Tests New Cobalt Raq 550

The New, Powerful Star at the Center of Canada's Blacksun

In the land of the Aurora Borealis, Saskatchewan, Canada, the influence of the Sun is all around and getting stronger.

In the middle of Saskatoon is BlackSun Inc. ( one of the fastest growing ISPs in the Great White North. At the center of BlackSun is the new Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 server appliance. And at the heart of the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is the same Sun Cobalt "ease-of-use" that made BlackSun possible in the first place.

BlackSun was founded on Sun Cobalt RaQ server appliances. "They're the only kind of server we offer to our members," said Steve Rogoschewsky, vice president and co-founder of BlackSun. "They've always delivered fast, reliable and superior performance."

Late in 2001, when Sun Cobalt was designing the next generation Sun Cobalt RaQ server appliance, the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550, BlackSun was selected to give it a test drive. "The timing was perfect," Rogoschewsky said. "While we've never had any issues with our Sun Cobalt RaQ servers, there are many ecommerce and other transaction-based services being developed that require exceptional speed. Still, it was hard to believe how fast the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is."

The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 server appliance runs on a 1.26GHz PIII CPU, has double the storage capacity with support for up to 2 x 80GB 7200RPM hard drives, and as much as 2GB of PC 133 SDRAM, four times more than the previous generation Sun Cobalt RaQ 4.

"Those aren't the only speed increases," Rogoschewsky continued. " If you need to perform any maintenance or upgrades, cover removal and access is now tool-free."

BlackSun has more than 5000 members and growing. "We fulfill our membership with guaranteed performance, reliability, service and uptime," Rogoschewsky said. "That's why our infrastructure is entirely Sun Cobalt servers and Cisco routers and switches."

So how did the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 match up? "The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 was the perfect dedicated solution," Rogoschewsky said. "The members who were demanding more speed loved it. Again, they were completely satisfied with their current Sun Cobalt RaQ solution but increased traffic and deployment requirements were forcing their hand.

The high-speed Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 changed that. "Our dedicated members all realize what is required to manage a secure hosting environment. That's why they love Sun Cobalt, the easy-to-use interface and remote management gives them not only control but flexibility. In fact, we actively encourage and empower our members to take control of their own server administration."

Another of BlackSun's big selling points: price. "We have clients in over 35 countries who love our entry-level pricing," said Rogoschewsky. "The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is very affordable, not just in terms of the initial server purchase price, but the savings in repairs, hands-on management and expensive IT talent to maintain and update them. "It's not unusual for our Sun Cobalt servers to run, non-stop, 24/7, for more than 300 days!," Rogoschewsky said.

The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 will launch in May of 2002. In addition to its high speeds and substantial extra internal storage capacity, the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is an excellent development platform for Linux and Java applications. "Sun Cobalt engineers have really enhanced the Linux Kernal on this product," Rogoschewsky said. "The integrated Java and database support is excellent," said Rogoschewsky. "The system features have also been refined and enhanced, and it's now the perfect platform for database applications. "We are extremely pleased with this new product. The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is something we can plan our whole future around," Rogoschewsky said. In a competitive market, Sun Cobalt RaQ servers have allowed BlackSun to succeed by offering superb customer service and performance.

"A large part of our business is based on word of mouth referrals. BlackSun is no longer known as Canada's best kept secret," Rogoschewsky said. "We're growing fast and the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 allows BlackSun to expand service into higher-end markets for advanced development and high traffic sites.

"While we love the incredible speed, the extra space and all the new features, the best part about the Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 is what we love about all Sun Cobalt servers: you plug them in and they just run. The Sun Cobalt RaQ 550 exhibits the same performance." It wouldn't be a Sun Cobalt server any other way.

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