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SPARC history - 2000, February week 3

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Microsoft & Sun Microsystems Microsoft claims Windows 2000 is more scalable than Solaris
...and runs faster:- Sun's own comparisons are inaccurate
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 17, 2000 - Microsoft Corp. today revealed new scalability features in the upcoming release of Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) 2000 and detailed a technology road map that together will provide customers with virtually unlimited scalability on the Windows(R) 2000 platform, a key element of friction-free operations. The company also announced an array of world-record database benchmarks, including a TPC-C benchmark result, demonstrating the power of the Microsoft platform in both scale-out and scale-up scenarios. At 227,079 order transactions per minute, the TPC-C result sets the world record for any hardware, operating system or database. The result was achieved with Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000 running on 12 Compaq ProLiant servers in a scale-out configuration.

In a marketing campaign related to this announcement Microsoft has also rebutted claims in an advert by Sun Microsystems which Microsoft claims made inaccurate comparisons between Solaris and Windows 2000. See:- the dot-truth is out there.

See also:- Sun Microsystems' reply - dot-com/realitycheck

Editor's note:- see also my View from the Hill article - For large systems, Solaris on SPARC will continue to be a better choice than NT for many years. These are the real reasons why... - For "NT" just substitute "Windows 2000" and the same arguments still apply.
Tadpole-RDI New US channel partner for Tadpole-RDI

Cambridge UK- Skokie (IL), 17 February 2000 - Tadpole-RDI, the mobile hardware business unit of Tadpole Technology plc today announced the appointment of Forsythe Solutions Group, Inc of Skokie (IL) as a channel partner for its ranges of portable Unix workstations and servers.

The appointment signals the launch of Forsythe's nationwide "work smarter, invest better through portable Unix" campaign aimed at making anytime-anywhere computing professionals at its fifteen hundred plus Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems corporate customers more productive. Forsythe also aims to show its customers how portable Unix can be a generator of better returns on future IT investments.
Continuous Computing Palomar Ventures Makes $5 Million Investment in Continuous Computing Corp.

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 17, 2000 - Continuous Computing Corp, a leading provider of Voice-over packet platform solutions for telecom equipment manufacturers, today announced a team of investors led by Palomar Ventures is investing $5 million in CCPU. This investment will allow CCPU to continue to lead innovations in Voice-over-packet telephony solutions. One such solution, CCPU's award-winning Telco Starter Kit, has received industry acclaim as the first SPARC(TM)-based CompactPCI introductory system designed specifically for Media Gateway Controllers, SS7 Gateways, Call Processors, Billing, and Operations platforms in the Central Office (CO).

"Palomar Ventures is more than just a capitol investor," said Ken Kalb, Continuous Computing chairman and chief executive officer. "They are a strategic partner who not only shares our vision of the future," explained Kalb, "but possesses a wealth of industry knowledge and management expertise to help CCPU continue as an industry leader."
HP HP leads high-tech market with lost revenue remedy for cyber attacks

February 17, 2000 - HP announced that their e-commerce customers can buy an insurance contract to insure against loss of e-commerce revenue due to external breaches of security, such as the recent cyber attacks. Through a unique partnership with Interex, the international association of HP computing professionals, and J. S. Wurzler, an insurance underwriter, and backed by Lloyd's, London, HP customers with mission-critical support contracts covering HP-UX systems will have two levels of insurance coverage available providing internet based revenue coverage upto $2 million. The new scheme will start in May.

Editor's note:- hopefully we'll soon see similar products becoming available for SPARC systems. As we know from our own experience there's nothing worse than having your web site down, when that's your business.
Force Computers Force Among First to Ship Pentium III Processor-Based Single Board CompactPCI Computer with New Intel BGA-2 Packaging

SAN JOSE, Calif., February 15, 2000 - Force Computers, today announced it is shipping early access units of its new generation Force CPCI-760/761-an Intel® Pentium® III processor- Low Power (LP) based, CompactPCI® (CPCI) System Slot, single board computer. The CPCI-760/761 provides telecom and data communication OEMs with maximum CPCI System Slot functionality, a more rapid time-to-market for new products and an easy upgrade path to anticipated Pentium III processor-LP clock rates of 1GHz and higher.

Designed for demanding telecom and data communication applications such as CTI, network switching and VoIP gateways, the Force CPCI-760/761 is one of the first CPCI single board computers to use the latest Intel Pentium III processor-LP in the new small-footprint BGA-2 packaging. Use of the low-power consumption CPU combined with space-saving BGA-2 packaging enables Force to provide more functionality on a 6U CPCI board while keeping its OEMs solidly on Intel's embedded computing roadmap.

Editor's note:- this isn't a SPARC product, but cPCI is a significant factor in the embedded SPARC market where Force was the first to introduce a SPARC processor back in Q3 1997. When Sun next produces an Intel based system I'll report on that too...
Mentor Graphics Sun Microsystems, Adopts Mentor Graphics Calibre Solution for Verification of Next-Generation SPARC Microprocessors

WILSONVILLE, Ore., February 14, 2000 - Mentor Graphics Corporation today announced that Sun Microsystems has adopted the Mentor Graphics® next-generation Calibre® physical verification and manufacturing tool for its deep submicron (DSM) integrated circuits (IC), including its next-generation SPARCTM microprocessor. Sun chose Calibre - the industry standard for physical verification - because it delivers design-style independence and advanced manufacturability functionality. These two features will enable Sun's physical IC designs to correctly match intended functionality and enhance yield by ensuring DSM rule conformity.

"At Sun we require tools to deliver not only the best-in-class performance, but also best-in-class ease-of-use; with Calibre that's what we expect to get. Calibre plugged easily into our existing IC design flow," said Sunil Joshi, director of Sun Microsystems, Microelectronics CAD. "With its proven performance and capacity track record, Calibre will ensure efficient and fast tape-outs without extensive tuning, a key advantage since we currently design microprocessors with well over 30 million transistors."
Tatung Tatung Unveils New Line of 450 MHz, Quad-Processing Servers

MILPITAS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 14, 2000 - Tatung Science & Technology Inc. (TSTI), celebrating more than 10 years of commitment to the SPARC(R) systems market, today introduced the COMPstation(R) U4MP(TM)Series Model 4450, a high-end server that unleashes new levels of power, supporting up to four 450 MHz UltraSPARC-II processors and 4 GB of memory. The new system expands Tatung's use of the PCI I/O bus as an integral design component of the company's SPARC-based workstations and servers, which are installed at tens of thousands of user sites throughout North America.

As Tatung's highest-performing quad-processing system to date, the COMPstation 4450 is now shipping in both rack mount and tower configurations. The compact, rack mount servers meet the demanding needs of Internet Service Providers (ISP), OEMs and industrial, commercial and communications applications. Tatung has also announced a price reduction on the COMPstation U60-2450 series which is equipped with a new motherboard that supports up to 4 GB of memory and dual UPA graphics.
Alteon WebSystems Alteon WebSystems Helps Prevent Malicious Web Site Attacks

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, February 14, 2000 - Alteon WebSystems the pioneer in Web switching technology, today said that it has implemented key mechanisms to help companies thwart some malicious Web site attacks that can potentially bring down Web sites. These features, SYN flood protection, high-speed deep traffic filtering, global server load balancing and firewall load balancing, have become integral elements in helping companies avoid "Denial of Service (DoS)" and "Smurf" attacks that have recently plagued many well known Web sites.

"These Internet attacks have been constructed by highly intelligent individuals who clearly understand the technical intricacies of the Web," said Dominic Orr, president and CEO of Alteon WebSystems. "Though it is naive to think that companies can completely prevent such attacks, our technology can play a key role in helping Web site operators to better architect their infrastructure against such events."

To block against ping of death attacks customers can create special filters on Alteon Web switches to block ICMP requests to a Virtual IP address and IP interfaces. For the Smurf attacks, customers configure filters to block ICMP packets destined to the broadcast address of all publicly routable subnets that are connected to the Web switch. Enabling similar filters on conventional routers typically results in significant performance degradation. However with Alteon's distributed processor Web switch design, a large number of filters can be enabled with little or no performance decrease, resulting in high availability without sacrificing speed.

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