Sun Unveils Powerful, Affordable Multiprocessing Servers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. --September 30, 1991-- Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation (SMCC) today introduced a line of powerful, general-purpose multiprocessing servers and software products that bring a new level of performance and value to commercial and technical environments. Unveiled was the SPARCserver(TM) 600MP Series, offering more database performance at a lower cost than any other system in the industry, as well as providing the easiest, least expensive upgrade path. Also introduced was a multiprocessing version of SMCC's UNIX(R) operating environment that runs existing applications unchanged, as well as a family of server management software that boosts availability -- which means the systems' "uptime" -- and lowers system administration costs.

SMCC is aiming this open server solution -- hardware and software -- at the countless users in many markets who need the advantages of affordable multiprocessing. Multiprocessing systems achieve high speeds because they utilize more than one processor. SMCC's new products address users' desire for ever-greater performance by quickly running multiple jobs simultaneously and supporting more users on the network.

With these servers, SMCC is reaffirming its position as the leading UNIX client-server vendor. While the company is best known as a desktop workstation manufacturer, it had more than $700 million in server business in its last fiscal year. "With this announcement, Sun is poised to increase its share in the UNIX midrange. We might even see them take a noticeable piece of the overall minicomputer market as well," said David Card, director of systems research at International Data Corp., a computer industry analysis firm.

Modular MP Servers Are Powerful, Low Cost

The new servers -- the SPARCserver 630MP, 670MP and 690MP -- replace the SPARCserver 330, 470 and 490 systems, respectively. They offer industry-leading throughput, which is the most important measure of performance for a workhorse server. "Throughput" reflects several areas, including database performance, I/O, compute performance, and fast, efficient networking. These modular, aggressively priced systems have a SPECthruput rating (a measurement of computing speed for multiprocessing systems) of 51 and 91, for the two- or four-processor configurations.

Besides delivering the industry's best database price/performance, these servers have better database performance that competing UNIX systems from companies such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and DEC. The new SMCC servers also boost I/O and network throughput, as well as responsiveness under a heavy load. The systems' superior I/O comes partly as a result of the industry's highest-performance 5.25-inch SCSI and IPI drives.

These new SPARCserver systems employ a revolutionary modular design that helps minimize user costs and makes possible the industry's easiest upgrade to multiple CPUs and even to future technologies. The key is the open MBus specification, an interconnect that links SPARC modules -- each containing two processors -- to the CPU board. Additional modules can be added for higher performance. Existing modules will also accommodate processors using future SPARC technologies.

Software Enhances Performance

These MP servers include SunSoft's Solaris 1.0(R) operating environment (which includes the SunOS(TM) operating system, the OpenWindows(TM) graphical windowing environment, the ONC(TM) networking standard and DeskSet(TM) productivity applications), enhanced with multiprocessing extensions and other performance features.

Existing applications among the 3,600 SPARCware(TM) solutions will run on the new servers without modification. In addition, the leading database vendors -- Informix, Ingres, Oracle and Sybase -- are optimizing their products for SMCC's new servers. Some major vendors in the mainframe and minicomputer markets also plan to support these servers, including Software AG, Cognos and Cincom.

SMCC will support the Solaris 2.0 environment in the first half of next year. This distributed computing environment is based on the UNIX standard, System V Release 4, and includes features like multithreading and greater security.

Also a key part of SMCC's multiprocessing strategy is a comprehensive line of server management software, based on SunSoft's Commercial Enhancement Products (CEP) family. This server management line addresses the critical need for high system availability, as well as reduced administration costs. Introduced today were the Online: DiskSuite(TM), Online: IPI Dual Port(TM), and Online: Backup Copilot(TM) software products. Through features like disk mirroring (automatically copying critical data), shared access to disks, and online automatic backups, these add-on products ensure that the systems are available to users, also increasing the ease of administration. In addition, SMCC will be offering other CEP products such as the Account Resource Management (ARM) and Automated Security Enhancement Tool (ASET) software security products.

Upgrades; Availability

SMCC is offering the easiest, least expensive upgrade path in the industry. Current Sun customers looking for multiprocessor performance can choose from a full line of cost-effective board and system upgrades.

The new SPARCserver 600MP Series will be shipped in the fourth quarter of this year. Systems are being sold through all Sun distribution channels worldwide. Systems come with the Solaris 1.0 environment with multiprocessing enhancements, 64 megabytes of memory, 1.3 to 2.6 gigabytes of disk storage, SunCD(TM) drive, Ethernet, one audio and two RS423 serial ports and a SCSI port.

Sun Microsystems Computer Corporation, a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., is the world's leading supplier of client-server computing solutions, which feature networked workstations and servers that store, process and distribute information. Used for many demanding commercial and technical applications, SMCC's products command the largest share of the computer industry's fastest-growing market segment: workstations and servers. Sun Microsystems, founded in 1982 and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., is a multi-billion dollar corporation doing business worldwide.


Sun, ONC, SunOS, DeskSet, Online: DiskSuite, Online: IPI Dual Port, Online: Backup Copilot, SunSoft and SunCD are trademarks; Sun Microsystems and Solaris are registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. SPARC is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. SPARCserver and SPARCware are trademarks of SPARC International, Inc., licensed exclusively to Sun Microsystems, Inc. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. All other products mentioned herein are identified by the trademarks as designated by the companies who market those products. Inquiries concerning such trademarks should be made directly to those companies.