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SPARC History - 2001, October weeks 1 - 2

Naturetech SPARC portable
SPARC portables
from Naturetech
See also:- Goodbye Sun! Hello New Employer! - Jobseekers Guide
View from the Hill - How Sun Got Burned... What should Sun do now?
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NTI
NEW KVM Switch from NTI: One USB Keyboard, USB Mouse and Monitor Controls Multiple USB Computers!

AURORA, OH - October 10, 2001 - Network Technologies Inc (NTI) today announced their first electronic keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) switch that controls multiple computers with one USB keyboard, USB mouse and monitor.
NEW KVM Switch from NTI: One USB Keyboard, USB Mouse and Monitor Controls Multiple USB Computers!

Fujitsu Technology Solutions PRIMEPOWER Servers Extend Existing Lead in Performance and Value

everStor Expands Reseller Program to Include Resellers and Integrators of Linux-Based Storage Solutions

Sun Will Decimate Workforce to Reduce Burn Rate

Inadvertant Link to a Porn Site

News Corporation Names Sun as Preferred Unix Platform in 2 year $100M Agreement

Continuous Computing Launches switchUp 8G™ -- A New 8-Port Gigabit Switch for CompactPCI Telecom Systems

Sanera Systems, Inc. Garners $38.3 Million in Second Round Funding to Build Industry's First Terabit, Protocol Transparent, Storage Area Network Switch

WorldCom and Sun Team to Deliver Best-In-Class Managed Hosting Solutions to Businesses Worldwide

EMC Broadens Database Support for Automated Performance Management Software

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Megabyte's uncle Spellerbyte was a wizard when it came to software. He'd given Megabyte a magic potion for copying critical stuff.

View from the Hill

A Tale of 2 Markets Affected by the September 11th Atrocity - Sun and Storage


As stated in Sun's conference call, October 5, 2001, the effects of September 11th had a major impact on Sun's business which no-one could have forseen.

As a web publisher involved in both the Sun and storage markets, I thought it might be interesting to share with you information about how we think these markets have been affected. Your analysis and conclusions may be entirely different. But if you're involved in making choices in these markets, these are difficult times, and any information might be useful.

Our Sun publication saw a 20% month to month decline in pageviews comparing August to September. In the 4 years previously, we'd seen a 20% increase. That 40% gap between expectation and actuality correlates with Sun's 38% projected revenue decline this quarter. Looking at what happened after:- in the first week of October we saw a 14% rise in daily pageviews. So there is a recovery coming for Sun. But it's not as good as in other markets. As a publisher we've been tracking the Sun market for 10 years. This was the first time we had ever seen a decline in buyer activity moving from August to September. (Before 1996 we measured buyer/market activity by the sales of our directory, and sales of Sun mailing lists targeting end-users. Both stopped when we switched to our web format in 1996 .)

Sun's own analysis of the outlook prompted their announcement to lay off 9% of the workforce to reduce thir burn rate.

I think that the storage market most likely has seen a net gain from the tragedy, due to general reporting by all media of the plight of companeis which did not have data backup strategies. We've seen this confirmed in early comments from backup software and tape library comnpanies who are reporting financial results for this period. So the August-September transition for STORAGEsearch pageviews was a mere 7% decline, followed in October by a staggering 60% increase.

Historically, the reader activity levels on our sites have always predicted buying behaviour (revenue) as reported later by market research companies like IDC, or seen in the company results in specific product sectors. So there is a recovery coming for Sun, but it's still going to lag last year's revenue performance by about 30% and that's why they needed to reduce costs. You can also see most people in the wider market don't take Sun seriously as a storage company, otherwise their results would be a lot better.


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Naturetech SPARC portable
SPARC portables
from Naturetech
news image NTI USB KVM switch The KEEMUX-USBV-8U Universal USB KVM Switch is immediately available with a suggested retail price of $840. This switch allows users to control up to eight USB computers from one USB keyboard, USB mouse, and monitor.

It features NTI's patent-pending USB autoboot technology which allows users to boot all attached USB-enabled computers in one operation. Other USB KVM switches on the market require individual, sequential boot-up. This switch also supports Mac soft (keyboard) Power-On capability. Users select the desired CPU channels with the front-panel pushbuttons or with hotkeys. The keyboard hot-plug feature allows users to change their keyboard on the fly - even to a different keyboard platform (PS/2, Sun, or Mac) - with no need to power-cycle the switch.

Users can connect any USB-enhanced computer, including the following:
  • -SUN Blade 100s, 1000s, SUN Rays and Sun Fire 280
  • -PCs with USB ports
  • -MAC G3/G4s
Crisp and clear 1900x1200 video resolution is supported at a bandwidth of 150 MHz. The required VGA multiscan monitor is connected a standard 15HD VGA type connector. User devices, including USB PS/2, Mac and Sun keyboards, and USB mouse (including USB Intellimouse) are connected through a female USB Type A connector; computers are attached through a female USB Type B connector. NTI units connect between computers and peripherals, are easy to use, and require no special tools or software for immediate operation. ...Network Technologies profile
Fujitsu Technology Solutions Fujitsu Technology Solutions PRIMEPOWER Servers Extend Existing Lead in Performance and Value

Sunnyvale, Calif., October 9, 2001 — Fujitsu Technology Solutions today announced that it has given its PRIMEPOWER servers an additional 20% performance boost. Fujitsu SPARC compliant, Solaris compatible PRIMEPOWER servers have been upgraded to 675 MHz for high-end systems and 600 MHz for mid-range systems and are immediately available. ...Fujitsu Technology Solutions profile
everStor everStor Expands Reseller Program to Include Resellers and Integrators of Linux-Based Storage Solutions

ANAHEIM, CA - October 9, 2001 - everStor, Inc., a developer of enterprise-class storage-management software solutions, has announced an expanded reseller program that now includes resellers and integrators of Linux-based storage solutions - and compliments everStor's existing Sun Solaris reseller program. The expanded program includes Replicator, which centralizes data replication and archiving; jb driver, an intelligent robotics driver for controlling tape libraries and optical jukeboxes; and Hiarc HSM, which transparently manages data, migrates it to secondary media, and provides virtually limitless storage capacity. The program offers resellers and integrators an aggressive pricing structure with various discount options, and extensive sales and product support.

everStor's sales team will help generate leads and close accounts; and its support team will provide priority assistance. In addition, everStor will provide sales presentations. Program participants can also access a "Partners Only" area at everStor's Web site that includes promotions, marketing tools, product information and up-to-date pricing.

"everStor is committed to building and providing profitable solutions for resellers and integrators of Solaris and Linux server products," said Jamie Broadbent, director of sales for everStor. "Our products allow resellers and integrators to provide very effective protection for their customers that require high-availability data." ...everStor profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Will Decimate Workforce to Reduce Burn Rate
About our headline

The term "decimation" comes from classical times and ancient Rome. If the Roman army mutinied or lost a battle, due to poor fighting then army discipline would invoke the punishment of decimation. The soldiers would draw lots and one in ten would be executed.

In contrast, the Carthaginians, who were Rome's main enemy for 200 years before the birth of Christ, took a different approach in such cases. The Carthaginians would crucify a General or Admiral who had lost a battle.

In May this year I suggested that part of Sun's reversal in fortunes was due to poor management, not just the economy, and that some of the top management should go. But it looks like, as in most companies when things are going badly, the Roman management model is preferred to the Carthaginian.

"Burn rate" as anyone involved with a venture capital start-up knows, is the rate at which a company consumes cash. When the burn rate exceeds the income from sales, then the only thing which keeps a company afloat is cash or borrowings. For the first time in 19 years the projected market outlook for Sun is not good in this basic factor. Many of those problems are self inflicted, and can be changed if Sun becomes less arrogant and starts to relate more to its natural allies in the VAR, publishing and user communities.
October 5, 2001 - in a conference call today, to discuss the preliminary results of Sun's fiscal 2002 first quarter which ended September 30th, 2001, Sun Microsystems said it will reduce its workforce by 9% (4,000 people) in an effort to reduce operating costs.

Estimated quarterly revenue of $2.9 billion was a 38% decline for the same quarter last year. As a result, the company will report a loss this quarter when the complete results are published on or before October 18th.

Mike Lehman of Sun cited the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks as a factor.

"As many other companies have experienced, our business nearly ground to a halt in the two weeks after that tragic day. As you know, historically a large percentage of orders are recorded in the last month of the quarter. Accordingly, though impossible to quantify, we believe that this event had a significant impact on the last 2-3 weeks of the quarter. Further, we believe the impact of these events will not be limited to our fiscal first quarter."

Editor's comments:- for most of this year year Sun has operated like a company in denial about the IT recession. The optimistic line ran soemthing like "Sure the recession might effect other computer companies, but we're Sun. Sun is the future." As a result Sun was slower than most other computer manufacturers to take the drastic step of laying off its workforce, preferring in July this year to have a worldwide shut down to reduce operating expenses. That was the triumph of optimism over experience because a number of trends were at work in the market which would make Sun suffer even more than its Wintel architectur competitors. We've been reporting and analysing these factor for a couple of years now and Tuesday will publish an in depth article charting Sun's decline in

"View from the Hill - How Sun Got Burned...

What should Sun do now?
".
SPARC VARs - USA page Inadvertant Link to a Porn Site

Editor - October 5, 2001 - one of our readers, Selim Dincer at Sun Valley Technical Repair warned me today that we had a link to a porn site in the US Sun Reseller List. Naturally, I checked it and deleted it immediately, but how did this happen? And can it happen to you if you run a web site for your own organisation?

We have nearly 30,000 links in our two main directories, and every single one is chosen either as a result of an input from a reader, advertiser or research such as datamining a press release or article. This original request came from our "add url", and had a home page which definitely looked like a Sun reseller web site at the time we looked.

This has happened a few times in the past when porn sites create a home page which looks like a computer site and then try to mislead publishers like me into linking to it. Then after a while, they change the site back to its true colors. They rely on the fact that publishers use software to track and report dead links, and for large sites it can be a year or more before each link is rechecked by a human editor. In this case I was lucky that a vigilant reader advised me of the problem, but the same can happen to anyone running a web site. If you see an inappropriate link, please let me know.

Don't worry about dead links, our QA service from SEVENtwentyfour Inc. gives me weekly reports which I prioritise according to traffic on the relevant pages.
Sun Microsystems News Corporation Names Sun as Preferred Unix Platform in 2 year $100M Agreement

PALO ALTO, CA - October 3, 2001 - Sun Microsystems announced today that News Corporation, one of the world's largest media companies, has awarded the company with a two-year $100M global sourcing pact. Under the terms of the agreement, Sun is named the preferred vendor for UNIX® systems, and is granted first right of refusal to sell UNIX-based servers and related products throughout News Corporation's affiliated companies worldwide.

"We chose Sun to supply our UNIX-based servers for the quality and cost of their products, and for Sun's ability to support News Corp operations globally," said Loran Fite, executive vice president and CIO, News Corporation. "We look forward to working with Sun as we continue to build and service our global IT infrastructure."

News Corporation uses Sun platforms in back office applications, including data warehousing and CRM applications, accelerate the development of smart media services, and enhance the management and dissemination of digital entertainment, education, news and information content. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's note:- News Corp has had a relationship with Sun which goes back many years. They used to buy the print edition of this directory back in the dark ages (pre-web). Now that Sun's got faster boxes again, it will be announcing a lot more deals with super users. I'm not sure if the NSA does press releases though.
Continuous Computing
Continuous Computing Launches switchUp 8G™ -- A New 8-Port Gigabit Switch for CompactPCI Telecom Systems

SAN DIEGO, October 3, 2001 - Continuous Computing Corporation (CCPU), the leading provider of high-availability platform solutions for telecom equipment manufacturers, today announced the launch of its switchUp 8G™ Gigabit Ethernet switch for CompactPCI applications.

The first Gigabit Ethernet switch in a 6U compactPCI form factor, the switchUp 8G is an 8-port non-blocking, fully managed switch with eight 1000Base-TX ports accessible through the rear transition board. With rear I/O for clean system cabling and easy card replacement, the switchUp 8G also provides full support for either standard compactPCI or PICMG 2.16 packet switched backplane systems.

The switch provides full-wire speed Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching supporting up to 8k MAC address, 512kB of packet buffer memory, full-duplex flow control and half-duplex backpressure handling, and IEEE 802.1p/Q Quality of Service. Designed around industry standards, the switchUp 8G enables high-speed communication between elements in compactPCI high-availability systems without the need for external hubs that often block airflow. Its vertical, low-power design increases system density, lowers cost and provides seamless system integration.

Operating in either a CompactPCI slot or in an isolated backplane, the switchUp 8G supports both TCP/IP and serial management interfaces. Offering SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and web-based network management, as well as telnet for remote console control and RMON (Remote MONitoring) support, the switchUp 8G provides a complete network management solution.

Prices for switchUp 8G start at $5,200 (USD), depending on configuration. ...Continuous Computing profile
Sanera Systems Sanera Systems, Inc. Garners $38.3 Million in Second Round Funding to Build Industry's First Terabit, Protocol Transparent, Storage Area Network Switch
According to International Data Corporation, the SAN switching market is expected to grow from $1.3 billion in 2000 to $5.6 billion in 2004. Director class switches are expected to be the fastest growing portion of the SAN switch market and will account for more revenue than any other segment by 2004.

"The primary reason fueling the SAN market is the compelling cost and performance advantages centralization and sharing creates," said Robert Gray, research director for IDC's Worldwide Storage Systems Research. "However, SANs are not easy to deploy and the various future competing transport protocols are confusing the market. Products, like Sanera's, promise a simplification of interoperability issues."

"The acceptance of SANs has been relatively low due to complexities in both implementing and managing networked storage. The evolution of multi-protocol switches with embedded management capabilities should greatly reduce the complexities associated with networking storage," said Nancy Marrone, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group.

See also:- Market research
SUNNYVALE, CALIF., October 2, 2001 - Sanera Systems, Inc., a start-up building industry's first terabit, protocol transparent SAN switch, announced today that it has secured $38.3 million in second round financing. Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Greylock Ventures led the funding. Current investors Storm Ventures, CMEA and E*Trade also participated in the second round funding validating Sanera Systems' vision. First round investors included Storm Ventures, CMEA, Acorn Venture Partners, E*Trade Ventures and angels who collectively invested $17.5 million in September 2000, bringing total venture funding raised to $55.8 million.

The company also announced that Alex Mendez, former Cisco Systems and StrataCom executive and founding partner of Storm Ventures, has been named interim CEO. In addition Bill Stensrud of Enterprise Partners Venture Capital and Charles Chi of Greylock Ventures will join the board of directors. The company was founded in August 2000 by industry veterans Raj Cherabuddi and Joe Chamdani, formerly with Sun Microsystems and Sudhakar Muddu, formerly with SGI.

"Networking storage has simultaneously introduced flexibility and new levels of complexity into the data storage environment," said Bill Stensrud of Enterprise Partners. "Sanera's products remove a significant portion of this complexity by essentially making the 'connectivity' aspect of a SAN completely transparent to the end user."

"In addition to securing $38.3 million in venture backing in an extremely difficult funding environment, Sanera has managed to attract top engineers and managers from the world's leading networking and systems companies such as SUN, SGI, Cisco, Intel, Lucent and Agilent among others," said Raj Cherabuddi, Sanera co-founder.

"Many venture-backed start-ups have often been headed by a visionary with an excellent technical background at a leading IT company. But it is highly unusual for a company to recruit managers representing most of the key players in the networking world and that gives Sanera an unusually strong head start. We're drawing on the strength of technical experts from a half-dozen networking giants, not just one," said Sudhakar Muddu, Sanera co-founder. The funding will enable Sanera to accelerate product development and expand its management, engineering, marketing and sales teams. ...Sanera Systems profile

See also:- Fibre channel switches, InfiniBand, Venture funds in storage
WorldCom

Sun
WorldCom and Sun Team to Deliver Best-In-Class Managed Hosting Solutions to Businesses Worldwide

CLINTON, Miss., and PALO ALTO, Calif., October 1, 2001 — WorldCom and Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced an agreement to jointly market and promote global hosting product and service offerings for enterprise customers. Sun will also become WorldCom's provider of UNIX® system-based hardware and software for its global network of data centers. Under the joint marketing and sales agreement, WorldCom and Sun will team on sales opportunities, leveraging the combined capabilities, products and services of both companies.

"This agreement enables WorldCom and Sun customers to rely on the combined strengths of two Internet pioneers that will deliver the advanced networking and hosting technologies they need with solid confidence and maximum value," said Ron McMurtrie, vice president of WorldCom global e-Services.

WorldCom offers its customers access to the secure, high-performance Sun platform in its managed hosting data centers in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan. The company will support Sun servers and storage running on the robust Solaris Operating Environment, as well as iPlanetTM Web Server software from iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, a Sun-Netscape Alliance. Sun is also providing consulting, service and support to help meet the availability standards WorldCom customers expect.

Additionally, the agreement allows WorldCom to serve as a reseller of Sun hardware and software to its Internet colocation customers. This new capability enables WorldCom to offer its colocation customers a complete, one-stop, single-source solution for all of their hosting needs. ...WorldCom profile
EMC EMC Broadens Database Support for Automated Performance Management Software

Hopkinton, Mass.- October 1, 2001 - EMC Corporation today extended the reach of its market-leading EMC ControlCenter™ Database Tuner performance management software. The enhancements include support for EMC CLARiiON® storage systems in Oracle database environments, and the addition of IBM DB2 UDB support for EMC Symmetrix® Enterprise Storage systems. Database Tuner now addresses more than 60 percent of the entire database market.

EMC Database Tuner is the only performance management tool that enables administrators to automatically monitor and proactively configure, control and fine-tune three critical elements of the information infrastructure: databases, host operating system, and EMC Symmetrix or CLARiiON systems.

Database Tuner automatically collects, correlates and presents database mapping and performance information that can be customized for use by database administrators, system administrators and storage managers. Conventional solutions require multiple software applications and manual consolidation and comparison of these data.

With Database Tuner, users can better employ IT resources by optimizing Symmetrix and CLARiiON performance across key database applications. By creating a dynamic view of enterprise information assets that can be shared locally or over the Internet by IT managers from various disciplines, Database Tuner enables businesses to run more efficiently.

"Virtually all mission-critical applications, such as ERP, CRM, OLTP, e-business and data warehousing, are deployed on a relational database such as DB2 UDB or Oracle," said Chuck Hollis, EMC Vice President of Markets and Products. "By efficiently enabling database, system and storage administrators to improve the performance of Oracle and IBM database applications, Database Tuner helps raise the return on investment of not only the database applications, but also customers' host platforms and EMC storage systems at the same time." ...EMC profile

See also:- STORAGE Software

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