After months of speculation, Sun announced that the new V480 server is available as a two or four processor server running on 900MHz UltraSPARC III processors. The rack-mount system is 5U (8.75 inches) high and costs from just under $23,000 (£15,536) for a basic configuration. Sun has also made the 900MHz chips available with its eight-processor V880 server - previously this was sold with 750MHz chips.
Sun has long battled against IBM and Hewlett-Packard. with entry-level and midrange servers running versions of the Unix operating system. In addition, IBM, HP and Dell Computer have strengthened their two processor and four processor servers that use Intel chips and run either Microsoft Windows or the Linux operating system. Sun is confident it can match rivals on price with the V480 and build on the success of the V880 systems, which have been on sale for some time.
Pricing for the V480 server starts at $22,995 for a system with two 900MHz UltraSPARC IIIs, 4Gbytes of memory and two 36Gbyte disks. A larger system with 4 processors, 16Gbytes of memory and two 36Gbyte disks will be priced at $46,995. Sun ships the systems with its JumpStart technology that lets users install either the Solaris 8 or Solaris 9 operating system.
Sun claims the prices for the new V480 server will cost $1,000 less than competing systems from IBM and Dell. This comparison is for IBM and Dell systems without an operating system. IBM and Dell were not available for comment.
Later this month, Sun is expected to announce clustering software packages that will be available on the V480.