Sun’s 900 MHZ UltraSPARC® III Processors Enterprise-Class Performance of SUN FIRET 280R Servers for Entry-Level Market

Twenty Percent Performance Boost in Sun Fire 280R Servers Improve Enterprise-Class Availability at Entry-Level Pricing

Santa Clara, Calif.
December 15, 2001

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced the availability of the 900 MHz UltraSPARC[tm] III processor for the Sun Fire™ 280R rack-optimized, entry-level server, delivering enterprise-class features and availability for today’s most demanding applications.

The Sun Fire 280R server with 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors comes standard with 8 MB of Level 2 cache — more than 14 times that of most comparable Wintel/Lintel servers on the market — and provides up to 8 GB of main memory, which allows for faster transactions in input/output (I/O) and compute-intensive environments. The 900 MHz processor running the Solaris™ 8 Operating Environment boosts performance up to 20 percent over 750 MHz-based systems and provides customers with the robust reliability and availability of the SPARC/Solaris platform.

Unlike other non-Sun hardware platforms, the Sun Fire server family is unique in its end-to-end binary compatible architecture, based on the massively scalable SPARC/Solaris platform, which delivers a seamless integratable product line of workstations and servers running from one to 106 processors. Sun Fire 280R customers who wish to upgrade from 750 MHz UltraSPARC III processors, simply need to swap in the 900 MHz CPU and fan tray.

“Caprion has built one of the world’s largest protein analysis compute farms through a combination of Sun’s Grid Engine software and Sun Fire servers including the Sun Fire 280R server,” said Dr. Paul Kearney, director of bioinformatics for Caprion Pharmaceuticals. “At Caprion, we need enormous computing capacity to conduct biological research for drug discovery on the scale that we do. The Sun Fire 280R servers have the scalability, flexibility and processing power to handle not just our awesome requirements of today, but also the vastly increased needs in meeting the challenges of tomorrow.”

“With the 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processor, the Sun Fire 280R server further extends our enterprise-class features and performance for mission-critical applications, delivered in a rack-optimized package,” said Souheil Saliba, director of marketing for Sun’s Volume Systems Products. “With memory and system interconnect capabilities well out of reach by similar Wintel/Lintel entry-level servers, our faster processor performance further establishes Sun as the technology leader in this space.”

Lowering Total Cost of Ownership

Sun Fire 280R servers recently achieved record-setting, world-class price performance results on the Oracle Applications Standard Benchmark version 11.5.3. Sun’s servers were able to serve 3,416 simultaneous users at a blazing 1.9 seconds per transaction to achieve its record-setting results. A Sun Fire V880 was used as the database server, while 14 2-way, 750 MHz Sun Fire 280Rs served as the application servers. Full system configuration and software release information regarding this result and the Oracle Applications Standard Benchmark can be obtained at:

Oracle Corp. also announced this week the availability of Oracle9i Real Application Clusters Certified Configuration on the Sun Fire 280R server with Sun StorEdge[tm] T3 Arrays fully integrated with Sun[tm] Cluster 3.0 through Value Added Resellers (VARs). Customers can purchase an Oracle certified, pre-installed, pre-tested and optimized Oracle9i Real Application Clusters hardware and software offering, via a single reseller source, thus cutting total cost of ownership by reducing acquisition and deployment time.

Delivering Enterprise-Class Features in an Entry-Level Server

The Sun Fire 280R server provides expandability, scalability, reliability and flexibility to large enterprises and service providers as well as to small to medium-sized businesses. This high-density, low-profile server provides a full range of enterprise-level features in a 4 RU package, including up to two 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processors; dual(N+1), hot-swappable power supplies with independent power cords; front accessible, hot-plug FC-AL disk drives; 4 PCI slots, 10/100 base T Ethernet port; standard 19-inch rack with sliders for easy servicing and upgrading of CPUs, PCI cards, memory, and power supplies; and Remote System Control management tools for lights out remote management capabilities.

Pricing and Availability

Available now, the price for an entry configuration is $22,995 for a dual 900 MHz Sun Fire 280R server with 8 MB of e-cache, 2 GB of memory, dual power supplies, dual 36 GB, 10000-rpm FC-AL internal disks, and DVD-ROM. The configuration comes standard with Remote System Control. The Sun Fire 280R server can scale up to 8 GB of memory, with two 73 GB FC-AL disks in a single system. For more information, contact your Sun sales representative, authorized Sun reseller, or go to

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer[tm]” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that power the Internet and allow companies worldwide to take their businesses to the nth. Sun can be found in more than 170 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Solaris, Sun Fire, UltraSPARC®, StorEdge and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and in 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 architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.