Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Sun Microsystems) has introduced a new solid state drive (SSD) flash technology in its x64, chip multi-threaded (CMT) Rack and Blade systems. The new systems design approach to SSD integration across software, systems and storage leverages components and redefines storage hierarchy. This systems approach helps customers achieve up to 65x faster response times, up to eight times better throughput, and up to 38% less power consumption than with traditional servers.

The enterprise flash market is poised for growth in 2009, driven by better economies of scale for Flash technology that more efficiently allows companies to serve and manage exponentially growing amounts of data. The first major vendor to announce an end-to-end Flash strategy in early 2008, Sun has integrated Flash technology into its popular Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage family and today introduced SSD innovation into its leading server portfolio.

Sun’s innovative x64 and CMT server designs with the Solaris OS push data center efficiency to its limits on performance, scalability and energy requirements, said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems Group, Sun Microsystems. Sun is leading the charge with the addition of Flash technology to our server platforms that blow the doors off with huge performance increases, greater cost efficiencies and savings in power consumption.

Sun Serves Up Flash:

Sun’s x64 and CMT servers and blade systems are already among the industry’s best performing and most efficient platforms for virtualization as well as enterprise, Web, database and high-performance computing (HPC) applications. Sun’s x64 servers and blade systems support multiple chip architectures, including UltraSPARC, AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors; as well as operating systems like Solaris 10 Operating System (OS), Open Solaris, Linux, Windows and VMware. Sun Blade systems offer customers up to double the memory and I/O capacity of competing blades and racks systems, and 15% less energy consumption versus equivalent rackmount servers. Sun CMT servers deliver breakthrough performance and dramatic eco-efficiency with up to four times higher performance, up to four times higher performance per watt, and cost as little as one-fourth of competitive servers. Now with the integration of enterprise solid state disks into Sun systems, customers can double performance to increase I/O intensive applications and lower power consumption significantly.

The industry has witnessed the evolution of Flash technology from consumer products like the Apple iPod into the enterprise datacenter, driven primarily by decreasing costs for Flash technology and the promise of better application performance in a lower power envelope, said Gene Ruth, senior analyst with the Burton Group. The integration of solid state disk innovation and servers is a natural fit and promises compelling price/performance points for customers.

Sun designed its Solaris ZFS, the first and only file system optimized for Flash, that offers increased performance and minimal downtime. Solaris ZFS can combine DRAM, SSDs, and traditional hard drives into a Hybrid Storage Pool, which provides customers with the speed of Flash SSDs and the economies of hard drives. In November 2008, Sun also introduced the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems with integrated Flash for dramatically reduced storage I/O bottlenecks, never-before-seen storage analytics capabilities, and a greatly simplified management interface.

New Tools Allow Customers to Fully Utilize Power of Flash Technology:

Sun also today announced the Sun Flash Analyzer, the industry’s first and only tool that gives customers insight into their SSD-based servers to understand how to increased application performance. This new tool detects I/O intensive applications that can best leverage Flash technology and will then make suggestions about ways to improve system performance.