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Sun Microsystems on Tuesday formally unveiled its first AMD Opteron-based server system. Now that 2P AMD64 machines are-officially-soon-to-be-available from Sun, the Santa Clara, California-based server company wants to offer 4P AMD Opteron servers throughout the year, indicating solid plans for AMD’s 64-bit microprocessor.

As reported earlier, Sun Microsystems’ first Fire V20z server on AMD 64-bit technology will be based on AMD Opteron 200 series processors and will be positioned as an entry-level machine for high-performance compute clusters, web or application serving, database management, grid computing or similar applications.

The Fire V20z 1U server has 8 DIMM slots for up to 16 GB of PC2700 DDR SDRAM memory; 2 64-bit PCI-X slots – 66MHz and 133MHz; 2 Gigabit Ethernet network controllers; up to two hot-swappable 3.5”x1.0” Ultra320 SCSI drives and so on. Basically, Fire V20z is just a typical 1U server from Sun, but the one that rocks in 32-bit applications and capable of handling 64-bit computing.

Currently Sun suggests installing Solaris 9 or Microsoft Windows operating systems for x86 platforms or Linux versions for AMD64 processors by SUSE or Red Hat on its AMD64 servers. However, at some point Sun will release its Solaris OS for 64-bit AMD processors as well. Additionally, Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for 64-bit Extended Systems will be available later this year.

By uncovering first AMD Opteron machine, Sun confirmed its strong commitment to AMD64 platform. With 4-way Opteron servers available at a later date as well as Solaris operating system for AMD64 hitting the market, there will be a quite impressive AMD64 product line and infrastructure at Sun Microsystems, which is generally positive for AMD, who has not been into enterprise server market before.

Sun Fire V20z AMD Opteron-based server’s price starts at $2795. The first shipments will start in April 2004.

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