March 10, 1997 10:00 AM ET
Sun expands Ultra Server line with HPCs
By James Gruener

  Sun Microsystems Inc. will push the limits of its Ultra servers and workstations this week with a new line of systems that provide high bandwidth and load balancing capabilities.

The Sun Ultra HPC line will be available in six SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) configurations, including the HPC 2 workstation and high-end HPC 10000 server. They can support as many as 64 CPUs and offer as much as 64GB of memory and 20 terabytes of storage.

The new line builds on the current hardware of the company's Ultra Enterprise Server line, including a 200MHz or 250MHz UltraSPARC processor and the company's Uniform Memory Access design, used to develop and run parallel applications.

The servers will come bundled with workload management software called Load Sharing Facility that was created by Platform Computing Corp. The software manages workloads across clusters of distributed heterogeneous workstations and servers. It creates an image of servers as a single entity, giving users transparent access to all networkwide applications. The combination will allow users to tap multiple servers to execute large operations.

For some users, the SMP architecture is important, especially for software development.

So far, [the Ultra servers ] have done a good job, said Jacek Myczkowski, vice president of development for Thinking Machines Corp., in Bedford, Mass.

Available now, pricing for the Ultra HPC ranges from $43,745 for the HPC 2 to more than $2.5 million for the HPC 10000.

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