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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2001, November week 1

PCI Quad Gigabit Ethernet from Antares Microsystems
PCI Quad Gigabit Ethernet
from Antares Microsystems

SPARC History

See also:- Goodbye Sun! Hello New Employer! - Jobseekers Guide
View from the Hill - How Sun Got Burned... What should Sun do now?
current SPARC news, earlier SPARC news, Events, SPARC manufacturers, SPARC systems, SPARC VARs - USA, SPARC VARs - UK

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Sun Microsystems Sun Microsystems' Flagship Array Drives Total Cost of Storage Ownership Down to One of the Lowest Levels in the Industry
Sun Microsystems' Flagship Array Drives Total Cost of Storage Ownership Down to One of the Lowest Levels in the Industry

Indecs Computers Signs Up as First UK Authorized Reseller for Tatung SPARC Products

Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Decreased 17% in the Third Quarter of 2001

Peritek Acquires Raster Graphics

SPARC Market is on Road to Recovery after September 11th, reports publisher ACSL

earlier news - archive
Serial ATA - Auntie Wanda
Serial ATA on
Megabyte's Auntie, Wanda Spellerbyte, liked to use a mixture of traditional and new technology when gadding about her relations.
Nibble Re: Solid State Disks

Readers of STORAGEsearch have increased their interest in Solid State Disks (SSDs) this year by a staggering 500%.
  • In January/February 2001, 1.3% of readers visited the SSD pages.
  • In October 2001, over 6% of readers visited the SSD pages.
As we've got a larger readership than any other enterprise storage portal, and because SSDs are a well established feature on this site (since 1998), it's reasonable to assume that the growth in reader interest is significant and probably indicates a real market trend.

SSDs are not new (the first SSDs appeared in military systems in the 1980's), but I'm speculating that there are two likely reasons for the recent surge in interest.
  • the increasing use of SANs. SAN's give higher throughput and better network utilisation of storage assets, but... response times are slower than using directly attached storage. SSDs enable users to cache time critical parts of their network storage to overcome this problem.
  • the Sun installed base of servers has been starved of faster processor clock speeds in 2001, with most new SPARC systems typically offering 900MHz instead of the 2GHz which the market actually needs. Traditionally many Sun users would have upgraded their servers by now. Market data shows that has not happened. The Sun server market declined much more steeply than the Intel Pentium server market. The only realistic options for Sun users who needed application speed ups have been to buy more of the (slower) processors, or tune their system performance using products like SSDs.
The first analysis above (SAN), suggests that SSDs will eventually become mainstream network storage tools. The second (lack of fast enough SPARC upgrades) would result in a temporary increase in SSDs as a system speed up. We'll report on this again later to see how the trend is going.

See also:- Solid state disks

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PCI Quad Gigabit Ethernet from Antares Microsystems
PCI Quad Gigabit Ethernet
from Antares Microsystems
The array now includes:
  • Enhanced controller with four times the cache as the original Sun StorEdge T3 array
  • Doubled processor speeds for faster throughput
  • SAN fabric topology support for Solaris operating environment with integrated failover and load balancing
  • Increased resiliency through error detection and correction circuitry on the cache and RAID5 calculation accumulators
  • Sun StorEdge SAN 3.0 software providing extended SAN support and better SAN management for Windows NT, IBM AIX and HP/UX
  • Integrated Sun StorEdge Traffic Manager software automating failover and load balancing dynamically across the entire SAN
PALO ALTO, California - November 7, 2001 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced upgrades to its best selling storage array for the workgroup and enterprise - the Sun StorEdge T3 array. The array features a new controller that delivers exceptional performance, increased resiliency, and a solid SAN foundation. Sun claims that with the new controller, the Sun StorEdge T3 array drives customers' Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for storage to one of the lowest levels in the industry.

The enhanced array drives TCO down further by providing even lower price/performance, fewer settings to optimize performance, increased reliability, extended SAN support, dynamic failover and load balancing, and the ability to do a hot upgrade to the new controller. In addition, the new Sun StorEdge T3 array will integrate and co-exist with previously installed T3 arrays, protecting customers' existing storage investment. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- Sun is either naive or clueless when it comes to marketing storage products and there is no supporting data to support the TCO claims with the press release. The best that can be said is that the new T3 is better than the old one.

See also:- SAN
Indecs Group
Indecs is a reseller of Tatung SPARC systems
Indecs Computers Signs Up as First UK Authorized Reseller for Tatung SPARC Products

Redditch, UK - November 6, 2001 - Indecs Computers announced today that it is signing up to become the first and only authorized reseller for Tatung Science & Technology in the UK. ...Indecs Group profile, ...Tatung profile

Editor's comments:- in boom times the UK SPARC market was typically worth about 14% of the US. However, the UK Sun market has grown throughout most of this year, whereas the US market has declined. That makes the UK market a prize now worth over 20% of the US, and explains why many US computer companies have been actively pursuing UK VARs in recent months.
Gartner Dataquest Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Decreased 17% in the Third Quarter of 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 5, 2001 - Worldwide workstations shipments surpassed 346,840 units in the third quarter of 2001, a 17% decline from the third quarter of 2000, according to preliminary results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc. The industry has experienced a decline in shipments since the third quarter of 2000, but Gartner Dataquest analysts said there are signs the industry will begin to grow again. While the events from September 11 have negatively impacted many sectors of the technology industry, Gartner Dataquest analysts said this did not happen in the workstation industry .

"Because workstation purchase cycles are fairly long, vendors experienced no sudden decline in workstation sales. In fact, the events of September 11 might have had a gentle push in U.S. workstation sales," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst covering workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group. "This push was attributed to the immediate demand from the companies previously located in the World Trade Center."

Dell and IBM were the only top-tier vendors to experience double-digit growth in the third quarter (see Table below). "It's likely that once the third quarter 2001 numbers are finalized that Dell, for the first time, will be No. 1 in terms of both units and revenue," said Serena Hsu, industry analyst covering workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group.
Company 3Q01
Market Share (%)
Market Share (%)
Growth (%)
Dell 115,800 33.4 99,238 23.8 16.7
Sun Microsystems 62,306 18.0 95,774 23.0 -34.9
Compaq 50,650 14.6 59,972 14.4 -15.5
IBM 46,050 13.3 41,751 10.0 10.3
Hewlett-Packard 37,280 10.7 70,795 17.0 -47.3
Others 34,760 10.0 49,746 11.9 -30.1
Total Market 346,846 100.0 417,276 100.0 -16.9
. Even though the U.S. economic slowdown is continuing, Gartner Dataquest analysts believe the workstation market may show positive growth in the fourth quarter of 2001.

Workstation purchase cycles were prolonged throughout the first half of 2001, and these purchases must be made soon, and the military campaign stemming from the events of September 11 may increase shipments to government, defense and biotechnology sectors. In fact, in the third quarter of 2001 the sequential shipment decline slowed down and some of the vendors such as Compaq and IBM had an increase in shipments from the second quarter, partly because of a large finance client base.

"The terrorist attack has brought to the forefront the necessity to have disaster recovery plans and some financial institutions are spreading their resources over a larger number of locations, which requires increases in investment," Rieppo said. "Finance represents only about 10% of workstation sales, but spending in this sector will also affect servers and storage." ...GartnerGroup profile
Peritek Peritek Acquires Raster Graphics

OAKLAND, Calif. - November 5, 2001 - Peritek Corporation, the leading provider of mezzanine graphics boards for embedded systems, said today that it had acquired the assets of Raster Graphics, Inc. (RGI), a leading provider of PMC VMEbus graphics boards. The acquisition strengthens Peritek's mezzanine graphics board product family and, with the earlier acquisition of Megatek, in June, 2000, firmly establishes the company as the leading vendor of graphics boards for VME, CompactPCI and PCI systems.

As a result of the transaction, Peritek gained Raster Graphics complete line of PMC and 3U and 6U VMEbus video capture and display boards and modules. In addition, Peritek acquired software intellectual property, inventory and engineering staff. RGI's boards are currently designed into medical, industrial and military systems.

"With the completion of the Raster Graphics and Megatek acquisitions, Peritek is now the leader in embedded graphics with the broadest range of mezzanine cards in the industry," said Peritek's President, Victor Gold, Peritek plans to continue operations at RGI's office in Oregon, as Peritek-Redm ond. "Raster Graphics' customers should know that Peritek is committed to providing them with the high quality products and support that they have come to expect," added Mr. Gold. ...Peritek profile
ACSL SPARC Market is on the Road to Recovery after September 11th, reports publisher ACSL

November 2, 2001 - ACSL, publisher of the SPARC Product Directory, reported today early indications that the Sun Microsystems compatible systems market, which was severely impacted by the aftermath of the September 11th tragedy, now looks like it's back on the road to a recovery.

Reader activity in the SPARC Product Directory web site, has, since 1996, been a reliable signal of buyer intentions, and a predictor of market trends. In the first week of October, ACSL reported that pageviews had declined 20% in September, the first time ever that a drop has been seen going from August to September. Also September saw a 5% drop in readers using the web site.

Going from September to October pageviews rose 30%, and readers viewing the site also rose by 13%. Both readership and pageviews in October were both at all time historic highs.

Publisher Zsolt Kerekes said "In the boom years of the SPARC market, there was typically a much bigger surge in reader activity on the SPD site going from August to October, than we're seeing now, but I interpret this stats data as a clear signal that this market will experience solid growth in the months ahead. That's good news for users, resellers, manufacturers and other stakeholders in the SPARC systems market."

Kerekes cautions that other market analysts, like Techtel have recently reported a different picture of the recovery prospects for Sun. "And there are Sun specific problems, such as branding, uncompetitive silicon clock speeds, and channel strategies, which we have commented on extensively in the SPD which adversely affect the competitive position for Sun."

Readers are reminded that predicting the future is always an uncertain process. But things are looking better now than they have done for a while. ...ACSL profile

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