The Fujitsu-Siemens partnership of Japanese server marker Fujitsu Ltd and German server maker Siemens AG yesterday announced a new rack-mounted server based on the 64-bit Itanium 2 processor.
The Primergy RXI600 server, which will start shipping in North America in January 2004, marks the first serious entry of Fujitsu-Siemens into the Itanium-based server market. While Fujitsu-Siemens announced the Primergy N4000 server in June 2001, it was running the first-generation Merced Itanium processor, which did not exactly take the market by storm because of its low performance (relative to expectations) and the low density of the servers. T
he Primergy N4000 was a 7U server that supported four 900MHz/2MB L3 cache or 1GHz/4MB L3 cache Itaniums, 64GB of main memory, two disk drives, and 10 PCI expansion slots of an entry price of around $30,000 for a one CPU, 1GB configuration.
The Primergy RXI600 is twice as dense, and will probably offer nearly twice as much performance for many workloads. The machine packs four 1.5GHz Itanium2 processors into a 4U rack-mounted chassis, each with 6MB of L3 cache memory. Up to 32GB of DDR-SDRAM main memory can be put in the box, and the three drive bays can hold as much as 438GB of disk capacity.
The machine has a dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI channel on its motherboard and a single channel PCI RAID controller (the MegaRaid, to be specific, from LSI Logic Inc in one of its eight hot-plug PCI slots. The Primergy RXI600 has redundant, hot plug fans and power supplies. A base machine with a single processor costs $23,000. The machine will support the 64-bit versions of Windows 2003 or Linux.
In January 2003, Fujitsu and Siemens inked a partnership that would see the two companies work on a four-way server design for the Itanium 2 as well as work on much bigger Itanium 2 iron, with perhaps as many as 32 Xeon MP or 128 Itanium processors in a single system image. The RXI600 seems to be the early fruit from those labors. Fujitsu-Siemens is expected to deliver its big Xeon MP server by the end of 2004, and in 2005 the partnership is expected to deliver the big Itanium box based on the Montecito dual-core Itaniums.
This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.