The problem is with either:
a) the operating system - Windows tends to let processes run full speed, some other operating systems, however, throttle back processes so that they do not use up all of the processing power. I do not know if the Sun Fire does this, but it is worth looking into.
b) disk speeds - slower disks will cause longer start-ip times, but not as much as you are reporting, so I would not think this is the issue
c) the JVM - there could something that the JVM is doing that is causing the slow startup. Considering that Sun makes Sun Fire and the JVM that runs on it, I would be surprised if this is the case. But stranger things have happened.
I suggest you ask Sun why their hardware or JVM is so slow.
We have same problem with a Sun T2000. We're lost with it. If you found a solution let me know.
This is a known characteristic of the T1 processor. It is slow for single threaded apps.
And the boot of JBoss is essentially single threaded. They are working on it.
If you want to boot your JBoss fast, you have to go for the fastest single threaded processor, like Intel P4 Extreme or AMD 3G+ equivalent. UltraSparc IV+ or 64 are not bad too, but still behind.
But when it comes to real life applications, when parallelism comes into play, the T1 is not bad, due to it's zillions cores :-)