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SPARC History- 2002, April week 1

Solaris Training
Solaris Migration
SPARC History - 1987 to 200X
the Last Market Report on Sun Compatible OEMs?
IDC European IT Managers Cautiously Confident about Spending in 2002, IDC Hardware Survey Reveals

London, UK - April 5, 2002 – Research undertaken among a representative sample of IT managers in Europe shows that most feel their 2002 budgets will remain at 2001 levels or increase slightly over 2001. Other findings include:
  • Despite the hype surrounding appliance servers over the past couple of years 44% of organizations had not heard of these systems. However, of those organizations that had deployed appliance servers 31% used them to replace general-purpose systems
  • By contrast 61% of companies that had deployed rack-mounted servers had used them to replace general-purpose machines
  • Server consolidation is a clear market reality with 42% of businesses either having a server consolidation strategy or working on developing a strategy
  • Systems management came out as the biggest challenge for IT managers in running their company's servers
...IDC profile
European IT Managers Spending Plans

Adax and HSS deliver integrated SIGTRAN

Continuous Computing Names VP European Sales

Cisco Expands Storage Interoperability

iQstor Launches Foundation NAS

Cyclades-TS Obtains Solaris Ready Certification

New 3GHz hotSPARC Server

earlier news - archive
hotSPARC server
"I'm impressed by your new hotSPARC
server" said Megabyte to Cheaperbyte.
"Does it make coffee too?"

"The more you drink, the faster it goes."
Nibble:- Re: hotSPARC technology.

It's long been known that a small percentage of microprocessors can be run at much faster clock speeds than those for which they are rated in commecial systems. But the problem is:- the faster the clock speed, the hotter the chip runs, and extended operation at higher speeds has previously been considered to be uneconomic, due to high cooling costs, or unreliable because chips suffer from thermal stress. In the past some companies have created special edition workstations which ran at higher speeds using peltier effect heat sinks which cooled down the processor, but the high cost has prevented these being used in manstream systems.

The hotSPARC technology used by HotServer Tech came out of declassified programs run by Soviet torpedo designers during the Cold War. In the 1980's the Soviets were unable to buy very fast processor chips on the open market, and relied on inferior home developed copies of popular chips such as the X86, PDP-11 and VAX architectures. Using statistical sampling techniques the military found that upto about 5% of the chips originally intended for commercial use could be run at much higher speeds using a combination of variable speed pulse width modulation of the processor clock, lower operating voltages and specially designed heat pipes.

In torpedoes in particular, which have a short operational life, the advantage of being able to run a processor at upto 2 or 3 times its normally rated clock speed reduces the weight of the targeting systems, allowing more budget for fuel (range/speed) or payload (explosives). The electronic systems in torpedoes get very hot because of their proximity to the batteries and drive units, so Soviet and Nato designers have evolved special heat pipe techniques to vent the heat quickly to the surrounding medium (seawater). The breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 freed up a pool of talent, some of which formed the nucleus of the HotServer Tech design team.

Instead of needing expensive air conditioning, which would be uneconomic and wasteful of energy, the heat pipes from the new servers are plumbed directly into heat exchangers in the customers' own coffee machines. The patented variable speed clocking technology uses real time information from the Java enabled coffee machines, and time of day data to reduce the speed of the processors back down to commercial (cool) speeds at times of day when there is less demand on the system, outside normal business hours. This greatly extends the MTBF of the systems compared to earlier generations of dumb heat sink technologies.
Accutech Ultrasystems
Accutech Ultrasystems offer custom design
for SunRay, UNIX / UltraSPARC technology.
SPARC manufacturers / Storage manufacturers
Texas Memory Systems
SSD Industry Articles and Bookmarks - #4 of 100 - March 16, 2009

suggested by - Woody Hutsell, President Texas Memory Systems
Here's an article written by or about Texas Memory Systems

Flash SSD Reliability (pdf)

Woody Hutsell says he chose this article because Flash reliability is a topic of great interest right now, and this paper approaches the subject in a unique and very readable manner, starting at the chip level and working up through the board level all the way to the enterprise architecture perspective.

Other SSD article suggestions...

Woody Hutsell says - "As you know, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) started a new group last summer, called the Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI). This new organization has the ambitious goal of becoming a major advocacy group for solid state storage. SSSI is starting to publish research papers on solid state storage topics. The first one, Solid State Storage 101 (pdf), is interesting for the fact that it is the outcome of a collaboration between many companies who, in most other settings, would be serious competitors."

Other SSD bookmark suggestions...

StatspackAnalyzer - is a website where IT professionals can paste their Oracle statspacks or AWR reports and get analyses and recommendations for storage performance improvements. (It's free to use but registration is required.)

Woody Hutsell says he recommends this bookmark because - "A key ingredient to greater SSD adoption is a better understanding within the user communities of just how important storage performance is to mission success. isn't a large website, but it does have some information, a forum, and even the entire Analyzer rules list available for comment and improvement."

Editor:- thanks Woody for sharing your SSD links.

see also:- Texas Memory Systems - editor mentions on
. More about Sigtran...

Sigtran is a working group of the IETF, formed in 1999, and tasked with defining an architecture for the transport of real-time signalling data over IP networks. Its work culminated in not just the architecture, but also the definition of a suite of protocols to carry SS7 and ISDN messages over IP. This protocol suite is made up of a new transport layer - the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) and a set of User Adaptation (UA) layers which mimic the services of the lower layers of SS7 and ISDN.

...from "Introduction to Sigtran" - by Spider Software Ltd
Adax and HSS deliver integrated SIGTRAN solution

Reading, England - April 4, 2002 - Adax and Hughes Software Systems (HSS), two of the leading telecoms infrastructure companies, have collaborated to deliver an integrated SIGTRAN solution. This latest joint offering, HSS' latest SIGTRAN M3UA software stack integrated with Adax' SCTP/T signaling protocol, and HDC and ATM protocol controller cards, was demonstrated at the ETSI M3UA interop/ plug tests in Sophie Antipolis, France, 25th February – 1st March 2002.

The companies will offer the integrated solution to manufacturers of signaling gateways, Voice over Packet technology and UMTS network infrastructure. As demonstrated in France, the solution meets and exceeds the functional, performance, carrier-grade and interoperability requirements necessary for next generation networks. The system complies with the latest M3UA version 10 definition, from RFC 2026, supporting socket APIs for rapid deployment of Adax' SCTP/T.

"In our endeavour to give our customers a quick start on their programs, we are the first to offer an integrated offering along with ADAX," said Manoranjan Mohapatra, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Hughes Software Systems. "Our customers will benefit in terms of saving time and money in developing their products while leveraging the interoperability attained by HSS with other vendors." ...ADAX profile, ...Hughes Software Systems profile
Continuous Computing Continuous Computing Corporation Names Simon Waters Vice President of European Sales

San Diego - April 2nd, 2002 - Continuous Computing Corporation today announced that Simon F. Waters has joined the company as Vice President, Sales, of the European region. He will be based in the Continuous Computing headquarters in the United Kingdom and will manage all sales activities for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Waters' background includes his most recent roles as Vice President, Sales, of RadiSys Corporation, and Northern Sales Manager for Sun Microsystems Microelectronics.

"Simon brings over 16 years of experience in the embedded electronics market and knows the needs of EMEA," said Ken Kalb, CEO, Continuous Computing. "We are confident that his expertise and knowledge will bring CCPU great opportunities in a very important market." Waters, a native of the UK and a graduate of the Southall Technical College, has been a highly successful sales executive, working extensively with the major European telecom companies.

Waters will be working with the established CCPU European sales force to promote Continuous Computing's products with Tier 1 telecom equipment manufacturers. ...Continuous Computing profile
Cisco Systems Cisco Introduces New Firmware and More Storage Interoperability Successes for Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router

PALM DESERT, Calif. - April 3, 2002 - Cisco today announced the availability of the Cisco SN 5420 Storage Router v 2.1.1, a firmware upgrade that improves security, reliability and manageability features. Cisco also announced additional interoperability and iSCSI driver support that will allow customers to use the Cisco SN 5420 in more storage and server environments.

The Cisco SN 5420 firmware adds new, advanced features that have long been standard within Cisco's IP networking solutions, but up until now had not been applied to networked storage. Through its IP expertise, Cisco extends these features to storage networks, giving customers highly available, secure, and easier-to-manage access to storage resources. Specific feature updates include:
  • Security: With the new VLAN support, servers connected to the Cisco SN 5420 can physically share the same storage network resources but will only have access to designated devices. For example, enterprises can use VLANs to securely allow different divisions or business units to share the same storage network, eliminating the costly need to build separate networks for each group.
  • Reliability: Customers can now interconnect up to four Cisco SN 5420s in a single cluster that provide high availability without compromising performance.
  • Manageability: The Cisco SN 5420 now supports more standard Management Information Bases (MIBs), including the iSCSI and the Fibre Alliance MIB. By using standards MIBs, customers can use their familiarity with industry-standard SNMP system managers and heterogeneous storage management applications to manage the Cisco SN 5420.
The new Cisco SN 5420 firmware is now available for download at no charge ...Cisco Systems profile
iQstor iQstor Launches the Foundation Series of Networked Storage Solutions

NEWBURY PARK, Calif - April 2, 2002 - iQstor, (launched in February 2002 by the founders of the SPARC systems company - Integrix) is debuting its Foundation Series of Storage Solutions this week at Storage Networking World at Booth #G20. The R1800/J1800 Storage Appliance and iQ2000 High Availability Storage System provide enterprise-level features, performance, and reliability for the mid-tier market. By embedding expertise into the storage subsystem, iQstor optimizes storage administrator resources, increases productivity and reduces operating costs. The iQstor storage solutions are targeted at the mid-tier market.

Jason Lo, president and CEO of iQstor remarked, "The explosive growth of the Internet and networked business applications created an urgent need to store and manage mission critical data. Mid-tier operations face the same set of IT challenges as their larger counterparts and have the same storage requirements, but not often the same resources." ...iQstor Networks profile
Cyclades Cyclades-TS Series Obtains Solaris Ready Certification

Fremont, Calif. – April 2, 2002 - Cyclades Corporation today announced that is has been certified Solaris® Ready" by Sun Microsystems, Inc. for the Cyclades-TS Series console access and terminal servers. Achieving Solaris Ready Certification denotes that the Cyclades-TS Series has passed Sun's requirements and testing criteria for reliability, integration and ease-of-installation into the Solaris 8 Operating Environment.

"Earning the Solaris Ready logo ensures our customers that they can benefit from increased user satisfaction, improved productivity and high security in our terminal and console access servers," said Marcio Saito, vice president of technology for Cyclades. "We are pleased to see that Cyclades has been recognized to receive the Solaris Ready Certification, and through this, meet the demands of the rapidly changing and fast growing market by delivering powerful, scalable and reliable networking solutions."

The Cyclades-TS Series is used by data centers to manage clusters and server farms based on servers from Sun, IBM, HP, Compaq and Dell. The Cyclades-TS Series is available with 4 to 48 ports and is in full production. Pricing ranges from $898 for the 4-port model to $4,320 for the 48-port model. ...Cyclades profile
HotServer Technologies
. "We chose SPARC as the first commercial implementation of our new technology, because we thought this market would work better for us, as a small company with limited marketing budgets, than the huge Wintel server market in which we would be invisible" said Gunnar King, CEO of HotServer Tech. "But it's equally feasible to use this technology to roll out a 6GHz Pentium Linux server. If someone from Dell or IBM approaches us about a licensing deal, we would be happy to discuss those opportunities."
HotServer Technologies Announces the 3GHz hotSPARC 9000 Rackmount Server

Anchorage, AK - April 1, 2002 - HotServer Technologies Inc., a stealth mode incubator company and subsidiary of Gunnar Technologies AS (Sweden), today disclosed details of its forthcoming hotSPARC 9000 Rackmount Server, which will be generally available in early May.

HotServer Tech has been testing the new systems at a number of defense locations under non disclosure agreements since the 3rd quarter of 2001, but delayed announcing the new systems because of adverse market conditions in the computer industry at the time.

"We think the market is now ready for our 3GHz hotSPARC systems," said Ivan Sinkashipovitch, Chief Tehnology Officer. "We've been developing the clock pulse modulation and heat pipe technology used in the hotSPARC 9000 for five years, and because of concerns about reliability and field servicability of any new technology, we've done our testing the old fashioned way, by measurement and field trials rather than just simulations."

The company which started as a stealth mode incumbator in the mid 1990's, published a business plan saying it was working on military and ruggedised systems for seismic research. As a result they were able to buy SPARC chips from Texas Instruments, Fujitsu and other companies as raw dice, which they retested and packaged to their own military specifications. The company declines to say which manfucturers chips they are actually using, and when questionsed about the yield for the new process, just commented that "It's satisfactory."

The entry level hotSPARC 9000/8 has the following features:-
  • 8 hotSPARC 64 bit processors clocked at 3GHz (50% duty cycle)
  • 4G RAM per processor
  • Interfaces:- 4 Infiniband ports, 16 Fibre-channel (via INRANGE switch), 4 Gigabit Ethernet, 2 SCSI, 2 x serial
  • Storage:- customers can choose between HotServer Tech's own solid state disk, or Texas Memory Systems RAM-SAN. The system can be supplied with RAID systems from LSI Logic Storage Systems, or EMC by approved VARs of those products who have signed up as hotSPARC resellers.
  • Packaging:- processor and memory modules fit into a 4U rackmount.
  • Operating systems:- 100% binary compatible with Solaris 8, 9, Linux etc
Price:- $215,000 (4 processors with 8G RAM) other pricing on request. Availability volume shipments will start in May. Service:- HotServer Tech will be talking to a number of 3rd party maintenance companies including IBM, NCR and Klix, about providing service options for these systems. ...HotServer Tech profile

Editor's comments:-
this is the first time since Ross Technology launched their hyperSPARC upgrades in the early 1990's that Sun Microsystems has been outclassed by a competing systems company offering a faster SPARC processor. I asked HotServer Tech what they thought Sun would do about their new product. The company didn't want their comments to be quoted, but indicated their hope that Sun could well become a reseller for the new product, or even buy the company if it proved to be successful.

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