Entry level Fujitsu servers boast higher-end features

Fujitsu Technology Solutions Canada Inc.’s two new entry-level Primepower servers, the Primepower 250, a two-way server and the Primepower 450, a four-way server, are designed to offer high-end features in a compact package.

Pat Misasi, the business development manager at Fujitsu, formerly Amdahl Canada Ltd., in Toronto said that by offering functionality that users aren’t used to seeing in an entry-level server, Fujitsu is extending Primepower – Sun Microsystems’ Solaris-compatible, SPARC-based commercial Unix server – models to the edge of the network.

“Both the 250 and 450 have high-performance processors at a clock speed of 1.1GHz with 1MB of second level cache,” Misasi said. “They both have mainframe reliability features and faster buses. They both run Solaris and have a smaller footprint than our current entry-level servers.”

Misasi added that the size of the footprint has turned out to be a more important consideration than he would have thought before talking with end-users.

“It appears to be very important in terms of real estate and the cost of power usage. Interestingly enough, I’ve spoken to some end users who said that they can’t even put some of the machines in their data centres because of the amount of power they consume,” Misasi said.

According to Misasi, the 250 server has up to two 1.1GHz central processing units (CPUs), up to 8GB of memory, and is rack optimized with 2U formfactor and three PCI slots. A pedestal version is available with 7U formfactor and six PCI slots and features extended system control (XSCF).

“[The XCSF] is a systems management piece of technology that enhances the reliability level of all functions, so it’s more like an autonomous self-healing capability,” Misasi said.

He added that the 450 server has up to four 1.1GHz CPUs, up to 6GB of memory and is rack optimized with a 4U formfactor and six PCI slots. The pedestal version has a 7U formfactor and nine PCI slots. The 450 also features XCSF.

Misasi said that both systems include a feature called hardware instruction retry. With this feature the Primepower systems will immediately retry a failed instruction at the hardware level.

“So you eliminate some of the rebuilding of the software buffer which corrects 98 per cent of the errors. As well [Fujitsu] offers additional parity checking functionality that ensures that processing errors are automatically self-corrected,” Misasi said.

Allison Fraser, a marketing and product development executive for Fujitsu in Toronto said that having a system like the hardware instruction retry in place, “helps the Primepower servers meet all the needs of the most demanding applications.”

Vernon Turner, group vice-president for global enterprise server solutions at Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. (IDC) said what makes Fujitsu’s new servers different from those of its competitors is the fact that its entry-level servers provide “a very high enterprise-class functionality.”

“These servers will be positioned to try and run some of the traditional enterprise workload and give IT managers the confidence that the servers are going to be able to do the job,” Turner said. “They’ve got big cache, they’ve got high throughput, and they’ve got availability, so obviously they’re going to attract some of that high-end workload onto their servers.”

Fujitsu also announced upgrades to its midrange class of servers recently including the Primepower 650 – an eight-way server – and the 850 – a 16-way server.

According to Misasi, both units will feature 1.08GHz SPARC64 V processors, enabling high-speed for business-critical Unix enterprise applications.

Fujitsu first released the Primepower series at the beginning of April when the company revealed itself as Fujitsu, dropping the former Amdahl name.