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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2001, April week 4

Tatung COMPstation U100T
SPARC workstations
from Tatung
See also:- View from the Hill - Why Did Sun's Revenue Growth Hit a Brick Wall?
Squeak! - The top 10 fastest growing storage companies in the US

current SPARC news, earlier SPARC news, Events & trade shows, Rackmount SPARC systems
SPARC History:- April 2000, April 2001, April 2002, April 2003, April 2004, April 2005

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Aladdin Systems Aladdin Releases Betas of Stuffit for Linux and Solaris

WATSONVILLE, CA - April 30, 2001 - Driving towards development of a universal compression solution for all computing platforms and file types, Aladdin Systems, Inc. today unveiled public beta versions of StuffIt™ its award-winning, powerful compression technology , and StuffIt Expander, a decompression utility, for Linux®, including the popular Red Hat® operating system and Sun's Solaris operating systems.

"In this 'information age' businesses and consumers are challenged with sending and receiving files that come in a myriad of formats and from a variety of platforms," said David Polzine, StuffIt Linux/Unix product manager. "At Aladdin we recognize the growing role being played by Linux and Solaris, in the global exchange of information and believe StuffIt technology gives users a powerful tool to aid in this exchange."

StuffIt is the industry leader in cross-platform multi-format file compression. Wherever there is a need for compressing large files into smaller archives, whether to fit them on removable media, posting them to a web site, or sending them via email, or storing them on a server, StuffIt is the solution. On the other side, when downloading files from the Internet or receiving files via email, StuffIt gives users the power to expand and access any file type they receive.

Supported Formats: StuffIt for Linux and Solaris can be utilized to create Zip, StuffIt, Binhex, MacBinary, Uuencode, Unix Compress, self-extracting archives for Windows or Macintosh platforms and it can be used to expand all of the above plus tar files, bzip, gzip, arj, lha, rar, BtoAtext and Mime. ...Aladdin Systems profile
Aladdin Releases Betas of Stuffit for Linux and Solaris

Fonix® Releases FAAST® TTS 5.1 for Linux and Solaris

Tatung Announces New 500 MHz UltraSPARC IIe Compatible Low Profile Server and Tower Configurations

Imperial Technology MegaRam-5000 Achieves Sun Solaris™ Ready Certification

JNI Achieves Quarterly Revenue Growth of 14% Year Over Year

VMIC Announces a New PMC-Based Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Mylex Brings RAID Protection to Wider Market

New T1 Line Causing Email Problems for Network Information Systems

IBM And Informix Corp. Sign Agreement for Sale of Informix Database Business to IBM

Novell's eDirectory the First Directory to Achieve SunTone™ Certification

earlier news - archive
Fastest growing companies
Squeak! - The top 10 fastest growing (profitable) storage companies in the US?
For a pro, like Megabyte, picking winners was just a question of pulling the right handles.

View from the Hill

Time for changes at the top in Sun?

I communicate with more Sun users and VARS than probably anyone else on this planet, but you don't need my privileged view of this market to know that all is not well in the Sun market. Here are some of the apparent symptoms:

  • Sun is shipping SPARC processors with a top speed of 750MHz, whereas Inteal architecture servers clock at twice the speed. OK - that's happened many times in the past, and you could argue that running a 64 bit OS at 750MHz is every bit as fast in a multi processor environment as running a 32 bit OS on 1.5GHz Pentiums. But the biggest Wintel servers aren't just snapping at Sun's heels any more. They're already in the datacenter.
  • All the easy customers have gone. The get-rich-quick dot-coms which were Sun's fastest growing customer segment are dust. The slowdown in the US is hurting everyone, but Sun is going to have to kick its dot-boomer habit.
  • Enterprise storage represents a huge growth opportunity for some computer companies. Unfortunately, Sun started behind the leaders, and is growing its storage business at a laggardly rate compared to the fastest storage companies. Sun says their storage business is growing, but it can still grow while losing market share. OK, during the last year, Sun has acquired a clutch of storage companies and changed the top management in this division, but the metrics on our sister publication suggest that most storage buyers are underwhelmed by Sun's changes. This is a market where you have to delight your customers, and just doing the same old stuff as everyone else is not good enough. Actually maybe all markets like that now...
  • Sun is still in denial about the desktop. You can't help getting the impression that if they could try out that DeLorean in the movie "Back to the Future" - Sun's senior management would like to go back to the early 1980's and have another go at taking on Microsoft and the PC market. Sun invests and wastes a lot of economic energy wishing it was Microsoft. This creates amusing opportunities for journalists, but doesn't achieve anything constructive. IMHO Sun should spin off Java, Jiro etc maybe as open source projects. Those individuals who wanted to join the anti-Microsoft playpen could be given inducements to join the new start up. Then Sun should recruit a bunch of top managers from Dell or Intel who really know the PC business, and re-engineer better solutions for users who want to use SPARC servers in the real heterogenous world.
  • As has been widely reported - Sun is closing down operations for a week in the Summer. Maybe not so well known, is that Sun seems to be planning major surgery on its reseller channel. That, could be a very big mistake in the long term. Currently less than 2% of the computer VARS in the US sell Sun Microsystems or compatibles. VARS have to invest a lot to understand the SPARC and Solaris environments. If Compaq cans a VAR, they can always go and find another Wintel solution to sell from somewhere else. If Sun cans a VAR, that company may decide that the game isn't worth the candle, and be lost as a Sun technology compatible channel forever. At a time when Sun should be working hard to make more friends in the computer business, alienating friendly VARS is a dumb idea. The channel strategy which works for Dell Computer, won't work for Sun.

The time comes in all organizations when they lose direction, and maybe could be better managed by people who are not necessarily their founders. The top management gets older, and starts becoming resistant to change. Or in the case of Sun, maybe boredom is creating an urge to make too many of the wrong kind of changes. There's also a problem caused by believing your own hype. During the dot-com boom, Sun was a real beneficiary of that hype. Today, it doesn't help. The hubris factor resulted in Apple giving away the dekstop PC business in the early 19080's. Before Gerstner, IBM was a lumbering elephant, with everyone taking pot shots at its business. It took a long time to re-energize IBM, because the decline had been going on so long.

Sun's market started to change dramatically about 9 months ago. For a while it seemed like it would be business as usual, and Sun's revenue growth continued on momentum. But today Sun seems to be shooting in too many different directions. They should concentrate on making the world's best servers and multiprocessing operating system. When they re-establish their lead in that area, there may be more time for the play pen.

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
Fonix Fonix® Releases FAAST® TTS 5.1 for Linux and Solaris

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - April 30, 2001 - Fonix® Corporation today announced that Fonix Accelerated Application Solutions Technology (FAAST®) Text-To-Speech (TTS) version 5.1 is now available on several Unix platforms, including Linux on x86 and Solaris on SPARC. With the availability of these high-end platforms, developers can handle increased server loads and demands, companies operating on or supporting multiple platforms only need to code to a single API, and that code can easily be ported from one platform to another. FAAST TTS 5.1 continues to be available for Microsoft Windows 95/98, NT, ME, and Windows 2000 operating systems.

The FAAST Framework delivers high-quality solutions for developers seeking to incorporate "best-of-breed" technology. Fonix speech solutions enable developers to deliver voice and audio connectivity between intelligent devices such as wireless devices, PDAs, servers, desktop computers, consumer appliances, and automobiles. ...Fonix profile
Tatung Announces New 500 MHz UltraSPARC IIe Compatible Low Profile Server and Tower Configurations

April 30, 2001 - Tatung Science & Technology, Inc. announces the COMPstation® U200R and the COMPstation® U100T, two new powerful SPARC-compatible servers based on Sun Microsystems' UltraSPARC IIe processors and its latest generation 64-bit, SPARC v9 architecture.
new Tatung systems

The COMPstation® U200R is housed in a low-profile 1U enclosure that can be stacked to allow service providers to optimize space allocation in high density rack-mount enclosures. Although the COMPstation® U200R is ideally suited for service provider environments, it is also being used in multiple unit configurations for front-end application services.

The COMPstation® U100T is targeted for powerful engineering workgroup, software development and high performance graphics applications. ...Tatung Science & Technology profile
Imperial Technology Imperial Technology MegaRam-5000 Achieves Sun Solaris™ Ready Certification

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - April 26, 2001 - Imperial Technology today announced that its MegaRam-5000 storage accelerator has been awarded the Sun's Solaris™ Ready certification for compatibility and interoperability with the Sun Solaris Operating Environment. Solaris Ready products, such as the MegaRam-5000, are certified and tested in Sun laboratories to meet specific requirements and are verified to work with Sun™ platforms.

"We are excited to complete Solaris Ready certification with the MegaRam-5000 and have it join our growing family of Solaris Ready storage accelerator products," said Robert David, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Imperial Technology. "Sun Solaris users around the world can take comfort in knowing that the industry leading MegaRam-5000 seamlessly integrates into their Sun environment, as evidenced by Sun's rigorous and through testing process."

Imperial's MegaRam-5000 solid state accelerator is designed to complement the performance of Sun StorEdge T3 systems, often achieving a 200-400% performance improvement in transaction-intensive applications. By moving a small percentage of files from the StorEdge system to an Imperial MegaRam accelerator, I/O bottlenecks are eliminated and Sun servers are allowed to perform at their optimum. Typical files to relocate to solid state include temp, log and swap files, message queues, and frequently accessed index files. ...Imperial Technology profile

See also:- Solid state disks
JNI JNI Achieves Quarterly Revenue Growth of 14% Year Over Year

SAN DIEGO, April 25, 2001 – JNI® Corporation (Nasdaq: JNIC) today reported results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2001, and provided outlook for the second quarter. First Quarter Operating Results Revenue increased to $21.1 million for the first quarter of 2001, an increase of 14% over revenue of $18.5 million for the first quarter of 2000, and a sequential decrease of 31% from $30.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2000. First quarter gross margins decreased to 59.4% from 60.2% for the year-ago quarter, but increased from 58.9% for the fourth quarter of 2000.

Commenting on JNI's first quarter performance, President and Chief Executive Officer Neal Waddington said, "Our revenue decline for the quarter was largely the result of the slowdown in IT spending for SAN expansion. Presently, the majority of our revenue is derived from sales of Solaris-based products, and we are taking important strategic steps to diversify our business mix. During the quarter, our Solaris-based revenue declined more sharply than non-Solaris revenue. At the same time, we recognized 16% growth sequentially in sales of our Emerald III PCI and OS driver products compatible with a range of non-Solaris operating systems, a favorable indicator of our progress." ...JNI profile

Editor's comments:- whereas many computer companies would be happy to report any year to year growth during the last quarter, JNI's growth is much lower than the fastest growing US storage companies. The JNI release suggests that the company's revenue has been strongly tied to the Solaris market, and as reported earlier, Sun Microsystems, the biggest vendor in this market, had almost zero growth during the last quarter. However the biggest potential for growth in storage is within the installed base, as companies generate more digital business data. This market opportunity is not tied to the sales of new servers. However, the sales of fibre-channel adapter cards into the installed base may have slowed down recently as users have been evaluating the emerging alternatives of iSCSI and NAS which can use their pre-existing IP networks.
VMIC VMIC Announces a New PMC-Based Gigabit Ethernet Adapter

Huntsville, AL - April 24, 2001 - VMIC introduces the VMIPMC-6101, a PMC-based Gigabit Ethernet adapter with copper interface. This product is ideal for applications requiring 1000SX Ethernet. The VMIPMC-6101 features the Intel 82543GC Gigabit Ethernet MAC. The 82543GC provides a 32-/64-bit, 33/66 MHz interface compliant to PCI Rev. 2.2. It also has a 64 Kbyte packet buffer to maintain high performance. A 1000T CAT5 copper interface is provided via the front panel RJ45 connector. Drivers are included, making the VMIPMC-6101 easy to integrate with single-board computer (SBC) products that support PMC.
  • PCI mezzanine card (PMC)-based Gigabit Ethernet adapter
  • 1000T CAT5 copper interface via front panel RJ45 connector
  • IEEE 802.3/802.3x/802.3z/802.3ab compliant
  • 64-bit/66 MHz interface for optimum performance
  • 64 Kbyte packet buffer
  • PCI revision 2.2 compliant
  • Universal PMC signaling operation Windows NT,
  • Windows 2000, Linux, Solaris, and VxWorks drivers available
Availability: April 2001 ...VMIC profile
Mylex Mylex Brings RAID Protection to Wider Market

FREMONT, Calif., April 24, 2001— Mylex today announced it is offering its value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators significant price reductions across the board for Mylex AcceleRAIDTM and eXtremeRAIDTM controllers. Aggressively reducing prices by up to 25 percent, or $400, Mylex is establishing a new benchmark in value for PCI RAID controllers, while bringing the features, performance and manageability of RAID protection to a wider market.

Mylex's eXtremeRAID 2000 controller has been used by the first nine servers listed in the Transaction Processing Performance Council's current 'Top Ten TPC-C Price/Performance' list (version 5) for server benchmark records.

Mylex AcceleRAID and eXtremeRAID controllers offer support for RAID levels 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 10, 30, 50 and JBOD, and most major operating systems, including Windows NT, Windows 2000, Linux (through third parties), NetWare, Sun Solaris, SCO UNIX, SCO UnixWare, and DOS. ...Mylex profile
Network Information Systems New T1 Line Causing Email Problems for Network Information Systems

April 25, 2001 - One of our advertisers, Colorado based, Network Information Systems, confirmed today that they have been having technical difficulties associated with the installation of a new T1 line. Although you can view their web site, many emails during the last few days have been returned to senders as being undeliverable. Another way you can still reach the company, is the old fashioned way... by phone. ...Network Information Systems profile

IBM And Informix Corp. Sign Agreement for Sale of Informix Database Business to IBM

ARMONK, N.Y. & WESTBORO, Mass. - April 24, 2001 - IBM and Informix Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire the assets of Informix Software--Informix's database business--in a cash transaction valued at $1 billion.

The acquisition strengthens IBM in the fast-growing distributed database business, a key strategic priority for IBM. IBM's distributed database revenues grew 36% year-to-year in the first quarter of 2001.

"Customers are aggressively investing in data management software because data collection, storage and use are at the core of a successful e-business," said Sam Palmisano, president and chief operating officer of IBM. "This acquisition of Informix allows IBM to bring the benefits of leadership database technologies to more customers faster." ...IBM profile

Editor's comment:- the growing use of "open" databases was a critical boost to Sun's business in the late 1980's and early 1990's, because users could easily compare the cost-benefits of database processing on different platforms. In recent years Sun has become enmeshed with Oracle, almost to the point where you might forget that you can run Oracle on other platforms as well. IBM's move will secure an important part of this market for its growing AIX platform.

According to an IBM release yesterday about AIX 5L... AIX gains APIs (application programming interface) and header files that allow popular Linux applications to run on AIX with a simple recompilation.
Novell Novell's eDirectory the First Directory to Achieve SunTone™ Certification

PROVO, Utah — April 23, 2001 — Novell, Inc. today announced that the company's cross-platform directory, Novell® NDS® eDirectory™, is the first directory to complete SunTone™ Program Certification. This certification means that eDirectory has passed rigorous evaluation and demonstrated superior levels of reliability and quality on the Sun™ platform.

Novell's eDirectory remains the only directory on the market to work on all leading operating systems, which significantly simplifies the complexities of managing users, identities and resources in mixed environments. The reliability and extreme scalability of eDirectory makes it a powerful addition to many of Sun's Solaris OE deployments. Customers such as Toyota and Freddie Mac have deployed eDirectory, DirXML™ and other Net services software on the Solaris platform to enable them to integrate disparate business systems and securely extend those systems to internal and external users — while still lowering administrative overhead. ...Novell profile

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read the article by ICS - Sanitization Methods
Sanitization Methods for Cleaning Up Hard Disk Drives - article by Intelligent Computer Solutions

Removing the data on old unwanted disk drives has become a concern for all users.

In 2005 Pointsec found that they were able to read 7 out of 10 hard-drives bought over the Internet at auctions such as eBay, for less than the cost of a McDonald's meal, all of which had "supposedly" been "wiped-clean" or "re-formatted".

This article reviews the various methods available to sanitize hard disks along with the advantages and disadvantages in each the article, ...Intelligent Computer Solutions profile, disk sanitizers
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