Tuesday, December 06, 2005


SystemNews is reporting new T2000 SPARC server from Sun based on Niagara chip UltraSPARC T1. You can find more info also on Sun pages. Looks like this server is going to be presented on tomorrow NC event. Chassis looks similar to x4200 - probably the same. From the documentation:

  • CPU - 4, 6, 8 cores (each with 4 threads, so 16, 24 or 32 virtual CPUs are seen in a system) UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara)
  • RAM - 16 slots (with 2GB DDR2 - 32GB)
  • Ethernet - 4x 100/1000 on-board
  • DISKS - 1-4 2,5" SFF SAS 73GB
  • 1x DVD
  • I/O - 3x PCI-E, 2x PCI-X (64bit 133MHz)
  • Redundant power and cooling
  • Hardware-assisted cryptography (RSA & DSA on-chip)
  • 350W nominal power consumption (400W MAX)

Now I wonder about price of the server and what actual performance in web serving it could achieve.

btw: looks like smaller version named T1000 is going to presented too.

update: another article on Niagara with some performance benchmarks.
From the article:

• On the SPECjbb2005 test of Java server software, the T2000 scored 53,378 business operations per second compared with 61,789 for an IBM p5-550 with two dual-core Power5 chips and 24,208 for a Dell PowerEdge SC1425 with dual single-core Xeon processors.

• On the SPECweb2005 test of Web server performance, the T2000 socred 14,001, compared with 7,881 for an IBM p5-550 with two dual-core Power5 processors, 4,850 for a Dell PowerEdge 2850 with two dual-core Xeon processors, and 4,348 for an IBM x345 with dual single-core Xeon processors.

• On the NotesBench test of Lotus Notes performance, a T2000 accommodated 19,000 users at $4.35 per user and got a NotesMark score of 16,061. In comparison, an eight-processor IBM p5-570 had 17,400 users, a cost of $10.19 per user, and a NotesMark score of 14,740. But the average response time of the IBM system was 270 microseconds compared with the slower 400 microseconds for the T2000, demonstrating the relatively slow single-thread performance of the Sun system.

Looks like WEB performance is really good.


Amit Kulkarni said...

There was a story a week ago on the Register.co.uk... From there the max price was around $27 grand for a 32 Gb 8 core running at 1.2 Ghz

For 16Gb RAM, it was around $16-17 grand, for 8 Gb it was around $13-14 grand. I am not sure of the 6 core and 4 core pricing

I don't remember the number of hard drives included. And while trying to find a link, it doesn't work. Anyway we will know for sure tomorrow, right?

Phillip Fayers said...

The UNIX Guardian have had an article up for a couple of weeks with more details (see: Sun moves up Niagra Sparc Server Announcement).

They reckon that the smaller server, the T1000, will cost between $2,995 and $10,995 and the, larger, T2000 will run from about $7,795 to $25,995.

I've been wondering about the Niagra chip for a while. Sun don't have their usual excellent white papers describing it yet so we are having to guess about its capabilities. Sun have been particularly quiet about the floating point side of the chip. Now their own system docs report a problem with FP performance due to the single threaded nature of the FP processor. I wish they'd tell us whether that means there is only one FP unit on the entire die or whether there are 8, one for each core.

milek said...

Well, probably FP performance isn't quite good - but I don't belive this is a problem, as this system is targeted mostly for WEB like services where FP doesn't matter. If it is going to success then price/performance should be competetive to Opteron/Xeon servers.

Amit Kulkarni said...

Will it handle database load better compared to a AMD based server?