At the time, Sun said it would be expanding the product family in the first quarter of 2006 and it delivered on that promise this week.
The new Sun Fire T1000 is the entry level member of the Sun Fire family, priced at $2,995. The T2000 is priced at $7,795. The T2000 has eight computing cores, while the T1000 (based on the same 1.2 GHz T1 UltraSparc processor), sports six, less memory (2 GB RAM) and no onboard hard drive.
The T1000 is also available in 4- and 8-core processor configurations. But Sun has big plans for this "starter" Sun Fire and has already lined up some significant customer wins.
After getting several T1000s in advance for testing, Sina.com, the largest Web portal in China, said it is ready to displace its entire pool of Intel-based Dell servers for new T1000 machines.
The total number of servers it plans to buy was not available at press time. Sina's testing showed a five times performance increase in transactional processing versus the Dell systems, according to information provided by Sun.
Analyst Nathan Brookwood of Insight64 said the T1000, while not as powerful as the T2000, should have broader appeal with its lower price.
"That's an incredible amount of computing power you can pack into a rack of servers when you compare it to either Opteron on Xeon," Brookwood told internetnews.com.