January 20, 2004

Sun Collaborates with Interconnect Partners to Design and Optimize Network Performance; Continues Growth in Linux-Based HPTC Cluster Deployments Alongside Solaris

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – January 20, 2004 – Increasing its momentum and recent growth in the high performance and technical computing (HPTC) market, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today added an array of interconnect technology companies as part of the newly established Sun HPTC Alliance Partner Program geared to advance grid performance for Sun customers. This alliance program aims to provide customers with a wide range of technologies covering data, compute, visualization and access to grid computing solutions. HPTC Alliance partners introduced by Sun today include Infinicon, Force10 Networks, Mellanox, Myrinet, Quadrics, Topspin Communications and Voltaire.

“Sun’s HPTC Alliance Partner Program provides Sun customers with a wide range of advanced technologies and allows us to tailor solutions to specific customer needs,” said Shahin Khan, vice president of the HPTC business unit at Sun. “We’re leading the HPTC market with our UltraSPARC® and Solaris-based servers and HPTC solutions, and through a spike in deployments of Sun x86-based, Linux clusters. With next generation Opteron-based systems on the horizon, Sun HPTC Alliance partners can reach and serve an even larger segment of the market.”

These new industry alliances can immediately benefit many performance-hungry HPTC customers using clusters and grids to support large-scale scientific and exploratory projects. These include many NSF-funded projects as well as global efforts like the TeraGrid and the current Mars rover explorations which use Sun systems including the Solaris platform and Java technology.

The HPTC business unit at Sun has attracted major customer wins in market segments including education, as customers look to maximize their existing resources through grid and cluster computing. To foster innovative learning, Sun is committed to bringing collaboration in the academic environment for both research and development, as well as high performance computing across the enterprise for intensive compute environments within academia. Many universities make extensive use of Sun and its partner’s technologies advantageously to achieve their computing goals.

At Pennsylvania State University, Sun’s systems are part of the Pleiades Cluster which analyzes data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Pleiades is one component of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration Data Grid and a member of the International Virtual Data Grid Laboratory (iVDGL), an international computational laboratory that supports experimentation in grid-enabled, data-intensive scientific computing.

“A combination of clustered Sun Fire V60x servers and an InfiniBand interconnect from a Sun partner demonstrates how Sun and its HPTC partners create a total solution that gives us the performance we need in our HPC environment,” said Vijay Agarwala, Director, High Performance Computing and Visualization at the Pennsylvania State University.

The new HPTC Alliance partners announced today include the following interconnect technology companies:

  • Force10 Networks – Force10 Networks is the pioneer in scalable resiliency for high performance switching and routing. Today, many of the world’s largest Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks depend on Force10’s Networks.
  • Infinicon – Leveraging the breakthrough advances of the InfiniBand architecture, Infinicon Systems offers a complete systems solution for enabling data centers to migrate to a fabric/grid model of computing, integrating seamlessly into today’s Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks.
  • Mellanox – Mellanox is the leading supplier of InfiniBand semiconductors, providing complete solutions including switches, host channel adapters, and target channel adapters to the server, communications, data storage, and embedded markets. Mellanox InfiniBand interconnect solutions today provide over eight times the performance of Ethernet, and over three times the performance of proprietary interconnects.
  • Myricom – Myricom created Myrinet, the leading high-speed network for connecting computers to form clusters used for computationally demanding scientific and engineering applications, and for data-intensive web and database applications. There are thousands of Myrinet clusters in use world-wide, including several systems with more than 1000 processors.
  • Quadrics – Quadrics is a leading supplier and developer of high performance networking products and resource management software. Quadrics’ product families are based on internally developed ASICs, firmware and software technologies, and offer customers high performance, scalability and flexibility, enabling large clusters of these processing units to be connected together.
  • Topspin Communications – Topspin is a leader in server virtualization, delivering the industry’s first of data center infrastructure designed to allow virtual servers to be created by interconnecting server, storage, and networking resources on-demand.
  • Voltaire – Voltaire is a leading provider of high performance InfiniBand solutions that improve the performance and utilization of clusters and advanced computing grids. Voltaire’s standards-based InfiniBand hardware and software solutions feature modular, advanced I/O capabilities for seamless connectivity to IP and storage networks and are used by prestigious national labs and universities to power HPC clusters and applications.

Today’s announcement follows the December 2003, findings from International Data Corporation (IDC) declaring Sun as the largest volume HPTC vendor according to its Q3CY03 Worldwide Technical Server report. Sun achieved this standing in part through large Sun Fire V60x cluster configurations that appeared on the Top 500 Supercomputers list announced in November 2003. For a more detailed report see the IDC High Performance Technical Computer Qview Report, 11/24/03

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

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