Sun adds SSD to its x64 servers, blade systems

Sun claims 70% faster response times

Sun Microsystems Inc. announced today it is adding the option of using solid state disk (SSD) drives from Intel Corp. to its line of x64 servers, chip multithreaded (CMT) servers and blade systems.

Sun's systems design approach to SSD integration across software, systems and storage will give users up to 70% faster response times and up to 98% less power consumption than traditional spinning hard disk drives, the company said.

Selected Sun x64 and CMT systems are available for free 60-days trials through Sun's Try and Buy program, with discounts of 20% to 40% if the system is purchased through the program.

"Rather than buying new servers or more [hard drives], you can get to the storage requirements" needed for certain applications by adding flash to existing servers, Austin said.said Ray Austin, Sun's group manager of storage.

The enterprise-class, 32GB Intel X-25E SSDs are list priced at $1,199 each. Servers with SSD start at $3,240 for the Sun Fire X6250 Blade system.

Sun said it has also qualified its open-source Solaris ZFS software with the SSDs to allow virtual pooling of drives behind the file system. Solaris ZFS can combine DRAM, SSDs, with traditional hard drives such as serial ATA (SATA), and serial-attached SCSI (SAS), into a storage pool, which provides users with the speed of flash SSDs and the economies of hard drives.

For example, the SSDs can be substituted for 15,000 rpm SAS drives as tier 1 storage for Web applications or relational databases, while less I/O-intensive applications, such as e-mail, can reside on lower-cost, higher capacity SATA drives.

"The integration of solid state disk innovation and servers is a natural fit and promises compellingly price/performance points for customers." Gene Ruth, an analyst with the Burton Group, said in a statement.

Sun originally introduced SSDs with its Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems in November.

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