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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2001, March week 4

Continuous Computing, HA NAS
HiFile™ High Availability NAS
from Continuous Computing
See also:- article:- Predicting the SPARC Server Market - (2007 to 2009)
article:-the Rise and Fall of the SPARC Workstation Market
current SPARC news, earlier SPARC news, Events & trade shows - STORAGE
SPARC history:- March 2000, March 2001, March 2002, March 2003, March 2004, March 2005, March 2006

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Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems and Cray Inc. Announce OEM Agreement

SEATTLE, WA and PALO ALTO, CA - March 28, 2001 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. and global supercomputer leader Cray, Inc. today announced that they have entered into an OEM agreement that gives Cray the ability to rebrand, directly market and sell Sun's new Sun Fire[tm] servers as data management (input/output) nodes within Cray's next-generation Cray MTA-2[tm] and Cray SV2[tm] supercomputer products.

Sun Microsystems' new Sun Fire 6800 server, one of a full line of recently introduced servers, will be fully integrated into the Cray supercomputers and is designed to manage massive data traffic in and out of the systems. The Sun Fire 6800 server is also designed to manage extensive disk farms, ranging from hundreds of gigabytes (GBs) to petabytes.

The Cray MTA-2 multithreaded supercomputer, due out later this year, employs a revolutionary hardware design with large scalable shared memory, extremely fast I/O and unprecedented programming ease. It is designed to support up to 128 RISC-like hardware streams per processor. The Cray SV2 system, scheduled for availability in the second half of 2002, will offer extreme performance from tens of gigaflops (billions of calculations per second) to multiple tens of teraflops (trillions of calculations per second), and is expected to be the world's most powerful supercomputer product.

"This agreement will allow Cray to exploit the best data management technology on the market and reduce development costs for two next-generation products," said Cray Inc. Chairman and CEO Jim Rottsolk. "Cray will sell and support products designed to give customers unbeatable performance and attractive price/performance."

"This is a great win for Sun over the likes of IBM and HP and boosts Sun's rapid rise in the HPC market," said Shahin Khan, vice president of Product Marketing and Planning, Sun Microsystems, Inc. ...Cray profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's note:- there's a long history of collaboration between Sun and Cray.

At the end of 1992, when Sun launched the SPARCcenter 2,000, a 20 CPU capable datacenter server, the backplane connect technology had been developed with Cray Research. In 1993 Cray Research launched the SuperServer 6400. A datacenter server with 64 x SPARC CPU capability which was the compatible big brother to the SPARCcenter 2,000.

However, Cray Research didn't have the reseller channels or marketing savvy, which Sun had even at that time, so they didn't succeed in selling many. Sun benefitted anyway, because users knew that the glass ceiling in performance terms was very high, although in reality most Sun users preferred to buy 2 boxes from Sun instead of 1 super box from Cray. Eventually Sun bought the technology rights of these SPARC systems from Cray which desperately needed the cash because of its unsuccessful gallium arsenide semiconductor technology. So it's interesting to see this reconvergence nearly a decade later.
Sun Microsystems and Cray Inc. Announce OEM Agreement

Continuous Computing Receives Over $21 Million in Venture Funding

IntenseSound™ Now Available on Sun Solaris™

Fujitsu Technology Solutions and EMC Team to Deliver Powerful Solaris Based Enterprise Solutions for E-Business

Computer Conection Relocates

Sun Microsystems/Kingston Litigation

Perle Launches New Console Server Product Line for SPARC Servers

earlier news - archive
Storage Area Networking
SAN on
Megabyte had recently seen the movie City Slickers and was experimenting with a new data round-up technique.

Nibble:- The Changing Map of the New Storage Frontier

" I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto" - from the movie - Wizard of Oz

Today's system managers would be forgiven for thinking that their predecessors had a much easier time managing storage.

In the 1980's the choices were simple. You only had two types of mass storage to worry about:- disk drives and tape. You ran software on the disks, and backed everything up onto tape. Mainframe managers backed up their systems overnight, Unix systems administrators backed up their networks on Friday afternoons.

That was it. Nice and simple.

In the late 1980's optical disks entered the computer scene. Write Only Read Many times (WORM) drives could be used to archive critical data for people who worried that their tape media might not last more than 10 to 20 years. And Sun was the first Unix company to switch from tape to CD-ROM as the media for distributing software. That meant we all bought CD-ROM drives, but things were still simple (relatively).

High capacity hard drives (200M) were still expensive in those days, so things got a little bit more complicated when Sun introduced the Sun-3 (68020 based) diskless node workstations. These saved money by loading porgrams and data from the ethernet. But that idea quickly faded away, as drives became cheaper, and faster workstations couldn't wait to get data off the network. It was a good marketing ploy though because it made Sun's entry level workstations look cheaper than their rival HP.

During most of the 1990's systems managers simply had to shuffle around the concepts of three types of mass storage:- hard disks (sometimes bundled in RAID), tape drives (sometimes bundled in libraries) and CD-ROMs (sometimes bundled in jukeboxes). The differences in capacity, performance, and cost of this storage trinity were well understood, and the scope for overlap was minimal.

Nowadays things are a lot more complicated...

Not only has a new type of mass storage device - the internet, been added to the list, but everything has gotten faster and comes with more connection and intelligence options. R/W optical drives have got fast enough to compete with tape. Some vendors are now offering disk to disk backup. Jukeboxes have inbuilt disk drives to cache the data. RAID systems can back themselves up onto tape without requiring any server intervention. The storage can work with all your computer operating systems. And any of the storage systems can be placed almost anywhere...

Should you buy hybrid storage systems which integrate several functions? Or single function systems which are tied together by your own SAN software?

When there are so many viable looking combinations, it's no wonder that things are confusing. Which will be winners? And which, like the Sun-3 diskless nodes of the 1980's, will be consigned to computer history as architectural dead-ends?

I hope that's why you'll continue reading STORAGEsearch, as with the help of our hundreds of contributing information partners we continue to explore the new storage frontier and see how the new territories get mapped into their own recognisable states.

The destination may not be Kansas, and the path may not be as simple as following the yellow brick road. But we'll try and help you find it.

Squeak! - Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market
Squeak! - Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market
Animal marketing metaphors are popular in service industries, but you'd be surprised how many companies have used animals in their marketing of data storage products and services.

The storage market was worth over $150 billion in 2005, and as it gets bigger - more companies will turn to animal brands to help differentiate their otherwise bland products and lend them artificial (or deserving) characters and virtues.

The idea behind this type of marketing is to suggest positive connotations so it's unlikely that anyone will choose to associate their products with gremlins. But you may be surprised by the population of the storage ark.

This reference articles lists all known companies who have furry marketing brands, and also includes some which are slimy, scaly and scary too. the article, Mice in storage
Continuous Computing Corporation
Continuous Computing Receives Over $21 Million in Venture Funding

SAN DIEGO, Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - Continuous Computing Corporation (CCPU) today announced it has received over $21 million in equity funding from several venture capital organizations. The round was led by Technology Crossover Ventures, with additional participation from Palomar Ventures, Smart Technology Ventures and senior partners of W R Hambrecht + Co, including Bill Hambrecht, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman.

Continuous Computing Chairman and CEO Ken Kalb said, "This round of financing ensures upSuite™, CCPU's award-winning high-availability middleware, will become ubiquitous as the industry standard for enabling fault-tolerant voice-over-packet applications. From the company's founding in 1998, we have attracted world-class investors as well as world-class customers. We are delighted to have our investors participate in our continued success."

As a result of the funding, Will Griffith of Technology Crossover Ventures will join the board of directors of Continuous Computing. Griffith said, "I am looking forward to being a part of CCPU's team, as they continue to forge ahead and empower top tier telecom customers with platinum VoIP applications".

Randy Lunn, general partner with Palomar Ventures said, "I am extremely pleased with the progress that the Continuous Computing management team has made over the last year. I am enthused by the support given by our new investors in helping drive the company's successful business model forward." ...Continuous Computing profile
Intensifi IntenseSound™ Now Available on Sun Solaris

Redwood City, CA, March 26, 2001 - Intensifi™, developer of online communication software, today officially announced Release 1.2 of their IntenseSound™ product. IntenseSound is a unique software product that adds pre-recorded, interactive voice to Web content, integrated with user navigation. IntenseSound quickly improves the effectiveness of an organization's customer facing applications such as e-Commerce, e-Learning, and e-CRM.

IntenseSound is now available on the Sun Solaris™ platform, for Versions 7 and 8, giving companies even more choice for their IntenseSound deployments. Previously available for Windows® NT®, businesses who have selected the Solaris platform can now enjoy the benefits that accompany the use of IntenseSound; increased product sales, enriched understanding of educational or product training content and improved customer service and support.

Also included in this release is the availability of the Netscape®Communicator "auto-trigger" for Microsoft NetMeeting™. According to Mark Chiarelli, Intensifi's Director of Engineering, "With the availability of our automated NetMeeting configuration, we are continuing to break down barriers for users of IntenseSound. With this new feature, Netscape users can now enjoy the same "one-click" experience previously available only to Microsoft Internet Explorer™ users."

Whenever users visit a Web site that has deployed IntenseSound, they hear an instantaneous voice narrative that is synchronized with what they see and where they choose to go on the site. The result is a self-paced, self-directed, and persuasive experience.
...Intensifi profile
Fujitsu Technology Solutions

Fujitsu Technology Solutions and EMC Team to Deliver Powerful Solaris Based Enterprise Solutions for E-Business

Sunnyvale, Calif., March 26, 2001 – Fujitsu Technology Solutions, Inc. and EMC Corporation today announced the signing of an alliance that expands the Fujitsu Technology Solutions portfolio of open systems storage offerings to include EMC's Symmetrix.... Enterprise Storage systems and software. The EMC solutions will be resold throughout North America with Fujitsu Technology Solutions' SPARC.... compliant, Solaris.... compatible PRIMEPOWER servers, providing customers with a powerful, flexible and highly available platform for e-business and enterprise applications.

"This announcement expands the range of choices for Solaris users and extends the reach of Solaris systems professionals," said John Webster, senior analyst at Illuminata, Inc. "Previously available only in Europe, customers in North America now have access to the combination of a strong Solaris server alternative (PRIMEPOWER) coupled with a widely accepted storage platform (EMC's Symmetrix and software) running in a Solaris environment."

...EMC profile, ...Fujitsu Technology Solutions profile
Computer Connection
Computer Conection Relocates

Utica, NY, March 26, 2001 - Computer Connection of Central New York, Inc. has recently moved to a new location at 11206 Cosby Manor Road, Utica, New York. The new facility has increased our productivity immensely due to the centralized location of the Test area, Inventory and Engineering departments; and offers plenty of room for future expansion. We look forward to a long and prosperous future in our new home. ...Computer Conection profile
Kingston Sun Microsystems/Kingston Litigation

SAN JOSE, Calif. - March 23, 2001 - update. On July 26, 1999, Sun Microsystems ("Sun") sued Kingston in the Northern District of California, claiming that Kingston infringed five U.S. patents assigned to Sun that relate to memory modules. On January 25, 2000, Sun amended its complaint to add a sixth patent. Sun alleged that its patents were infringed by more than 800 memory modules sold by Kingston.

Sun's case has now been dismissed in its entirety, with prejudice. The terms of the agreement pursuant to which Sun's case has been dismissed are confidential and cannot be disclosed until May 29, 2001. When it is free to do so, Kingston will provide the details of the agreement. ...Kingston Technology profile
Perle Systems Perle Launches New Console Server Product Line for SPARC Servers

NASHVILLE, TN, March 22, 2001 - Perle Systems today launched the first products in a new line of console servers that offer highly effective management of network devices across a LAN (In-Band) or independently of the LAN (Out-of-Band). The Perle CS9000 Console Server was unveiled today at the at the CeBIT 2001 Exhibition in Hannover.

"As corporate networks and server farms grow in size and complexity, the ability to monitor and manage these networks and keep them up and running has never been more important. Perle is dedicating the new CS9000 product line specifically to this growing market requirement. For example, the CS9000 is the first product line to specifically address system failures that can shut down server devices in Sun Solaris environments," said David Krull, product manager, Perle Systems Inc.

For example, in Sun Solaris networks, unlike other console server solutions, the Perle CS9000 allows the network manager to cycle power without causing the server to reboot. This is an important differentiation from traditional terminal servers used in console serving applications, as well as many other dedicated console servers. Console servers are primarily used for the management of "server farms", in which hundreds or even thousands of computers and network appliances are rack mounted to provide storage and computer power. The Perle CS9000 Console Server provides a simple to deploy and cost-effective solution for large corporate environments, ISPs, ASPs and telecommunications companies.

The Perle CS9000 is available immediately starting at $2,395. ...Perle Systems profile

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