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SPARC History - 2001, August weeks 1 - 2

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Sun Microsystems Sun's New 24" LCD Monitor

LOS ANGELES,CA - SIGGRAPH CONFERENCE -- AUGUST 13, 2001 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. will feature breakthrough products and high-performance demos targeted for visualization, simulation and digital media markets. Located in booth #1201, Sun will feature a technology demo of the world's first 24" flat-panel LCD monitor and will showcase server-based graphics demos on its new Sun[tm] Fire servers. Cutting-edge features of the new monitor include:
  • 24" Display: As the world's first 24" LCD monitor, it offers a 27" CRT image size in a compact 3" deep form factor, providing a big screen display with minimal impact on a user's desktop real estate. It can easily display two full-size A4 sheets of paper, side by side. DVI Interface: A high quality digital interface, helping to ensure that full picture fidelity is transferred to the monitor.
  • 2.3 Million pixels at 1920 x 1200 resolution and 170-degree viewing angle: Ideal for executing finely detailed CAD/CAM or EDA drawings, or creating extensively layered graphics, the new monitor is designed to enable the maximum amount of information to be displayed on the screen and provides full viewing of images when moving off center.
  • Extensive Multimedia Support: The new monitor directly supports not only high-end workstation interfaces via DVI and analog interfaces, but also direct interface capabilities for HDTV, DVD, VCR and other industry standard video sources.
...Sun Microsystems profile
Sun's New 24" LCD Monitor

This Week Marks the 20th Anniversary of the IBM PC

Resilience Corporation Poised to Grow Business in Asia

Sun Microsystems, Hitachi, Ltd., and Hitachi Data Systems Announce Global Relationship

Emulex Announces New 2Gb/s SBus Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter

Sun's Storage Captures Number One Spot in Unix Storage Market

Dataram Restructures Global Operations

Gordano cuts messaging TCO for Solaris

Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Decreased 15 Percent in the Second Quarter of 2001

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RAM
RAM manufacturers on
STORAGEsearch.com
Megabyte found that RAM gave him the fastest access to what he was seeking.
.
Nibble

Centralizing Server I/O Infrastructure with InfiniBand


by InfiniCon Systems

In this article, the benefits of applying InfiniBand to create a centralized server I/O infrastructure, along with the implications of disaggregating the I/O subsystem from the processor complex, are examined.

To achieve optimal performance in current-generation servers, a dedicated I/O subsystem, typically based on the PCI local bus, must be tightly bound to each processing complex. The InfiniBand architecture, which provides an industry-standard framework for connecting devices via a very low latency, high bandwidth link, enables the creation of a sharable, centralized I/O infrastructure. Multiple next-generation servers can be connected to this I/O infrastructure via InfiniBand links, resulting in many potential benefits, including data center space savings, bandwidth migration, decreased deployment cost, simplified systems management, and improved cable management.

Due to the high cost associated with providing a truly secure and reliable environment for housing computer equipment, maximizing the utilization of data center space is becoming increasingly important. Server density has improved dramatically, and this trend will continue with the introduction of server-blade technology. Applying InfiniBand to create a sharable, centralized I/O subsystem will accelerate this trend by allowing designers to replace the dedicated I/O subsystem associated with each server with InfiniBand connections scaled to meet the bandwidth and reliability requirements of the server. This will enable further reductions in the size of each server, resulting in significantly improved data center space utilization.

In many application environments, the I/O activity generated by a specific server tends to be somewhat uneven. Periods requiring high I/O throughput are generally followed by periods of lower demand. Servers are often configured with sufficient dedicated capacity to handle the peak bandwidth requirements, but this can result in low average link utilization. An important benefit of the shared I/O subsystem approach is that it allows the bandwidth provided by the shared links to migrate to the servers with the highest demand, providing those servers with significantly higher instantaneous bandwidth than would be feasible with dedicated resources, while simultaneously improving link utilization.

In addition to increasing the bandwidth that can be made available to any given server, the shared I/O model can also significantly reduce the total cost of deployment with respect to a server cluster. In high-availability environments, servers often support redundant connections to multiple infrastructures, including the storage area network, the local area network, and sometimes a separate inter-process communication network. While effective in eliminating single points of failure, this can be a costly approach that requires additional dedicated server ports as well as additional infrastructure ports. The centralized I/O model allows the I/O bandwidth to be matched to the requirements of the entire cluster, reducing port count and complexity, with cost savings of approximately 50 percent.

The reduction in port connections results in significant business and technical benefits for CIOs and data center managers as well. Maintaining and growing high-bandwidth data centers has become increasingly complex and expensive. By deploying a sharable I/O infrastructure, data center topologies can be simplified, reducing the amount of equipment to be managed by system administrators. The growing complexity of the data center cabling matrix can also be substantially reduced.

"Companies have spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars deploying their existing data center networks. Therefore, solutions involving InfiniBand must be non-disruptive to the current infrastructure, as well as provide compelling benefits with respect to incumbent technologies," explained Philip Murphy, president and co-founder, InfiniCon Systems. "InfiniCon Systems is focusing its development efforts on these types of solutions."

"Our studies show that a great deal of mindshare has been generated about InfiniBand. However, system administrators are wary of 'yet another fabric in the data center,'" notes John Lawler, directing analyst for E-Business Infrastructure at Infonetics Research. "By positioning its first generation of products as an extended system backplane and not a new LAN technology, InfiniCon Systems avoids these potential barriers to adoption."

InfiniCon Systems will continue to address topics regarding InfiniBand in the data center in future articles as part of its ongoing education campaign.

See also:- article:- What is the InfiniBand Ecosystem? - by InfiniCon Systems
IBM

Intel

Microsoft
This Week Marks the 20th Anniversary of the IBM PC

Editor - August 9, 2001 - if it wasn't for all those PC's out there, you wouldn't need your SPARC servers, because PC's are the man-machine interface on over 95% of desktops.

If you'd like to see what IBM, Intel and Microsoft are saying about this anniversary, click on the 3 different links which appear on the left. I'm old enough to remember using an Apple 2 PC several years before IBM got into that market, and a blue box from Intel several years before that. But there's no denying that it was IBM's entry into the PC market which changed it from being a techie kind of product to a universally available business tool. I can't remember when they introduced the reset button, or if that was always part of the original product architecture...
Resilience Resilience Corporation Poised to Grow Business in Asia
Resilience's new office is located in

Suite 1509, 15th Floor, Harcourt House
39 Gloucester Road
Wanchai
Hong Kong
tel:- +011 (852) 2527 9289
fax:- +011 (852) 2866 3787
Sunnyvale, CA - August 8, 2001 — Resilience Corporation today announced the opening of a new office in Hong Kong, which will be responsible for sales operations in the Greater China and Southeast Asia regions.

Heading Resilience's new office is David Cheng, general manager. Mr. Cheng will be responsible for driving Resilience's sales strategy through its indirect channels. Cheng joins Resilience from Tumbleweed Communications, a leading provider of Internet Infrastructure for business messaging worldwide. Prior to Tumbleweed, Cheng worked as a senior consultant at IBM, BMC Software, and PLATINUM Technology.

"Our aim is to increase our presence in Asia," said John O'Leary, vice president of sales, Resilience Corporation. "We are delighted to have David on board and are confident in his ability to manage our sales operations in this region."

"Our new Hong Kong office enables us to extend our reach in Asia and build new partnerships in mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia", said David Cheng, general manager. "It also allows us to work more closely with our local distributors as they target the security and Internet infrastructure markets." ...Resilience profile
Hitachi Data Systems

Sun Microsystems
Sun Microsystems, Hitachi, Ltd., and Hitachi Data Systems Announce Global Relationship
Highlights of the agreement...
  • Sun will extend the Sun StorEdge T3 arrays in DAS and SAN environments with a high-end product for the datacenter. Collaboration on this high-end storage solution will extend and complement the comprehensive line of storage products available through Sun's extensive sales force. Sun will globally sell and support the new Sun StorEdge 9900 series, which is based on the Hitachi Freedom Storage™ Lightning 9900™ products.
  • Joint distribution agreement for Hitachi's leading storage software and Sun's leading storage management software offerings will be enhanced to support the operation of each other's storage hardware products.
  • Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will collaborate to deliver the highest levels of service and solutions to StorEdge 9900 customers worldwide. Joint mission-critical support centers will be staffed with co-located support engineers in multiple locations worldwide.
  • The Sun StorEdge 9900 series will be certified for use in SunPlex™ and Sun Cluster environments. Additionally, Sun's strategic focus is to make the StorEdge 9900 series the leader in performance for enterprise-class Solaris servers.
PALO ALTO, Calif., TOKYO, and SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 8, 2001 — Sun Microsystems, Hitachi, Ltd., and its wholly owned subsidiary, Hitachi Data Systems, today announced that they have entered into a far-reaching agreement. Sun has signed a distributor agreement for certain high-end Hitachi Data Systems products; Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will cross-license and distribute each other's storage software; both companies will collaborate on the development of storage software; and the companies will work on expanding integration capabilities worldwide.

In addition, Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will work on expanding their joint-supplier relationship and invest in joint global mission-critical support centers. This agreement significantly enhances the competitive advantage for Sun and Hitachi enterprise customers seeking the highest levels of availability. Integrating systems and services with datacenter storage builds a standards-based customer solution without parallel in the industry.

"Over the last five years Sun has evolved from being #1 in workstation servers to being the premier server vendor for mission-critical datacenters," stated Ed Zander, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Sun is building on a core competency in storage with this bold relationship. Our focus is on delivering end-to-end webtone solutions to meet the most demanding customer requirements."

"Hitachi, Ltd. is proud to announce our new agreement with Sun Microsystems," said Hiroaki Nakanishi, Managing officer and General Manager, International Operations Group, Information and Telecommunication Systems Group, Hitachi, Ltd. "The complementary skills that Sun and Hitachi bring to each other will help both companies achieve continuing success in their storage businesses."

"This agreement enables us to augment the success of the Sun StorEdge™ T3 array in the midrange and the enterprise with the new Sun StorEdge 9900 series. With the Sun Enterprise 10000 and the newly introduced MidFrame servers, we are now delivering open, end-to-end Sun systems into high-end glass house environments," remarked Mark Canepa, executive vice president, Sun Network Storage. "We're investing heavily in storage and this relationship extends our strategy for customer success across an even broader front."

"This is a tremendously important day for Hitachi and its customers. We are delighted to team up with Sun Microsystems to change the landscape of the storage industry," said Dave Roberson, Hitachi Data Systems Chief Operating Officer. "With the vast reach of Sun's sales and marketing organization, the benefits of Hitachi Freedom Storage reliability and scalability will become available to far more customers worldwide than ever before. Moreover, our existing customers will gain the benefit of using Sun's storage software." ...Hitachi Data Systems profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- Sun is used to making business partnerships work, and has partnered with thousands of ISV's and IHV's to ensure a large catalog of compatible products for its own platforms:- SPARC, Solaris and Java... But Sun has always dominated those relationships, even when the other technology partner has been Microsoft, or HP or IBM. Sun is now starting different types of relationships, in the storage market, in which its role is more like a partner among equals. Why's that?...

...It's because during the next few years end-users will start to perceive their storage systems as the pivotal part of their IT strategy, whereas today most users think in terms of their server platform and applications. Instead of asking "what storage will I attach to my server?", users will ask "what servers can I connect to my network storage system?" That's why there's a flurry of activity in storage partnerships these days. Even gorilla server companies like Sun are minnows in storage and have to insure that they are visible in as many parts of the storage cake slice-up as possible. You can track those kinds of developments in our sister publication STORAGEsearch.
Emulex Emulex Announces New 2Gb/s SBus Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter

COSTA MESA, Calif., August 7, 2001 – Emulex Corporation announced today the new Emulex LightPulse® LP9002S, a two gigabit per second (2Gb/s) SBus Fibre Channel HBA. The Emulex 2Gb/s LP9002S offers a unique and advanced architectural design that enables Solaris-based server customers to benefit from higher performance levels and increased scalability. In addition, the Emulex SBus HBA provides maximum server CPU offload and extended link distances, which are critical to the deployment of enterprise-class SBus applications. ...Emulex profile

See also:- Fibre-channel adapter cards
Sun Microsystems Sun's Storage Captures Number One Spot in Unix Storage Market

PALO ALTO, CA - August 7, 2001 - Gartner Dataquest officially released its independent numbers on U.S. information storage units ranking Sun Microsystems Inc. atop the UNIX® storage market for the third year in a row, confirming that Sun is No. 1 in worldwide revenue of the consolidated UNIX storage market.

According to the report by industry research and advisory firm Gartner Dataquest, Sun's UNIX-based storage growth continued to outpace the the overall market and increased by over 27 percent in 2000, to over $3.2 billion. Gartner Dataquest's results also ranked Sun the number one storage provider in its host-attached external storage ranking. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- this recent press release from Sun actually gives you a very misleading idea of Sun's true market position in storage today. Many storage companies were growing a lot faster than Sun in 2000, which is the period referred to in this release. Sun also declined our invitation to provide data for our April article - The fastest growing profitable STORAGE companies in the US - which reported on Q1 2001 storage results. We suspected that Sun would not have qualified to make our final top #10 list, if the data had been available.

In today's press release from Sun, their narrowly defined "UNIX" niche effectively means "Sun". So the release should be interpreted as meaning that most Sun users bought their internal drives and storage from Sun in 2000. You get a much more accurate idea of how Sun was actually doing in enterprise storage, such as RAID, at that time by looking at the chart below, which we first published on STORAGEsearch news in June. When marketers try to bamboozle you with statistics like this, we'll report them, but we'll also point out what they're doing.
news image - Gartner report on EMC market share
Dataram Dataram Restructures Global Operations

PRINCETON, N.J.- Aug. 3, 2001- Dataram Corporation has completed a company-wide restructuring as part of its integration strategy for its recently acquired assets of Memory Card Technology A/S.

The restructuring, which resulted in a 25% reduction in workforce and other cost efficiencies, is expected to reduce operating expenses by approximately $4 million, annually. The Company intends to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $1.1 million or $0.11 per diluted share as a result of the restructuring.

Revenues for the quarter ended July 31, 2001 are expected to be approximately $22 million compared to revenues of $25.9 million in the previous fiscal quarter.

Robert Tarantino, Dataram's chairman, president and CEO commented, "The business downturn continues to make forecasting of revenues and profits difficult in the short-term. Continued inventory right-sizing and reduced capital spending by businesses, worldwide, coupled with lower selling prices resulting from declining DRAM prices has impacted our revenues and earnings. The spread of the economic slowdown into overseas markets has hurt the performance of our recent acquisition, which has caused us to accelerate our integration timetable." ...Dataram profile

Editor's comments:- even without the effects of the IT recession, the memory business has always been a feast to famine type of business, and all memory companies are suffering. If you've got the budget, there's never been a better time to fill up your server memory slots with more memory at a fraction of what you would have paid last year.
Gordano Gordano cuts messaging TCO for Solaris

New York - Aug 3, 2001 - Gordano today announces the availability of its high performance mail server for the Sun Solaris platform (Intel and Sparc). GLMail is a standards-compliant mail server complete with POP3, IMAP4 access and all other facilities needed for a fully working enterprise and corporate grade messaging system. SSL capabilities are also available in the standard product and can be activated within minutes. System administration and management can be exercised by means of a www interface and the product includes an integrated proxy caching web server.

Core features include; full message logs and log archiving with automatic compression; user controllable auto-responders, mail forwarding and a highly effective yet simple recovery procedure. Options will deliver message content filtration facilities, spam and virus protection using a variety of techniques including anomaly detection mechanisms that employ artificial intelligence.

Pricing starts at $735 for a 50 user license and there are vendor supported migration tools to facilitate the move to GLMail from a variety of other products, including Sendmail.

Giving customers a choice of operating systems on which to run their mail server is a 'response to demand' from Gordano. "Due to our design architecture and its O/S independence, we were able to create a product for the Solaris platform very quickly," says Gordano's MD, Brian Dorricott. He added: "Mail server systems can now be shared across a mixture of Microsoft and Unix platforms, yet appear to the outside world as a single system. This makes platform migration very easy and has added security benefits."

GLMail can be installed and running in minutes, with sensible defaults throughout the product giving added peace of mind. Local or remote access allows administrators to configure the server from anywhere (even a Windows PC) via a consistent GUI, with context sensitive help and complete documentation. ...Gordano profile
Dataquest Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Decreased 15 Percent in the Second Quarter of 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 2, 2001 — The worldwide workstation market continued to shrink drastically in the second quarter of 2001 as worldwide shipments declined 15 percent over the second quarter of 2000, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc.

This was the third consecutive quarter of a shipment decline for the workstation industry. While the soft U.S. economy has impacted global workstation sales, analysts said this is not the only reason the workstation industry is declining.

"The decline in workstation sales has its roots in a market reality check following recent years' unnaturally high growth, especially in the entry-level IT workstation segment. Endless demand for branded workstations just doesn't exist in the market," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst covering workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group.

Dell was the only top-tier vendor to experience double-digit growth in the second quarter. IBM was the only other top-tier vendor, besides Dell, to increase its market share in the quarter.

Sun Microsystems' Q2 workstation shipments dropped from 87,982 (in Q2 00) to 72,892.

The second quarter of 2001 saw the introduction of Itanium-based workstations. Despite high expectations, shipment volumes were negligible in the second quarter with the exception of HP, the codeveloper of Itanium's EPIC architecture.

"High-end workstation users that will most benefit from Itanium tend to be conservative and will likely wait for the platform and applications to mature," Rieppo said. "Therefore, we believe that Itanium-based workstations will likely remain a development platform until the next generation processor arrives next year."

While vendors have had to deal with organizational changes and the economy, Gartner Dataquest analysts said another challenge is that many end users feel the value proposition of low-end workstations differs little from that of PCs. ...GartnerGroup profile

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