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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2002, March week 3

See also:- article:- Predicting the SPARC Server Market - (2007 to 2009)
article:- Looking Back at 3rd Party SPARC Technology Firsts
current SPARC news, earlier SPARC news, Events, SPARC manufacturers
SPARC History:- March 2000, March 2001, March 2002, March 2003, March 2004, March 2005, March 2006

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Redundant RAID ready JBODs from Rave Computer Association
Redundant RAID-Ready Disk Arrays
from Rave Computer Association
Sun Microsystems Sun Microsystems Acquires Clustra Systems

SANTA CLARA, CA - March 19, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Clustra Systems, Inc., a developer of high-availability clustering technology that enables continuous real-time computing.

Clustra's unique architecture, designed with application servers and services on demand in mind, builds availability and automatic self-repair into the core underlying design. By combining mirrored storage with redundant software processes, Clustra enhances service delivery during failure events and maintenance operations, allowing companies to easily grow and manage their web services environments without downtime. As part of the iPlanet Application Server, these high availability and scalability capabilities will deliver the unique session state management capabilities to approach continuous operation under fail-over circumstances.

Clustra Systems was privately held, and headquartered in Oakland, California. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Sun Microsystems Acquires Clustra Systems

Imperial Technology Adds Executives

Sun Microsytems Federal, Inc., and Tadpole Team to Enhance Mobile Computing Capability of Homeland Security and US Military Forces

Sun Bundles $3,000 of Software into $995 1U SPARC Rackmount Server

Cyclone's Intelligent ATM Controllers Support IP Traffic

earlier news - archive
FireWire storage on
Strike match... Light fire wire... Then run like hell! Megabyte thought this looked a lot easier when Clint Eastwood did it in the movies.

View from the Hill:-

What If?... Speculation About Mergers Which Might Have Been

Although the official count for the HP-Compaq merger could take weeks, it's likely that both companies will do better this year, regardless of the outcome, because of the IT recovery that's already started. Maybe it's the Spring weather, or maybe when a market has already been in recession for a year, the quarterly comparisons with the year before don't look so bad any more. And even PCs do start to look a bit tired and need replacing if you hang onto them for a third or fourth year. If the options are to replace old systems or decomputerise, then eventually companies will have to buy some new stuff.

There have been over 100 mergers and acquisitions in the storage market since January 2000, and this got me speculating about matches which, unlike the HP-Compaq merger, wouldn't be so synergistic.

In the mid 1990's there was strong speculation that Sun Microsystems was planning to buy Apple Computer. Imagine what the results would be now, if that had gone ahead. When a customer buys a iMac they have to go on a two week systems administration course on the SunMacOS operating system before they're allowed to turn it on. Or when you order your next SPARC mainframe for the datacenter there's a four week delay before delivery, because the color you wanted (to match your carpet) is not in stock, and you don't want to risk the faster delivery but tatty appearance offered by a gray Sun VAR of an ex-stock model with a garage respray.

Then there are those other possible mergers, which even their managements haven't considered yet, and I want a percentage of the proceeds if this article gives them ideas.

Suppose EMC were to merge with Palm? You'd get the amazing PalmBack, a PDA with 10 Terabytes of data including all your favorite DVDs, CDs and business reports etc (much more than 4 hours of music!) connected to your neat little hand sized device connected via a BlueTooth wireless interface to a backpack weighing 60 pounds which straps to your shoulders. The PalmBack standard model would run for 30 minutes with its built in power source, but you could get an optional UPS based on ten car batteries strapped together which you pull along on a little trolley behind you.

Then there's the merger between Microsoft and the entertainment industry which we've been waiting to really happen for the last ten years or so. Only let's give it the proper name, the Content Delivery Industry. If Microsoft merged with Lucas Films, you'd be half way through watching the next episode of Star Wars, delivered down your broadband pipe, when, fifteen minutes from the end, the screen would go blue with a message saying "There is a fault with this system, please press control-alt-delete to restart, and contact your software vendor." You reset the system, but like Groundhog Day, it doesn't resume from where it crashed, instead you have to start watching the movie all over again from the beginning... That's what you get for being a beta site, and buying the new content delivery system in the first year after it came out. You should have known better. Version 4.3 will fix that problem.

OK maybe those later mergers might never happen, so I won't get any credit for proposing them. But you never know, if the Nasdaq heats up again we're going to see some crazy things again. (I'm going to watch CNBC tonight to see if my suggestions get a mention, just in case.) And maybe the HP-Compaq merger doesn't look so strange now that we've had enough time to get used to it.

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Imperial Technology
. "We consider ourselves fortunate to encounter business growth at a time when the market is so volatile," said Robert David, president and CEO of Imperial Technology. "These individuals will help enhance our product offering and further accelerate our ability to bring leading hardware and software solutions to the market."
Imperial Technology Adds Executives

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - March 19, 2002 - Imperial Technology today announced an expanded management team with the addition of two executives.

Dave Fisk - Chief Knowledge Officer In this newly created position, Mr. Fisk will be responsible for the architecture and development of enabling storage solutions. Mr. Fisk was most recently Principal Scientist, I/O Analysis and Storage Configuration Design at Sun Microsystems' Performance Group, Global Network Storage Sales. He is well known throughout the Sun community for his ability to develop benchmarks, design high performance configurations, and solve capacity planning problems. Mr. Fisk was a founding member of Sun's Network Storage Technical Marketing group and received the General Manager/VP award for his work in storage performance profiling while there.

Wayne Kastner - Vice President, Engineering Mr. Kastner replaces retiring VP of Engineering, Richard Major, one of Imperial's founders. Mr. Kastner brings over 25 years of experience in communications, networking, and storage. He will oversee the ongoing development of new software and hardware products planned for release in the near future. Mr. Kastner comes to Imperial from Aristos Logic, where he was Director of Software Development. ...Imperial Technology profile

Editor's comments:- earlier this week Imperial announced it secured a second round of capital financing. The solid state disk (SSD) segment is the fastest growing part of the storage market measured by revenue. You're going to see IBM, Sun, Intel and other heavyweights coming into this market as soon as they can figure out an automatic way to configure the products. SSDs are not yet plug and play modules. You only get the x2 to x4 server speedups if you know what you're doing. There's a gap in the market here for VARs who know how to tune up applications.
Sun Microsytems

. Thomas Kreidler, president Sun Microsystems Federal, Inc., comments: "Tadpole is a legend and its skillset in taking Sun's technologies and making them truly portable is incredible. In these challenging times, this alliance can lead to deployed forces having more flexibility and improved computing capability."

Graham Brown, president of Tadpole's hardware business unit, adds: "Sun Microsystems and Tadpole have collaborated closely over the past decade to give mission-centric advantage to military forces, and improved business competitivity to Global 2000 enterprises. This alliance fully supports our joint goals and drive to extend Sun's technologies into all agencies of the Federal government."
Sun Microsytems Federal, Inc., and Tadpole Team to Enhance Mobile Computing Capability of Homeland Security and US Military Forces

Carlsbad, California - March 19, 2002 - Tadpole today announced a business pact with Sun Federal aimed at improving the field computing capability and flexibility of US DoD agencies. Sun Federal plans to deploy Tadpole's world-class portable UNIX solutions to US DoD agencies through the Navy's Tactical Advanced Computer Joint Workstation (TAC-JW) contract. These US-built solutions include Tadpole's UltraBookIIe laptop and transportable VoyagerIIi server, both of which are built around Sun's UltraSPARC and Solaris technologies.

Like all Tadpole hardware, the UltraBookIIe laptop and VoyagerIIi server pack virtually all of the computing power and punch of Sun desktops and servers. Capable of deployment in a short timeframe, the lightweight mobile solutions are particularly suited to battlefield conditions, and are 100% binary compatible with Sun desktops and servers.

Tadpole builds mission-critical systems in support of Joint Command and Control Operations for battlefield management, briefings and collaborations, reconaissance and intelligence gathering. Using Tadpole's portable solutions, greater compute density can be achieved at lower operational cost. Deployed, the lightweight portables can generate productivity gains, and fast returns on investments. ...Tadpole profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Bundles $3,000 of Software into $995 1U SPARC Rackmount Server

SANTA CLARA, CA - March 18, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it's adding Web server software and enhancements to its single processor, general purpose server. Introducing the $995 Sun Fire V100 system, Sun is providing a complete, easily managed server with the reliability and scalability of the UltraSPARC/Solaris architecture at or below traditional PC server prices.

The rebranded and enhanced Sun Fire V100 server (previously known as the Netra X1 server) now comes with a CD-ROM drive and Web hosting software that provide a more robust and secure platform -- less vulnerable to viruses or worm attacks. With new hardware and software enhancements, Sun is bundling approximately $3,000 of value into its competitively priced $995 server.

Sun claims that it leads the single processor rackmount server market with 31% share of unit shipments, beating the nearest competitor by 7%.
Cyclone Microsystems Cyclone's Intelligent ATM Controllers Support IP Traffic

New Haven, Connecticut – March 18, 2002--Cyclone today released support for IP traffic on its Intelligent ATM Controllers with its introduction of a new IP-Over ATM driver. Cyclone' s IPOA driver is a VxWorks enhanced network driver that allows Cyclone's Compact PCI based Intelligent ATM Controllers to carry IP packets over an ATM network. The driver emulates an Ethernet device to the host VxWorks system and fully functions as an ATM network client when attached to an ATM switch with ATM ARP server capability. This capability allows VxWorks based systems to use connectionless IP data transfers over a connection-oriented ATM network.

IPOA works by emulating the ATM interface as an Ethernet device. To the VxWorks operating system, the IPOA driver appears and behaves as an Ethernet driver, handling all Ethernet packets passing through it. It complies with the VxWorks 5.4 END format for use with the Scalable Enhanced Network Stack (SENS), a VxWorks component. Internally, however, IPOA transforms all the Ethernet packets to ATM packets and vice versa by implementing a number of ATM protocols. It performs the translation from a connectionless IP data transfer to a connection-oriented ATM transfer. As a result, it is able to transport IP packets as a client over an ATM network using ATM Adaptation Layer 5 (AAL5).

IP and ATM differ fundamentally in that IP is a connectionless datagram protocol whereas ATM is a connection-oriented protocol. The IPOA driver provides the appearance of a connectionless service to participating IP end stations.

Cyclone's IPOA is available in royalty-free object form for use on Cyclone Microsystems' Intelligent ATM Controllers with the purchase of an $ 18,500 development license. ...Cyclone Microsystems profile

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