The two main questions that Sun hardware watchers have been asking over recent months is what the company intends to do to shore up its blade systems in light of stiff competition from the likes of HP, IBM and others, and what are the plans for the UltraSparc in a world increasingly dominated by Intel and AMD?
Both of those questions were answered this week with the release of the 6000 platform, a new 10U chassis with room for 10 blades and three different modules, plus the added feature of holding any combination of Intel chips or UltraSparcs. With up to 640 GB or memory and 5 Tbps throughput, the system is designed for the latest generation of virtual applications.
Although the system does not sport on-board storage like the HP c-Class, Sun hopes to counter with a new virtual enterprise storage system, the StorageTek 9990V. The platform is on par with Hitachi's Universal Storage Platform V and HP's XP24000 in that it offers a means to simplify SAN management through an embedded virtualization stack.
Sun only recently got back into the blade market following nearly a year-long absence, but the company shows no sign of letting up. Later this year, the company plans to release the Unibody, which will hold up to 48 blades in a single chassis and is optimized for high-performance computing.