Oracle has used its OpenWorld event to debut 16-core Sparc processor chips and the servers built around them, as well as an updated Oracle VM Server platform to take full advantage of the capabilities available in the new hardware.
Due to begin shipping in the next 30 days, the Sparc T3 systems scale from the T3-1 single-socket 16-core blade server up to the T3-4, a four-socket heavyweight with 64 cores and up to 512GB memory capable of supporting up to 512 simultaneous threads in a 5U rack-mount system.
The new systems provide double the performance of earlier Sparc systems, Oracle said.
Their appearance came as a surprise to many observers who did not expect the T3 processors and resultant systems to see the light of day following Oracle's takeover of Sun.
With on-chip 10 gigabit Ethernet ports, integrated cryptographic co-processing engines and hardware support for virtualisation, the new Sparc chips deliver the scalability and performance needed for next-generation computing requirements, according to Oracle.
"These new Sparc T3 systems deliver on our commitment to provide customers with a 2x increase in performance every two years, and deliver massive scalability for high-compute environments like cloud computing," said John Fowler, executive vice president for servers and storage systems at Oracle.
As well as supporting the Solaris platform, the new systems will give a boost to Oracle's VM Server for Sparc virtualisation platform, version 2.0 of which was also announced at OpenWorld.
The new release brings enhancements in performance, resource management, flexibility and power management, including the ability to assign individual PCI cards in a server to a specific virtual machine for native I/O performance.
VM Server for Sparc 2.0 also supports up to 128 virtual servers, known as logical domains on Sparc systems, on one system.
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