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Continuous Computing
. "The single-slot PICMG 2.16 compliant SPARCblade IIe-500, with 30 Gigabyte disk and superior performance enables the deployment of high density telecom computing systems," said Ken Kalb, CEO, Continuous Computing Corporation. "This cost-effective board is extremely well-suited for the embedded applications that carriers and telco equipment manufacturers are running today."
CCPU Introduces Hot-Swappable, PICMG 2.16-Compliant, SPARC Processor-Based SBC
Continuous Computing Corporation Introduces Hot-Swappable, PICMG 2.16-Compliant, SPARC SBC

Sun Helps iForce Partners Reduce Costs, Differentiate Their Services and Gain a Competitive Advantage

Legato and LSI Logic Storage Systems Demonstrate Ability to Rapidly Protect Massive Amounts of Data

I-Bus/Phoenix's C08XX Line of compactPCI® Enclosures Wins Product of the Year Honor from Communications Solutions Magazine

Force Computers Receives Platinum, Gold Supplier Ratings from Independent Research Firm

Fujitsu Technology Solutions Reclaims SAP Benchmark Crown

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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:- Looking Back at SPARC Technology Firsts

The recent introduction of the SPARCblade™ by Continuous Computing, started me reflecting generally on the history of 3rd party innovations in the SPARC systems market. One of the benefits which Sun has received from opening up SPARC technology, is that other SPARC companies have pioneered new ways of using it, and brought better solutions to users faster, than if you had to wait for Sun. Here are some examples.

  • first multiprocessor SPARC systems:- Solbourne.

    Solbourne made its own SPARC chips and workstations in the 1980's, and was the first SPARC company to be driven out of business by Sun's better and more aggressive marketing.
  • first SPARC portables:- Tadpole.

    Tadpole is still a world leader in SPARC portables and has extended its SPARC product line into rackmounts and upgrades, partly as a result of acquiring Cycle Computer.
  • first SPARC chip upgrades - Weitek.

    Weitek's (x2 clocked processors fitted into original Sun sockets in the SPARCstation 2). Weitek, which also designed some Intel coprocessor accelerators, regarded this as a "one-off" market opportunity, and didn't do any follow on SPARC products.
  • first fault tolerant SPARC servers:- Integrated Micro Products (IMP).

    IMP was acquired by Sun.
  • first compactPCI SPARC processors:- Force Computers.

    In 2001 Force was the world's largest supplier of cPCI processors, shipping far more than even Sun.
  • first 64 bit SPARC chips:- HAL Computer.

    HAL was a business disaster for its parent company Fujitsu, with much hype and good products, but poor market development. But Fujitsu still develops and uses SPARC64 technology. Fujitsu's independently designed SPARC servers did not have the same cache problems which plagued Sun in 2001. If they were better at marketing, they could have gained enormous market share from this opportunity. Instead IBM and HP were the main beneficiaries of nervous customers who switched applications away from Sun.
  • first environmentally friendly SPARC motherboard upgrades:- Cycle Computer.

    Cycle was started by Mark Johnston, one of the founders of the SPARC workstation company Axil Computer. Cycle's original concept was that you could re-use your old RAM, disk and other peripherals when you upgraded your motherboard, and could mix and match old as well as new technology, instead of throwing them away. Cycle was acquired by Tadpole.
  • first SPARC based NAS server:- Auspex Systems.

    Auspex changed its processors to Pentium technology and is still active in the NAS market.
  • first mainframe type backplane for SPARC systems:- Cray Research.

    Cray licensed the technology from its SuperServer 6400 to co-deveoper Sun, which used it in the SPARC center 2000. Cray didn't seem to know how to market anything outside its core customer base, meanwhile Sun used the new technology to expand updwards into the datacenter, also killing off most of Cray's business along the way. Cray went back to its own proprietary technology, and is now a Sun VAR.
  • first SPARC array processors:- Meiko.

    Meiko was one of the first companies to provide affordable supercomputers for scientific modelling, but within a few years their products had been overtaken by systems which offered the same processing power, with the added convenience of standard operating systems and a wider range of I/O. The company just eventually fizzled out.

So next time you hear someone from Sun claim that they're the stars in the Unix RISC market, just remember that without all that SPARC dark matter, there probably wouldn't be a SPARC market in existance today at all.

Imperial Technology
Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Imperial Technology has over a decade of experience designing and manufacturing high-performance storage solutions that shatter I/O bottlenecks to supercharge application performance.

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San Diego, February 26, 2002 - Continuous Computing Corporation today announced the first product in its SPARCblade™ processor board family.

The SPARCblade IIe-500 processor board is a hot-swappable, PICMG 2.16-compliant single board computer with substantial flexibility designed onto the board, providing power and functionality for a range of embedded applications written for the Solaris operating environment. Powered by the 500 MHz UltraSPARC IIe processor, the uniquely designed SPARCblade IIe-500 provides high performance with such innovative configurations as:
  • Support for up to 2 Gigabytes of RAM and a PMC module simultaneously;
  • Compliant with PICMG 2.16 and CompactPCI, allowing it to run as either a controller or peripheral card. The auto-sensing feature determines the board.s intended role;
  • Bootable from the network, SCSI or IDE disk;
  • Optional 30 Gigabyte IDE disk drive on transition board for a complete single slot solution:
  • Accommodates custom rear I/O through a PIM module.
The SPARCblade IIe-500 is ideally suited for Voice over IP, wireless, optical and embedded processing markets. Delivering power and performance, the board includes a 100 MHz memory path, dual Ultra2 Wide SCSI at 80 MB/second and features an efficient PCI bridge design providing high bandwidth over 64-bit PCI bus.

The SPARCblade IIe-500's PMC site provides for user I/O expansion or coprocessor modules. Configurations with the IDE disk on the rear transition board allow for stand-alone operation, while rear VHDCI connectors support external SCSI drives for either direct-attached or NFS storage. Serial and PMC I/O are provided through the rear transition board.

The SPARCblade IIe-500 is available off-the-shelf from Continuous Computing, or it may be customized by CCPU with additional hardware and software for deeply embedded applications. ...Continuous Computing profile

Editor's comments:- Market research company Gartner defines a blade as follows:- A blade server is a server contained on a card. Rather than installing servers one chassis at a time into a rack cabinet as is most common today, with blade servers, network administrators can install a server card (or blade) into a chassis that has multiple slots to hold these server cards.

In a recent report Gartner forecasted worldwide blade server shipmentsto grow from 84,810 units in 2002 to more than 1 million by 2006 but warned that standardisation questions may slow down market acceptance.
Sun Microsystems Sun Helps iForce Partners Reduce Costs, Differentiate Their Services and Gain a Competitive Advantage

SANTA CLARA, CA - February 26, 2002 - Exemplary of Sun's commitment of "Collaborating for Customer Success", Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced new free programs that make partnering even easier. Designed specifically for Sun's Worldwide iForce Partner Community, the iForce Information Source, iForce Partners Portal, Sun Developer Connection[sm] Partner Program and iForce Community Executive Management Forum initiatives provide Sun[tm] technology partners with direct access to the people, information and tools they need to help them accelerate time to market, differentiate value and reduce costs. By enhancing partner relationships, Sun is assuring its customers they will get best-of-breed, single-source solutions for financial services, government, healthcare, wireless, customer relationship management, and other key markets.

Editor's comments:- one of the "benefits" which Sun offers its marketing partners, is that Sun sells banner advertising on Sun owned and controlled sites. It has done for several years. FYI none of that advertising has ever appeared on the high volume SPARC and storage computer sites published by this publisher ACSL. We're independent of Sun, and always have been. However we recognise there's a need for more marketing info, which is why we set up MarketingViews. If you're involved in electronic marketing that'll give you lists of portals which reach far more people than you can with the Sun branded programs, and other practical info as well.
LSI Logic Storage Systems

Legato Systems

Legato and LSI Logic Storage Systems Demonstrate Ability to Rapidly Protect Massive Amounts of Data

Mountain View, CA, and Milpitas, CA - February 26, 2002 – At the SNIA's Backup and Restore Workshop this week, Legato Systems, Inc. and LSI Logic Storage Systems will demonstrate how businesses can rapidly protect massive, growing amounts of data by optimizing their SAN infrastructure and consolidating storage.

More than 1 terabyte of data will be backed up in less than one hour using a combination of Legato NetWorker® 6 in a Fibre Channel SAN, LSI Logic MetaStor E4600, Sun E450 with LSI449290 host adapters, Brocade Silkworm 3800 switch, and Spectralogic 64000 Library AIT-3 tape drives.

"Businesses continue to generate data volumes at extraordinarily high growth rates while facing increasing application service level requirements. Meanwhile, there is less time to complete backup operations without impacting user productivity," said Flavio Santoni, vice president of sales and marketing, LSI Logic Storage Systems. "As a result, businesses are under relentless pressure to protect growing amounts of business-critical data faster. We are pleased to demonstrate with Legato, at SNIA's Backup and Restore Workshop, solutions that will help users backup massive amounts of information at extraordinary speed."

"Time to backup" is the number one backup and restore issue cited by enterprise companies, according to SNIA. ...Legato Systems profile, ...LSI Logic Storage Systems profile
I-Bus/Phoenix I-Bus/Phoenix's C08XX Line of compactPCI® Enclosures Wins Product of the Year Honor from Communications Solutions Magazine

February 22, 2002 - Communications Solutions Magazine has awarded I-Bus/Phoenix (IBP) a Product of the Year Award for the C0814-CF. The C0814-CF is part of IBP's C08xx line of CompactPCI enclosures.

The C0814 version is the first I-Bus/Phoenix (IBP) CompactPCI based system to employ the patented Fail-Safe OptiCool technology. In 8U of space, the C0814 boasts the high availability features needed to cater to the "five nines" requirements of the communications, network, broadcast and medical OEM. All critical modules on the C0814 are front accessible and fully hot-swap. The C0814 supports full I/O card hot-swap to PICMG 2.1 R2.0, a 4 SCA hot-swap SCSI disk array and N+1 redundant hot-swap power supplies.

"In 8U the most critical component is the cooling. IBP continues to lead the CompactPCI market with the patented Fail-Safe OptiCool™ method of push-mix-pull cooling," stated Johni Chan, I-Bus/Phoenix's Vice President of Engineering.

Fail-Safe Opticool™ incorporates a unique lower hot-swap fan array that takes advantage of the axial direction of the fans to most efficiently pressurize the air at the bottom of the chassis. The unique mixing tray can be tuned to mix the intake air, redirect the air upward and distribute the air to where it is needed most, continuing to operate within specification even in the event of a single fan failure. ...Communications Solutions Magazine, ...I-Bus/Phoenix profile
Force Computers
. "Force Computers, having achieved Platinum status, can rest assured that it is highly regarded by its customers and respected in the marketplace," said Eric Gulliksen, program director of VDC's Embedded Hardware Practice.
Force Computers Receives Platinum, Gold Supplier Ratings from Independent Research Firm

FREMONT, Calif. - Feb. 22, 2002 - Force Computers today announced that it received a Platinum Vendor Rating from Venture Development Corporation (VDC), an independent research firm, in its inaugural survey of merchant computer board buyers. Also, Force's newly merged Dy 4 Systems business unit received a Gold Vendor Rating.

VDC's impartial vendor-ratings model is based on a series of independent, anonymous end-user surveys that cover a broad range of criteria including quality, breadth of product line, technology leadership, ISO certification, participation on standards committees and other objective factors as well as user perception, toward which surveys were heavily weighted.

Force was awarded a Platinum Vendor Rating-the highest rating-in four categories: General (all bus architectures and form-factors), CompactPCI, PCI and VME. Dy 4 Systems was awarded a Gold Vendor Rating in the CompactPCI category. ...Force Computers profile, ...VDC profile
Fujitsu Technology Solutions
. "PRIMEPOWER continues to display its technologic supremacy by capturing industry-leading benchmarks," said Richard McCormack, vice president of Marketing, Fujitsu Technology Solutions. "PRIMEPOWER systems provide a major advantage over other high-end UNIXR servers because of the built-in ability to more easily handle complex workloads at a lower cost."

He continued, "Even as competitors advertised server advancements over the course of the last year, PRIMEPOWER servers easily maintained their lead as the most powerful, scalable, and highly available family of servers for enterprise and database applications. PRIMEPOWER servers are the best choice and preeminent server family for companies looking for the greatest value from a scalable, high-performance machine."
Fujitsu Technology Solutions Reclaims SAP Benchmark Crown

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - February 22, 2002 - Fujitsu Technology Solutions today announced that a Solaris based PRIMEPOWER server has reclaimed its long-standing SAP R/3 SD two-tier Standard Application Benchmark world record.

The 128-processor PRIMEPOWER 2000 server and software configuration, running an Oracle 9i database and coupled with Fujitsu's GR storage system, achieved a score of 7,800 SAP SD benchmark users. This was almost twice the mark of the second-place competitor, and puts PRIMEPOWER and Oracle back in the number one SAP benchmark position-a status previously held by PRIMEPOWER from February 2000 to September 2001.

Benchmark certification and stats

The SAP SD 4.6 C Standard Application Benchmark performed on January 18, 2002 by Fujitsu in Numazu, Japan, was certified on January 24, 2002 with the following data:
  • Number of benchmark users and comp 7,800 SD (Sales & Distribution)
  • Average dialog response time 1.98 seconds
  • Fully Processed Order Line items / hour 781,670
  • Dialog steps / hour: 2,345,000
  • SAPS 39,080
  • Average DB request time (dia/upd) 0.042 sec / 0.084 sec
  • CPU utilization central server 99%
  • Operating System central server Solaris 8
  • RDBMS Oracle 9i
  • R/3 Release 4.6 C
  • Total disk space 4.5 TB
Configuration:- 1 Central Server Fujitsu PRIMEPOWER 2000, 128-processors SMP, SPARC 64 675-MHz, 8 MB L2 cache, 128 GB main memory ...Fujitsu Technology Solutions profile

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