Introduction

An interesting policy inside Sun is that you retain your badge number for life. Andy Bechtolsheim retained badge ID #1 at Sun, even after he went on to found Granite Systems and Magma Design Automation. Andy's golden touch extended out to several small companies including a promising little search engine called "Google" as well as academia with Andy's investments into Carnegie-Mellon Universities WCC campus. What does this have to do with Sun's new servers? Well, Andy has some pretty big plans for Sun these days.

Eighteen months ago, Andy's return to Sun marked the company's Renaissance of new ideas, strategies and philosophies. Everything about Sun is getting a new image, from company motto all the way down to the entry level server designs. Mr. Bechtolsheim is personally responsible for the company's drive towards x64 and x86 processors; the V40z, V20z and W2000z were all children of his push for lower cost servers that relied on efficiency and innovation. Given that Andy only had 6 months to get the initial Opteron servers and workstations online, there wasn't much time to develop everything from scratch, which is why the older Sun x64 workstations and servers are mostly based on Newisys designs and components.

Today is the first x64 server for Sun that is totally unlike anything else on the market. While today is also the mark of Sun's Galaxy server line, the SunFire X2100 model (code named "Aquarius") that we are looking at today will become Sun's entry level sub-$1000 server. Vertical markets will be able to use the Aquarius as a completely storage-less application node, while horizontal markets will be able to use the X2100 as a low cost, high density application or web server. We have some upcoming analyses of the Galaxy lineup, but today, we are very excited to bring the first look at Sun's entry level "Aquarius", or SunFire X2100.

What is Aquarius?
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  • dilidolo - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    If you want to conpare hardware, then run same OS.
    If you want to benchmark OS/App, then use same hardware.

    With Anand's testing method, you can't really tell if it's OS or hardware that makes the difference.
    Reply
  • Furen - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Considering that the 175 is supposed to be cheaper than the 152, Sun's margins on the Dual-core system are huge. Then again, these systems cannibalize their 2-way single-core systems, so of course they have to be priced accordingly. Reply
  • MCSim - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    https://www.sun.com/nc/05q3/">Sun NC05Q3 event Reply
  • MCSim - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    https://www.sun.com/nc/05q3/">Fixed link Reply
  • gibhunter - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Everyone retains their badge number in our company too. I think it makes it easier from an accounting standpoint.

    When I left in 99 and came back in 03 I still had the same badge number even though new employees' numbers have gone up by about a hundred.
    Reply
  • splat1 - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    The board is a rebranded tyan K8E.
    surprized the guys from anandtech didnt see that.

    ftp://ftp.tyan.com/img_mobo/i_s2865.tif">ftp://ftp.tyan.com/img_mobo/i_s2865.tif

    Looks like they pulled the pci slots and some other stuff but Im pretty sure the board layout was tyan's design.
    Reply
  • Furen - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    I would call it a similar design, it's not easy to "pull" stuff out of a motherboard. Reply
  • splat1 - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Can anyone find a better pic of the sun motherboard. From what I can tell the board layout is identical. Even the smdc card looks to be the same one that tyan uses. I guess I could try to flash the k8e with the sun bios and see what happens. Reply
  • MCSim - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Sun is doing really well with the Opterons. Reply
  • Questar - Monday, September 12, 2005 - link

    Yeah, look at those profits they're making! Reply

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