You might be interested in reading Ashlee Vance’s take on Sun’s x86 offerings. He’s enthusiastic.
The fresh Xeon-based servers from Sun mark the company’s most muscular play to date in the x86 realm. The four-socket 2U X4450, in particular, has Sun pushing the equivalent of a midrange SMP down into the heart of the so-called “commodity” market. This move plays well with Sun’s historic strengths in the SMP (symmetric multi-processing) arena and supports Sun’s “R&D will win” mantra.
…Without question, Sun now has the most attractive 2U server for those customers not afraid to spend a great deal on a server.
Although he agrees this gear is expensive for the “average customer,”
The not so average customer…should flock to this unit, since it allows you to pack as much horsepower, memory, storage and networking in half as much space as similar systems from HP (DL580 G5), IBM (X3950 M2) and Dell (PowerEdge 6850). Yes, Tyan already ships a Barcelona (four-core Opteron)-ready unit that takes up 2U, and Supermicro has a similar motherboard available, but your typical big business is going to stick with a Tier 1 vendor. In addition, you’ll find that Sun’s systems typically have more memory, storage and networking options along with redundant everything and proper RAID that the lower rung suppliers have yet to match.