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Sun Microsystems is looking to round out its server portfolio with new
systems based on Intel processors and designed for high-performance computing
and back-office applications such as databases.

At the start of the Intel Developer Forum in San
Francisco Aug. 19, Sun will introduce a pair of
servers that use Intel Xeon processors from the 5200 and 5400 series. After
signing an agreement with Intel in 2007, Sun
has slowly begun to push more systems into the market that use Xeon processors

to help round out its offerings, which included its own SPARC chips and
processors from Advanced Micro Devices. Sun now has a total of eight systems
based on Intel processors.

The two new Intel-based Sun systems include the Sun Fire X2250, which is
geared toward the HPC field, and the Sun
Fire X4250, which Sun describes as a back-end server that can handle
significant workloads such as database applications. Of the two systems, the
Sun Fire X2250 is more important to Sun’s
overall business as the company looks to offer more hardware that can handle
HPC,
which in turn can
support cloud computing infrastructures,
Web 2.0 applications and financial
services workloads.

While Sun for years used AMD’s Opteron
processors for its line of servers based on x86 microarchitecture,
Brian Huynh,
a Sun product manager, said Intel has made some significant strides in
improving its Xeon processors to handle floating point calculations and
has also increased the capabilities of its chips’ front side bus to
handle HPC
workloads.