Sun Systems – Competitive Edge

Executive Summary
In mid-November, HP, IBM and Dell announced quad core Xeon 5300 processors in their two socket systems. Xeon 5300, codenamed Clovertown, combines two dual-core processors in a Multi-chip Module (MCM). The MCM approach means higher power consumption for Clovertown-based systems compared to dual core Xeonbased systems. 65 watt dual core processors become 80 watt quad core processors, and 80 watt Woodcrests become 120 watt Clovertowns. (1) IBM, HP and Dell are claiming systems running Xeon 5300 have achieved a performance gain over the Xeon 5100 series-based systems (dual core Woodcrest) that ranges from 50% to 64%, depending on the benchmark. This demonstrates the limited scalability of the MCM design. Despite the fact that the two-socket systems from HP, IBM and Dell receive a speedbump with the higher speedbin processors, the multi-chip module approach is recognized as primarily offering a 'first to market' claim for x86 quad core. (2) However, Sun was the first to market with an eight-core, multi-threaded processor. The UltraSPARCTM T1 processor has not only produced over 15 World Record Benchmarks, but also set a new industry standard for power efficiency. Sun also has a multi-core support across the Sun FireTM X64 product line, and the design of the AMD OpteronTM processor will allow Sun's X64 products to be upgraded to quad-core in mid-2007 within the same thermal envelope. Dual-core Xeon-based systems were just announced a few months ago – are customers really ready to shift to an MCM quad-core design this soon after the introduction of dual core?

Announcement Details
The Xeon 5300 series 'Clovertown' processors consist of two 5100 series Woodcrest (dual core) processors in a single package. The new Xeon 5300 series processors are compatible with the same sockets and chipsets as the Xeon 5100 series, enabling vendors to support the new quad core CPUs in existing servers. Four quad core 5300 series models have been announced. The entry-level model E5310 and E5320 running at 1.6GHz and 1.86GHz both support a 1066MHz front side bus (FSB) with a thermal design of 80 watts. The E5345 runs at 2.33GHz on the faster 1333MHz FSB and the X5355 runs at 2.66GHz on the 1333MHz FSB, both with a thermal footprint of 120W. The two lower speed models appear in competitors' two-socket products today. Benchmarks mentioned in the press utilize the faster speed models but aren't available until February 2007. HP

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Refreshed their ProLiant product line with Xeon 5300, upgrading the following ProLiant servers: the DL380 G5 (2U/2S/top selling rack), DL360 G5 (1U/2S/rack), DL140 G3 (1U/2S/rack), ML370 G5 (5U/2S/tower), ML350 G5 (5U/2S/top selling tower), ML150 G3 (5U/2S/low cost tower), BL480c (2S/8 blades/10U), BL460c (2S/16 blades/10U), BL20p G4 (2S/8 Blades/6U) Refreshed their Workstation product line, including the HP xw6400 (2S) and xw8400 (2S). The Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 quad core processors will be offered on the HP xw4400 (1S) Messaging emphasizes enhanced application performance while maintaining ProLiant power requirements. Claims the new systems based on the quad-core Xeon 5300 series can improve performance by 48% on certain enterprise applications (3). Released benchmark comparisons run using a tower server versus a rack server utilizing the high-end X5355 processor with a faster clock speed and faster front side bus than systems that are currently available for purchase.

Systems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners

Sun Systems – Competitive Edge
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Announced entry pricing for the new quad-core-based systems range from $2,039 to $3,739. Highlights TPC-C benchmark results that are not apples to apples comparisons against IBM. [HP ProLiant ML370 G5 – 240,737 tpmC @ $1.85/tpmC – available Nov. 22, 2006 - (2 processors/8 cores/8 threads) against IBM eServer p5 570: 203,440 tpmC @ $3.93/tpmC - available Oct. 17, 2005 (2processors/4 cores/8 threads)]. The benchmark is not available until Nov. 22, 2006. Introduced five IBM servers that support the Xeon 5300 upgrade: System x3650 (2RU, high-RAS, 2 socket), System x3550 (1RU, high-RAS, 2 socket), System x3400 (low-RAS, 2 socket, tower), System x3500 (high-RAS, 2 socket, tower) and HS21 (2 socket, Xeon blade) Messaging emphasizes: • Claims for better I/O, memory handling, reliability and availability than other quad-core systems. • Differentiation from competitors with the addition of enhanced energy management, system management and virtualization capabilities. • Claims system management differentiator is the "integration of IBM Virtualization Manager into new IBM Director 5.2, enabling clients to manage from a single console both physical and virtual machines for VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, and Xen environments on IBM System x and BladeCenter". • IBM PowerExecutive software for datacenter power consumption management • Claims better I/O and memory capacity than Dell 2950 – no specifics given, likely means more DIMM and PCI slots. Xeon 5300 availability is over the next two months, orderable on November 14. System x3550 and System x3650 begin shipping in December System x3400, System x3500 and the HS210 blade begin shipping in January 2007. Fastest speedgrade Xeon X5355s and E5345s not available until February 2007. Upgraded their 2-socket product line to support the Xeon 5300 series, including: PowerEdge 1950 and 2950 servers (1U and 2U rack), 1900 and 2900 (towers), SC1430 (low cost rack), 1955 (blade), 690 and 490 (workstations) In addition to a 63% performance gain on SPECint_rate with the 2.66Ghz quad core Xeon over the dual core 3.0GHz, claims a 40% improvement in performance/watt using SPECjbb2005. Messaging emphasis is on consolidation and virtualization - claiming 69% improvement, comparing dual core to quad core, based on internal Dell tests,. Offering a Virtualization Readiness Assessment Service - fixed price, fixed scope - Dell says they'll enable customers to make informed decisions on how to simplify their environment through virtualization. Only E5310 and E5320 are currently available for ordering now. The PowerEdge 1950 with 2 x 2.66GHz quad core processors and16GB of memory is priced just under US$10k.

IBM

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Dell

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Sun Response
While the move to multi-core processors is fairly new to Intel, Sun has been investing in multi-core and multithreaded processors for years. Sun was the first to market with a true eight-core, multi-threaded processor. The UltraSPARC T1 processor, code-named Niagara, has produced over 15 World Record Benchmarks and set a new industry standard for power efficiency -- operating at an average 72 Watts. And, although Dell, HP, and IBM have announced systems that support MCM quad-core chips, Sun has been shipping the Sun Fire T1000 server and the Sun Fire T2000 servers for a year, resulting in over US$200,000,000 in sales for the last two quarters. And Sun achieved that while passing Dell in Q2CY06 to claim the number three spot in the worldwide server market. Sun offers a complete, scalable product line, with UltraSPARC, CoolThreadsTM Technology and x64. Systems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners

Sun Systems – Competitive Edge
Cool Threads 1. Sun's UltraSPARC T1 Processor Leads the Industry in Efficiency - Dell claims to have increased performance/watt by 40%, but Sun Niagara-based systems still operate more efficiently than Xeon 5300-based systems. When tested against a Dell PowerEdge 2950, the Sun Fire T1000 Server with Sun's T1 UltraSPARC Processor demonstrates a 23% advantage in performance per watt -- and it does this in 50% of the space, greatly reducing customer operating expenses while increasing data center efficiency. In addition, 64-threads will be available on the next generation T1000 & T2000 systems in mid-2007, doubling performance. Plus, the Sun UltraSPARC T1 chip operates more efficiently at 72 watts versus the fastet Intel Xeon 5300 at 120 watts (http://news.com.com/Intel+Quad+core+to+turbocharge+chips/2100-1006_36119913.html?tag=nl). 2. Scalability is weak – There are some weaknesses in the performance claims made by Dell. The Xeon 5300 processors are simply a doubling-up of dual-core Woodcrest chips. Intel designs have been constrained by the Front Side Bus architecture, meaning all traffic to I/O, interprocessor and memory has to travel down one lane, often resulting in bottlenecks that decrease overall performance. This poor performance scalability is proven by Dell's benchmark results. Dell claims to get 63% higher performance from an eight-core Clovertown versus a four-core Woodcrest. In a truly performance-driven, scalable chip design the performance increase should lead to a performance improvement of approximately 90%.

Vendor
Fujitsu Fujitsu Fujitsu

Processor Model
5160 5150 5130

Frequency
3.0 GHz 2.66 GHz 2.0 GHz

System Configuration
2 Socket, 4 Core 2 Socket, 4 Core 2 Socket, 4 Core

SPECfp_Rate Score
80.6 77.4 68.4

Source: http://www.spec.org/cpu2000/results/res2006q4/#SPECfp_rate As shown above, while the processor frequency increases by 50% when moving from 2 GHz to 3.0 GHz, performance only increases by 17.8%. This is because many of the underlying components of the SPECfp_rate benchmark are memory-bound, and therefore results in poor performance scalability. These results demonstrate the constraints of Front Side Bus architecture and of using FBDIMM with long latency, which is only further aggravated by the single-thread processor design. 3. Sun's CoolThreads Systems Go Beyond Performance to Address Space, Power and Efficiency Concerns - While Intel chose to focus on the performance aspects of Moore's law, Sun chose to address the full spectrum of customer data center challenges such as power consumption and space, in addition to performance. Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 Servers with CoolThreads technology drastically reduce cooling needs for the data center, allowing customers to save thousands of dollars on data center energy bills. And by packing up to 32 threads on a single chip, Sun CoolThreads servers increase performance while reducing space needs for the data center. This feat of engineering is perhaps best captured by the simple SWaP metric. The Space, Watts and Performance (SWaP) benchmark allows customers to easily calculate a realistic measurement for server efficiency. SWaP = Performance/(Space * Watts). Learn more at http://www.sun.com/swap. Why are space, power and performance so important? According to industry analysts, energy is Systems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners

Sun Systems – Competitive Edge
increasing to represent 30-50% of an IT budget over the next couple of years, space consumption is growing 5-10% annually, and already 80% of data centers are constrained by power, cooling or space – all of which greatly inhibits business agility. 4. Sun's UltraSPARC T1 Processor Changes Economy & Ecology of the Data Center – Not only do Sun CoolThreads servers drive down OpEx expenses in the datacenter, but these servers are also the first and only servers to be eligible for a rebate from PG&E, a major utility that serves Northern and Central CA. The first rebate of its kind, this new program rewards PG&E customers who replace power-hungry servers with Sun's innovative CoolThreads servers. Sun's new CoolThreads servers were selected as a result of achieving the highest energy efficiency rating among servers. And now, as part of PG&E's NonResidential Retrofit Program, customers who replace old, inefficient servers with eco-responsible Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers can apply to receive a cash savings between $700 - $1,000 per server. See sample savings examples and get feedback from customers in the program at http://www.sun.com/rebates. 5. Sun's T1000/T2000 servers are a fundementally different way of solving the problem of data movement into and out of a server. The UltraSPARC T1 processor doesn't have the FSB bottleneck because it contains four on-board memory controllers yielding up to 25.6 GB/sec bandwidth. Sun Fire x64 1. Consistent thermal design, TCO protection. Sun's X64 Systems will help maintain customer data center planning as AMD processor design focuses on keeping stable TCO by offering the same power/thermal range for dual core and quad core. 2. Front Side Bus Potential bottleneck. The FSB speed was increased for dual core Xeon, reducing the memory and I/O bandwidth constraint issues, but these bottlenecks are likely to resurface in the Xeon 5300-based systems where four CPUs must be fed from the same FSB. Sun Fire X64 systems take advantage of the AMD Opteron on-board memory controller to scale memory bandwidth with the number of sockets which allows Sun X64 systems to scale well up to 8 sockets. 3. Systems with slower Xeon 5300 series processors offer minimal benefit. All HP, IBM and Dell cited benchmarks use the highest speed processors, the Xeon X5355 at 2.66 Ghz with the 1333Mhz front side bus. This model won't be available until February 2007, according to IBM and HP. Systems available now support the Xeon E5310 and E5320. These have a slower front side bus. The performance loss moving from the 1333MHz FSB in the X5355 to the 1066 Mhz E5320 and E5310 is signficant because the FSB is a performance bottleneck in the Woodcrest/Clovertown platform. The lower frequencies are used to hit the 80 watt thermal design envelope, further degrading performance. Even using the very best benchmarks, the performance gains are only about 60%, which will be significantly lower with the two lower speedbin/slower bus Xeon 5300 series. 4. Benchmarks Are Platform Specific: Intel notes in its press releases: “Performance tests and ratings are measured using specific computer systems and/or components and reflect the approximate performance of Intel products as measured by those tests. Any difference in system hardware or software design or configuration may affect actual performance. Buyers should consult other sources of information to evaluate the performance of systems or components they are considering purchasing. ...” Benchmarks are only partially useful in answering the performance question: “The only totally accurate way to measure the performance of your system, however, is to test the software applications you use on your computer system.” This emphasizes the fact that mileage may vary and that benchmarks are typically performed on systems that have the fastest CPUs, largest memories, latest OSes, latest applications and compiler tunings. Systems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners

Sun Systems – Competitive Edge
5. An Alternative x64 Sun Fire Solution: A better way to address a customer problem could be a dual-core, Galaxy 4 configured with four CPUs, Sun Blade 8000 servers or the Sun Fire V40z over quad-core, twosocket systems from other vendors. Software costs may be the same for four dual-core processors compared to two quad cores built with the MCM approach. Furthermore, the four dual-core sockets would have more memory bandwidth and better overall scalability at about the same power level as the Xeon 5300-based servers. Solaris™ Operating Environment 1. Solaris 10 Allows Organizations to take immediate advantage of multi-core, multi-threaded CPUs: While Intel is still working with ISVs to develop multi-threaded applications, Sun already holds strong partnerships with Solaris 10 developers. With multi-threading well in mind, the Solaris 10 Operating System is designed to specifically deliver considerable benefits to UltraSPARC T1-based systems, including new functionality for optimal utilization, relentless availability, unparalleled security and extreme performance. Get all the facts on Solaris 10 OS at: http://www.sun.com/software/solaris. 2. Another aspect of software for customers to consider is the added cost of licensing for packages like Oracle and Sybase that charge by the core. Software charges are paid in full and are not scaled in cost to reflect weak per core performance. As the market moves to multi-threaded, multi-core processors, Solaris 10 OS continues to provide tremendous advantages, particularly compared to Linux and Windows, which have not matured with respect to threading applications. Solaris 10 is open and able to run on x86 platforms including Xeon 5300-based systems, making Solaris the only choice for a truly multi-core/multi-threaded infrastructure. Solaris 10 OS and container software is bundled with every Sun Fire T1000/T2000 and Sun Fire x64 server saving the customer the cost of an OS and virtualization software.

How To Compete
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Ask customers to consider whether they're really ready for quad core when dual core systems from vendors supporting Xeon processors were just announced a few months ago. Is the speedbump enough to warrant a change this soon, with true quad core available from both Intel and AMD in mid-2007. Remind customers that competitors' Xeon-based systems used in benchmark claims that demonstrate increased performance are not available until Feburary 2007, just a few months before true quad core becomes available. Point out that performance improvements of 50-60% are only realized with the fastest Xeon X5355 which has a greater thermal footprint, rated at 120Watts Customers should be encouraged to benchmark Sun Fire X64 and UltraSPARC T1 servers in actual customer environments, where their real-world performance and performance per watt should be compared to offerings from HP, IBM and Dell.

Summary
Sun's competitors have the first-to-market advantage in the X64 space by announcing quad core, two-socket systems before Sun. However, the MCM design has disadvantages in terms of power draw consistency, and is essentially a speedbump. True quad core will be available from both AMD and Intel in mid-2007. Although HP, IBM and Dell can offer some performance gains and a benefit to space constrained data centers, customers should also keep in mind the power and heating problems as more processor elements designed to function as dual core are placed into smaller spaces. Sun's goal is to drive IT efficiency through innovation. Dell, HP and IBM do not offer the true technology breakthrough like the Sun Fire T1000/T2000 servers. The Sun Fire T1000/T2000 servers were designed from the ground up to address performance in a small space with low power. On the other hand, these enhanced twoSystems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners

Sun Systems – Competitive Edge
socket servers aren't fully adddressing the space and power issues and only partially answering the performance question. Sun also brings unparalleled innovation to the X64 space with the Sun Fire X4600 Server, Sun Fire X4500 Server, and Sun Blade 8000 Modular System, all of which set new standards for performance, reliablity and energy efficiency. To further enhance Sun's x64 server line, we offer integrated systems with networking, storage and software, fully supported by Sun. Sun offers maximum choice, breakthrough innovation, and consistent value. (1) http://news.com.com/Intel+Quad+core+to+turbocharge+chips/2100-1006_3-6119913.html (2) http://news.com.com/Intels+quad-core+processors+go+live/2100-1006_3-6135137.html (3) http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2006/061114xa.html (4) http://www.intel.com/performance/resources/benchmark_limitations.htm

Systems Market & Business Intelligence Team – mkt_bi@sun.com Sun Proprietary: For Use by Sun and Authorized Partners