Ever since Andy Bechtolsheim returned to Sun pretty much everything on the Sun x64 server line meet all expectations and then some. Sure, there has been the slight ethernet chipset problem, but generally the AMD kit has really kicked ass
Though some people where surprised to see first (new) blade offering from Sun, the 8000 series. A 4-socket blade offering when most of the market moved away from larger blade enclosures and focused on 2-socket systems. The 8000 still made good sense for larger customers like financial institutions and telcos. Server consolidation on a large level.
Now the other day Sun released a second (third actually, the 8000 comes in two models) blade offering. The 6000 series. It's a fairly basic 10U enclosure, 10 blade slots and the classic Ethernet modules. Not very exciting at first glance, I have to admit. Sounds like the PowerEdge 1955 box but not with the same high density (Dell can do 10 blades in 7U).
The thing cool about the 6000 enclosure is that it is not a Blade enclosure in the classic sense, it's not "stripped down computers in a box". It's actually 10 high capacity servers. It enclosure offers the same expandability as normal 1U servers.
All blade modules are dual socket, can take up to 16 DIMMS, four 2.5" SAS drives and even two PCI-e slots. That's right, normal PCI-e slots, no more proprietary on board FC-AL or Infiniband modules. Just slot in a couple of standard c-PCIe cards and off you go. No more opening up the blade to install modules.
Another new feature is a hardware RAID controller on-board (for good and bad indeed).
The whole enclosure is based around industry standards and open solutions.
In addition to all this cool stuff the real winner here is the selection of blades.
Sun offers no less than 3 blade types.
The t6300 UltraSPARC T1 blade,
the x6220 AMD blade and
the x6250 Intel Xeon blade
It's the first Intel Xeon (including quad-core procs) offering from Sun, with many more to come.
Watch Andy talk about the new box here.