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News about SPARC systems and related companies - 2000, August week 4

See also:- SSD Pricing
Surviving the Solaris x86 Wars
the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
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Dataram Dataram's Tarantino Elected to SPARC® International Board
Other news on this page

Paul Tarantino is Elected to SPARC® International Board of Directors

AMI Among First to Verify RAID Controller Drivers Under Solaris 7

Merlin Software to Provide Support For Sun's Solaris, IBM AIX and RedHat SPARC

New Web Site with Online Pricing for UK Sun Reseller Amtec Computer Corporation Ltd

Starfire Catches Fire on Record-Breaking TPC-C Run

ESRI and Tadpole-Cartesia Announce New Field Solution for ESRI Customers

Rational Software Introduces Rational SiteLoad; Industry's First Web-Based Load Testing Product

Network Attached Production Printers Connect Directly to SPARC Systems thanks to New Solution from Rochester Software Associates

Network Technologies Inc Introduces Message Board Devoted to KVM Switch Solutions

Sun's free porting kit converts Linux PCI drivers to Solaris
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Megabyte was mapping the new enterprise STORAGE frontier. His niece, Killerbyte, was riding shotgun.

SPARC history
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Spellabyte and Terrorbyte loved sitting around
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War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash Solid State Disks - Despatches from the Magneto / Flash Wars - article by BiTMICRO

BiTMICRO is the #1 best recognised brand of SSDs (source STORAGEsearch.com SSD Survey) and they have published a lot of articles to help customers understand the benefits of their products. When I first saw the submission for this article I was pleased to see that it quoted extracts from and linked to several other articles that I myself had written or edited - so that gave me a warm glow.

After years of analyzing this market SSD vendors and analysts are starting to see some clear patterns emerging. Although opinions still differ on some subjects, and vendors are prone to pitch their own solutions as best, this article is a useful synthesis of current industry thinking by one of the leading flash SSD module manufacturers. ...read the article, ...BiTMICRO Networks profile, Solid State Disks, Hard disk drives
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article:-  Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win? - by Semico Research
Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win? - article by Semico Research

There's a confusing picture in many consumer products like phones, cameras and music players in which one day it seems that the storage function is done by flash and next day another company announces they're doing the same thing with miniature hard disks.

Is there any sense to this seemingly random choice?

This article uses pricing trends, technology trends and unique market analysis insights to show that users and oems may be able to reliably predict which storage devices will be most cost effective depending where you are on the future history curve. ...read the article, ...Semico Research profile, Hard disk drives, Flash Memory, Market research, Solid state disks
Princeton, NJ — August 31, 2000 — Dataram Corporation is pleased to announce the induction of Paul Tarantino, Market Manager from Dataram Corporation to SPARC International's Board of Directors. SPARC International's (SI's) Board of Directors is comprised of senior representatives from leading international corporations with deep investments in SPARC technology and market development. Comprised of representatives from companies such as Fujitsu Limited, Rebel.com, Sun Microsystems and Tatung Science & Technology, the board directs the activities of the SPARC Association, approves all specifications and addresses major industry issues as they affect the progress of SPARC technology and markets.

In regards to his new position, Paul commented, "My induction onto SPARC International's Board of Directors is an honor, as well as an exciting opportunity for Dataram. I look forward to contributing to the organization's success, and to promoting SPARC as the most powerful microprocessor in the industry."

SI purses its goals with a dedicated staff and a strategic and operational structure involving many of its members. SI's certification and verification programs assure customers all products meet the highest standards, objectives and goals. ...Dataram profile , ...SPARC International profile
American Megatrends AMI Among First to Verify RAID Controller Drivers Under Solaris 7

ATLANTA, August 31, 2000 - American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) today announced its MegaRAID® Enterprise 1400 (Series 438) and MegaRAID Express 200 (Series 466) RAID controller drivers have been Solaris 7 verified under Sun's new Independent Hardware Vendors (IHV) Driver program.

''We congratulate AMI on being among the first to verify its products under the Solaris Device-Driver Verification Program for its IA Platform,'' said Graham Lovell, Director of Solaris Product Management. ''And we're pleased to add its MegaRAID Enterprise 1400 and MegaRAID Express 200 RAID products to our list of verified peripherals.'' AMI's Enterprise 1400 and Express 200 drivers are listed under Solaris 7 of Sun's hardware compatibility list. These drivers have passed Sun's Level 2 verification test suite, which are rigorous enough to qualify IHVs to apply for the Solaris Ready logo. ...AMI profile

Editor's note:- see also - RAID controller cards, RAID systems
Merlin Software Technologies Merlin Software to Provide Support For Sun's Solaris, IBM AIX and RedHat SPARC

Burnaby, BC, August 28th 2000 - Merlin Software Technologies International Inc. today announced it will provide support for Sun's Solaris operating system, IBM AIX and RedHat SPARC in the upcoming release of PerfectBACKUP+ v7.0.

"PerfectBACKUP+ was originally written for the Unix operating system and ported to Linux in 1996. Prior to that it was sold on as many as eleven variants of the Unix operating system, including Solaris SPARC and Intel and Interactive Unix, when it was sold as Fastback Plus for Unix" said Robert Heller, President of Merlin Software Technologies. "Even though PerfectBACKUP+ for Solaris is still in release 5, we continue to see between 100 and 140 downloads of the product each month. That's roughly 20% of all PerfectBACKUP+ downloads from our site."

PerfectBACKUP+, release 5, is still available directly from the Merlin web site, at www.MerlinSofTech.com , for AT&T SVR4, SCO UnixWare 1.x, 2.x and 7.x, SCO OpenServer 5, Sun Solaris SPARC and Sun Solaris Intel, Sun's Interactive Unix, FreeBSD 2.2, BSDI/OS 2.x and HP-UX 10.x. Beginning with the release of v7.0, Merlin will again be supporting many of the proprietary versions of Unix. Version 7.0 will initially be available for RedHat Linux 6.2, Intel, Caldera OpenDesktop 2.4 and OpenServer 2.3. These will be closely followed by releases for RedHat Linux for SPARC and Alpha processors, Sun's Solaris for SPARC and Intel processors and IBM's AIX version of Unix, as well as all other major Linux distributions. ...Merlin profile

Editor's note:- see also - Backup software & HSM
Amtec Computer Corporation New Web Site with Online Pricing for UK Sun Reseller: Amtec Computer Corporation Ltd

Ringwood, UK - August 31, 2000 - UK based reseller, Amtec Computer Corporation Ltd today launched a completely redesigned web site which includes online pricing for Sun Microsystems, and information about storage products including RAID systems from Baydel. The new web site contains 10 times as many pages as the original site which was partly based on their adverts featured in the SPARC Product Directory.

Amtec's services include sales, service, rental and leasing of new & refurbished Sun workstations & servers. Their customers include News International, the Bank of England and Fujitsu, as well as more than 30 universities. They would appreciate having feedback on the new site which has been designed in-house, rather than by an external agency. ...AMTEC profile
Sun Microsystems Starfire Catches Fire on Record-Breaking TPC-C Run

PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ - Flexing the muscle that has made it the undisputed champion of the high-end UNIX server realm, Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that a Sun Enterprise(TM) 10000 server smashed the world record for single-system performance on the TPC-C benchmark by registering 156,873.03 transactions per minute (tpmC) running Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) at a very economical $48.81 price/tpmC. Continuing its longtime performance leadership, the Sun Enterprise 10000 server, popularly known as the Starfire(TM) server, has set or reset 40 benchmark records in its storied four-year history.

As the latest TPC-C results demonstrate, performance also places high on the list of Starfire server attributes. A 64-way Starfire actually has a rating of 3,150 Mainframe Equivalent MIPS, nearly double that of the archaic S/390 but at roughly half the cost.

Recently, the TPC-C benchmark has fallen under sharp criticism for failing to keep pace with the times. Two separate cluster results reported by IBM and Compaq confirm that it can no longer be trusted as an accurate measuring for ad-hoc workloads.

It's well-understood in the technical communities that TPC-C no longer represents current customer workloads since the transaction load that its models are made of are small, primitive and disconnected transactions. While this model was acceptable for the workloads of the late 1980s, it misses the mark for the object-based, integrated application environments of today's dot-com world that are part of the system design criteria at Sun.

Customer workloads nowadays require a more ad hoc workload than the TPC-C specifies. This is why many customers compare systems using more complicated transactional workloads such as SAP-sales and distribution, SAP-banking, SAP-retail, Peoplesoft, or Amdocs billing. Areas in which Sun has excelled and maintains an industry-leading position. The simple nature of TPC-C transactions makes them well-suited to partitioning database tables across multiple systems as epitomized by cluster results on IBM's 32-node Netfinity System and others. This is possible because over 99 percent of TPC-C transactions are localized, while in the real world of customer environments almost no transactions are localized.

Sun's results are particularly impressive because they demonstrate excellent performance for local and remote transactions, as well as small and complex transaction in a single system.

The system, running Sybase release 12.0.0.2 and the Solaris(TM) 7 Operating Environment, was configured for this benchmark with 64 UltraSPARC(TM) II 400 MHz CPUs, each with a 8 MB external cache, and 64 GB of internal memory combined with 36 StorEdge A5200 disk arrays and eight Sun StorEdge(TM) T3 disk arrays totaling 15.5 TB of storage. The configuration is scheduled to be available February 28, 2001. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's note:- the unfortunate double meaning in this headline is not due to us, but presumably from the person in Sun who approved the press release. I did actually have a system catch fire in a SPARC system once during an overnight benchmark. The offending card from a 3rd party burnt out a couple of adjacent slots and made some scorch marks on the Sun processor card. The fire self extinguished leaving our office full of smoke. But once we moved some of the boards around to new positions (minus the offending ignition card) the system worked fine. That's why hardware integration is more fun than software... Please don't flame me on this last comment:-)
Tadpole-Cartesia ESRI and Tadpole-Cartesia Announce New Field Solution for ESRI Customers

Redlands (California) and Edinburgh, August 30, 2000 - ESRI and Tadpole-Cartesia, the field mapping systems business unit of mobile computing specialist Tadpole Technology plc, today announced a strategic agreement aimed at combining the companies' respective technologies to deliver a powerful GIS/mobile computing solution. The solution, which is scheduled for completion by the fourth quarter of 2000, will benefit users in electric, gas, telecommunications, and water utility markets.

"ESRI's core business is providing the finest GIS technology available, and we strive to work with the very best partners to provide customers with optimum solutions," says Mitchell Garnett, utility industry solutions manager, ESRI. "Tadpole has a very well-established application set that provides powerful, easy-to-use mobile computing for utilities. Customers want seamless interoperability with mobile computing and GIS software, and the ESRI-Tadpole relationship meets that very need."

Field inventory, field design, and data capture are key applications for the new solution. Potential users include utility work crews, customer service representatives, and any utility professional who needs an easy-to-use, rugged solution that can quickly and easily download and upload information with ArcInfo 8 software. For instance, a customer service representative can now go into the field and meet with a customer at a proposed construction site and perform on-site, on-the-fly, automated field sketches and design. This information can then be uploaded into ArcInfo 8 and updated in the enterprise database. ...ESRI profile, ...Tadpole-RDI profile
Rational Software Rational Software Introduces Rational SiteLoad; Industry's First Web-Based Load Testing Product

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Rational User Conference 2000 — August 28, 2000 - Rational Software today announced Rational SiteLoad, the industry's first Web-based load testing product designed to help e-businesses avoid costly and highly visible Web site failures. Rational SiteLoad is an easy-to-use, scalable tool that simulates Internet traffic and provides developers with precise real-time information on site performance.

"Rational SiteLoad fills an important need in the market for simple, cost-effective load testing by providing a quick and accurate testing tool that is also feature-rich," said Greg Meyers, vice president and general manager, Automated Testing Business Unit for Rational. "As a Web application, Rational SiteLoad's unique point-and-click user interface combines with its real time report generation to provide the simplest, most cost-effective Web testing product available."

Rational recognizes that in a fast-paced industry that demands high-quality results, testers often spend more time learning complex tools than performing the necessary tests on their Web sites. To address these challenges Rational offers Rational SiteLoad, which includes the following benefits:
  • Speed — In today's Internet environment, where speed is of the utmost importance, Rational SiteLoad delivers meaningful test results in just minutes.
  • Browser-based operation — Unlike existing tools, Rational SiteLoad was designed for Web personnel rather than professional testers. Written in Java, Rational SiteLoad runs on a Web server and is accessed through a browser. This reduces the learning curve and allows a wider range of users to implement the testing solution.
  • Auto-ramp — Rational SiteLoad allows users to incrementally increase the user load for a pre-set length of time or until a performance threshold is met. This saves time by executing multiple test runs simultaneously.
  • Scalability — Rational SiteLoad is highly scalable and allows for the simulation of tests for ten to tens of thousands of users. RealStatus — Rational SiteLoad RealStatus reports provide real-time graphs that detail the response times and resources used by the testing systems.
  • Resource monitor — The impact of the user load on system resources (e.g. disk space, memory) can be easily monitored, helping to eliminate bottlenecks.
  • Platform independent — As a Web application, Rational SiteLoad can be accessed from any platform, and can be hosted on Windows, Solaris or Linux.
Pricing and Availability: Rational SiteLoad will begin shipping and will be available on the Web from Rational within 45 days. Pricing ranges from $15,000 for a 250 virtual user license to $150,000 for an unlimited virtual user license. Rational will also offer a promotional full-function license for 50 virtual users at no charge as a download from the Web. ...Rational Software profile
Rochester Software Associates Network Attached Production Printers Connect Directly to SPARC Systems thanks to New Solution from Rochester Software Associates

Rochester, NY, August 24, 2000 - Rochester Software Associates (RSA) today announced the availability of a new Channel Card Solution for conversion of channel attached (bus & tag) connectivity to LPS printers to network attached production printers. The new solution provides increased reliability at a reduced cost. The RSA Channel Card Solution features a PCI card compatible with Sun Solaris, an intelligent cable to accept bus & tag input and 3211 printer emulation drivers. Many network production printers, such as the Xerox DP 65, include a Sun workstation as the print controller. RSA's channel card is inserted in this Sun print controller. This Sun compatible card eliminates the need to add a PC to act as a channel server to the printer. The bus & tag output from the host computer connects to the intelligent cable, which connects to the card in the Sun print controller. Print data streams are passed to the printer in a 3211 format to RSA's M.I.S.Printª software that transforms the data into PostScript. The entire process is seamless and automatic. To the end user, the printer is now a dual function mainframe and network device.

The Channel Solution is used in conjunction with RSA's M.I.S. Print software. M.I.S. Print transforms line printer and Xerox LCDS (DJDE, Metacode and XES) data streams to PostScript for viewing or printing on PostScript printers.

The RSA Channel Solution can also be installed in a daisy chain configuration. This enables users to connect multiple devises to one channel. Lauren Straub, RSA's VP of Sales stated, "This provides a clean, integrated solution for customers upgrading channel attached printers to network printers. This solution eliminates the need for a PC channel server thereby avoiding a potential point of failure and the intelligent cable eliminates an external CAB with a separate power requirement." ...RSA profile
Network Technologies Network Technologies Inc Introduces Message Board Devoted to KVM Switch Solutions

AURORA, OH, August 23, 2000 - Network Technologies Inc today announced the recent addition of a discussion forum message board to its website. Moderated by NTI's sales and technical staff, the NTI Message Board is the first discussion site solely devoted to discussions relating to innovative KVM solutions.

"Now for the first time, our customers will have a venue for learning about KVM technology and discussing their needs with both other users and NTI's technical and customer service staff," said Tammy Kuhn, an account executive in the NTI sales department.

The NTI forum is designed to be a resource for anyone using (or considering the purchase of) items in NTI's product line, which includes Keyboard-Video-Mouse (KVM) switches and splitters, video switches and splitters, extension cables and adapters. ...Network Technologies profile
Sun Microsystems Sun's free porting kit converts Linux PCI drivers to Solaris

PALO ALTO, CA - August 22, 2000 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it is making the Solaris[tm] Operating Environment Network, Driver Porting Kit for Linux Drivers available free of charge. This kit, the latest in a series of free tools and services Sun offers for driver development, provides scripts and guidelines to let developers convert PCI-based Linux driver source into a binary Solaris driver for the Intel platform.

The kit is another example of Sun's commitment to the growing number of Solaris Operating Environment independent hardware vendors (IHVs), and to the Intel market. IHVs who have written Linux drivers for Fast Ethernet, FDDI, Gigabit Ethernet, or Token Ring devices can now leverage that work by using the kit to create the corresponding binary network drivers for Solaris Operating Environment. "This kit provides a faster way to develop Solaris Operating Environment network drivers without compromising quality, reducing development time by 80% or more," said Andrew Ingram, Vice President of Solaris Software Marketing for Sun's Solaris Systems Group.

"It's almost as though every time the IHV writes a Linux network driver, he gets two drivers instead of one: one Solaris and one Linux. On top of that, IHVs and other commercial developers can validate the quality of a driver created using this kit by verifying it through our Solaris Device-Driver Verification Program, so customers will know the driver has passed verification tests developed by Sun."

Demand for peripherals with the Solaris Operating Environment drivers continues to grow with the using installed base resulting from the Free Solaris program. Customers ordering Free Solaris media kits report almost 250,000 installations completed or planned short-term on the Intel platform since the program began in March. Almost 150,000 of these installations were by new users--all customers needing devices with Solaris Operating Environment support. The Solaris Operating Environment Network Driver Porting Kit for Linux Drivers is a further reflection of Sun's desire to foster compatibility and interoperability between Linux and the Solaris Operating Environment. IHVs, system administrators responsible for mixed Linux/Solaris environments, and developers who want to learn more about Solaris can all benefit from the kit. The Kit is entirely free-of-charge and is available immediately via the website. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's note:- I remember back in 1980 Intel produced a neat software program which converted assembly code written for Motorola and Zilog 8 bit micros, into 8086 (16 bit) source code. We all know what happened next... Somehow I doubt that Sun will be able to slow down the loss of operating system revenue to Linux, but it does help PCI card manufacturers reduce their Solaris support costs which is a good thing because it increases user choices.
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