-record in the 8 processor class of systems for best performance, highest number of users per CPU, and best price/performance(1).

The price/performance and throughput advantages of the Sun Fire V890 server, coupled with the system’s reliability and availability and rock-solid Solaris 10 operating system, is what sold Xerox Corporation on the new systems. “Our benchmarks have shown that the Sun Fire V890 Server is up to 1.9 times faster than the current Sun Fire V880 Server with only a slight price premium,” said Rich Lauria, Manager of Xerox’s Production Controller Development Unit. “With this new multi-core technology, we are now able to offer our customers improved scalability and better price/performance options.”

Industry Support for UltraSPARC Multithreading Leadership

Highly dependent on scalability and throughput, ESRI, the world leader in the geographic information system (GIS) software industry, found that their high expectations of Sun’s Sun Fire V890 server scalability were met. According to Ian Sims, ESRI ArcGIS Server Test Team: “We tested with 2 CPUs, then 4, then 8 and went from generating about 4,000 maps to 14,000. Systems management was a breeze; we were consistently able to reconfigure in a lights-out data center from a remote location.”

Sylantro Systems offered similar accolades: “Sylantro’s global telco and CLEC customers demand top-end performance for their mission-critical hosted VoIP service offerings,” said Bernard Gutnick, Vice President of Product Marketing for Sylantro, the leading provider of next generation network application feature servers for the hosted communications marketplace. “The Sun Fire V490 Server enables providers to offer more services on a single platform, thereby reducing system complexity and operational costs, while maintaining the carrier-grade scalability and reliability necessary for these deployments.”

“The extremely positive response that these systems have received from both customers and partners alike reinforces our belief in the importance of Chip Multithreading to achieve exponential performance gains,” said David Yen, executive vice president, Scalable Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. “Sun’s new 4- and 8-way servers round out the UltraSPARC IV system family which now includes entry-level, midrange and high-end options. This is the first step in the Solaris OS for SPARC architecture roadmap to deliver on the promise of throughput computing to meet the needs of demanding network computing applications.”

1.The Sun Fire V890 server configured with 8 UltraSPARC IV processors, running the Solaris OS and Lotus(R)Domino 6.5.1 when configured in four partitions achieved 14,000 users at $13.38 per user, 11890 NotesMark tpm, and 99 ms average response time. The benchmark results stated above reflect results published on as of 09/13/04.

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, Sun Fire, Solaris, 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. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.