Earlier this week, John Fowler, the executive vice president of the Systems group at Sun Microsystems, hinted that Sun and server partner Fujitsu would be bringing a new "gap filling" server to market based on the new quad-core Sparc64-VII processor. Turns out, it is indeed an entry server, even if it might compete against Sun's own "Niagara" family of servers, which use Sun's own multi-core Sparc T series of chips.
The forthcoming machine - which Fowler said would ship before the end of 2008 - is code-named Ikkaku. Presumably, that's a nod to the 17th century Japanese martial art known as Ikkaku-ryū juttejutsu, which teaches how to fight with short swords, short staffs, grappling, and something called the war fan. (Go ahead, have fun with that).
The box will be sold as the Sparc Enterprise M3000 and is a single-socket machine that comes in a 2U rack-mounted chassis that is aimed at developers who need a modestly powered machine or for workloads where horizontal scaling works better than an SMP box. The Ikkaku server might also see use in supercomputer clustering, given that a single Sparc64-VII chip can deliver 40 gigaflops of number-crunching power with all four cores running at 2.5 GHz.
The Ikkaku server will have a single "Jupiter" Sparc64-VII processor with the four cores running at 2.53 GHz and 5 MB of L2 cache on the chip. The server is expected to have eight DDR2 memory slots, for a maximum of 64 GB using wickedly expensive 8 GB DIMMs and will have four PCI-Express slots and four on-board Gigabit Ethernet ports. The motherboard for the Ikkaku server will have a RAID disk controller and the chassis has room for four 2.5-inch SAS drives.
According to the documents I have seen, the Ikkaku server will be available in the fourth quarter. Pricing information was not available. The machine will obviously run Solaris 10 and is binary compatible with other Sparc boxes. ®