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NEBS: Oracle Debuts Carrier-Grade Sparc T3 Servers


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February 24, 2011

NEBS: Oracle Debuts Carrier-Grade Sparc T3 Servers

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

Oracle is bringing its newly revamped Sparc T3 processor into a new line of DC-powered Netra machines, in order to protect and maintain the server business that Sun Microsystems (News - Alert) has built alongside telecommunications firms and service providers.

Originally launched in September 2010, the Sparc T3 processor is the first chip innovated from Oracle (News - Alert) since the company bought Sun a year ago.

The Sparc T3, initially called "Rainbow Falls," comes with either a standard eight or 16 cores running at 1.65 GHz. Each core comes with eight instruction threads as well as a single floating point unit.

With the 16-core version, the Sparc T3 can provide for twice the performance of the models before such as the Sparc T2 and T2+ chips, which had eight cores with eight threads per core. The Sparc T3 chip has 6 MB of shared L3 cache memory.

In September, Oracle put the Sparc T3 chips into four different machines: the Sparc T3-1 (a 2U rack server with a single socket), the Sparc T3-2 (a 3U rack server with two sockets), the T3-4 (a 5U rack server with four sockets), and the T3-1B (a blade server for the Sun Blade 6000 chassis that has one socket), an article revealed.

The new Netra T3-1 rack server while possessing similar qualities to that of the Sparc T3-1 machine from last fall, has different power supplies and options that require the machine to be  slightly reconfigured.

The machine is compliant with the ETSI (News - Alert) European telecom standards and is certified at NEBS Level 3, under these form factor standards created by the telecom industry.

This Netra T3-1 offers twice the amount of power than its predecessor the Netra T5220. When comparing the two, it has a 16-core T3 chip running at 1.65 GHz with a total of 128 threads; the Netra T5220 had a single 1.2 GHz chip with eight cores. The Netra T3-1 server has 16 memory slots and supports 4 GB and 8 GB DDR3 main memory sticks, for a maximum of 128 GB of total memory.

The server has five PCI (News - Alert)-Express 2.0 x8 peripheral slots, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet XAUI connections.

The Netra T3-1 supports Solaris 10, Oracle's current Unix version. Available with 16 GB of memory, two 300 GB disk drives, and either AC or DC power, the base Netra T3-1 server costs $23,069.

If you want to increase the memory to 64 GB on the machine, the price will increase to $27,629. If you want the Netra T3-1 to possess 128 GB of memory and full 1.2 TB of disk, the price increases to $48,527.

The regular Sparc T3-1 server has tons of room for disk expansion (up to 16 drives) and the prices range from $18,642 to $44,234 in similar configurations as the Netra version of the box.

The Netra T3-1BA blade that Oracle is also debuting is quite a bit different from the Sparc T3-1B blade that came out last fall. The Netra Sparc T3 blade server adheres to the Advanced TCA (ATCA) form factor standard put out by the telco industry, while the regular blades from Oracle are based on a form factor created for the Sun Blade 6000 rack.

Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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