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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2002, May week 1

See also:- article:- Storage Administrators: A Changing of the Guard in IT - by MTI Technology
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Sun Microsystems
. "The Sun XVR-500 graphics accelerator fills out Sun's graphics family nicely with a high quality, high performance entry-level product based on one of the industry's top graphics architectures from 3Dlabs," says Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie & Associates. "By designing its own graphics technology for high-end Personal Visualization customers as well as using best-of-breed solutions from outside sources, Sun is able to offer its customers a better range of workstation- and server-based graphics solutions based on price, performance, quality and functionality."
Sun Doubles Entry-Level Graphics Performance with Introduction of Sun XVR-500 Graphics Accelerator

SANTA CLARA, CA - May 7, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today introduced the Sun XVR-500 graphics accelerator, a powerful, entry-level addition to its complete line of high performance graphics solutions for workstations and servers. The Sun XVR-500 graphics accelerator doubles the geometry performance and improves texture mapping performance by 50% over Sun's current entry-level offerings. The new accelerator is Sun's most affordable high performance graphics card for MCAD/MCAE, GIS and entry-level visualization applications, providing advanced 3D graphics performance and texture mapping capabilities which allow users to work more efficiently with complex data sets.

The Sun XVR-500 graphics accelerator is based on 3Dlabs' Wildcat architecture and delivers high performance 3D graphics with a range of professional-level functionality and 3D image quality, important factors for customers using MCAD/MCAE, GIS and entry-level visualization applications. Sun's XVR-500 graphics accelerator is supported by the Sun Blade workstation family and Sun Fire V880 server line. ...3Dlabs profile

See also:- Graphics Adapters & Video cards
Sun Doubles Entry-Level Graphics Performance with Introduction of Sun XVR-500 Graphics Accelerator

Magnicomp's New Sysinfo 4.2 Delivers Most Comprehensive System Information for Unix/Linux IT Environments

Tadpole's No-Nonsense, Plug-In Enterprise Appliance Program Brims With Burned-In, Secure Network Applications

Performance Technologies Expands Sales and Support Channels in Asia By Signing Three New Partners

Rave Computer and Rorke Data Team Together to Develop Solaris-based PACS For Medical Imaging Industry

Sun's SPC Results

Sun Announces Zander to Retire from Full-Time Duties this Summer

earlier news - archive
STORAGE IC pilot fab
Interface IC's
Megabyte had read the market size forecasts and wanted to get into the STORAGE interface IC business. He was benchmarking the pilot fab for the new sticky electron process using 12" pizza with a 4 cheese topping.

View from the Hill

Should Sun Rename All its Products in Line with the New Reorganization Thinking?

May 2002 - Sun Microsystems has recently come out of deep-thought mode and made sweeping changes to a whole bunch of things. In case you've missed them, here's a quick summary:

  • Sun is going to do Linux, like all those other computer companies which use those "Intel Inside" chips.
  • Sun has renamed most of its forgetable software products. So all those applications you couldn't remember before are now called "Sun" plus "something". Remembering half the name is better than remembering none. But wait a minute! Solaris, which was previously called SunOS, is still called Solaris. Now there's a flaw in the naming convention which no one else seems to have spotted yet.
  • Sun is making changes at the the top of the organization to bring in vitally needed new blood. So when Ed Zander retires, Scott McNealy will step in as President. Meanwhile Carly Fiorina, who is suspected of working for Sun as a double agent, will, for the time being, stay under cover in her job at HP.
  • Sun Microsystems has started up a marketing organization. Most start-ups have one in place before they do their IPO, but this is a sign of maturity in the 20 year old Sun, that it can learn from benchmarking the best practise of other organizations. I think some management consultants may have been involved here, possibly the clever ones which split off from Anderson and became called something with an accent which I can't reproduce on this keyboard, long before the Enron fiasco made it an even better idea.

Now, I know that many influential people in Sun, read the SPARC Product Directory, and look for new business ideas in these columns. So here are a few free suggestions guys and gals for the next few steps to take, while Dell is still drooling about taking over Compaq's PC and server business, and while HP does a deja vu in acquisition a la HP acquiring Apollo, and Compaq acquiring DEC. (There's a lot of foreign words in there, but I'm sure you take my point, and we do have some European readers who we want to feel comfortable here.) The strategic ideas below are not in any particular order, and are freely contributed in the spirit of open source/ open systems to be used whenever the circumstances seem appropriate / desperate.

  • Good idea #1 - rename all the "SPARC chips" to "Sun chips". So the "UltraSPARC 4" would become the "SunCPU 1". That will make it easier for all your younger customers whose memories don't stretch back far enough into all that exciting SPARC stuff in the 1980's. It will also be compatible with all the new "Sun" plus "something else" naming conventions.

    Now I realise there is a small problem here, because other companies, most notably Fujitsu also make SPARC chips, and they may cry "foul". But let's be honest, they also do a lot of that "Intel Inside" stuff. So they aren't as totally committed to the Sun success idea as Sun. But I've thought of a way around this problem as well. In the spirit of complete and utter equality, you can agree to let them call their chips, the "FujitsuCPU" family. No one could object to that, could they? And it will be a lot clearer for all end-users... Now there is a slight flaw with this plan if we look at Sun's other idea of expanding into the Intel Server market. I forgot to mention that one above, but it is true. I didn't make it up. The grit in the ointment here is that I don't think Intel will agree to Sun renaming its Pentium processors, just because they happen to be operating inside a Sun server. But that's where "thinking outside the box" becomes important.

    Sun could market the new Intel based servers as "Sun Outside."

    Eureka! I don't claim any royalty fees for that idea either.
  • Good idea #2 - concerns another software product which again seems to have missed the first round of software renaming, and we all know I'm talking about that coffee stuff. Now I've never been a great fan of Java, partly because the hype in the early days seemed to go a little bit too far when Sun's dumb terminal was named the JavaStation. Let's just admit that I was wrong, a lot of people do actually use Java, but actually on PCs. The dumb terminal idea was just, well, dumb... The problem with Java is that Sun doesn't get enough credit for the idea. So let's just rename "Java" to "Sun C" or Sun/PL (Sun Programming Language) and start all over.
  • Good idea #3 - a long time ago Sun used to feature a dog in its ads. That made the company seem a lot more friendly and approachable. So think about introducing a new animal into all Sun's ads. But not a mouse... Mice have already been done. Otherwise people may mistakenly think that Sun is a storage company.
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. "With this release, SysInfo continues to mature on multiple fronts such as ease of use with our new GUI as well as continuing to build on our 10 years of UNIX and Linux operating system and hardware knowledge base," said Michael Cooper, President and CTO of MagniComp. "The new SysInfo GUI provides an excellent means of browsing the deep details of system information, while the Command Line Interface (CLI) has continued to grow offering System Administrators near feature parity with the GUI."
Magnicomp's New Sysinfo 4.2 Delivers Most Comprehensive System Information for Unix/Linux IT Environments

SAN JOSE, CA - May 7, 2002 - MagniComp today announced the availability of SysInfo 4.2, its next major version of its popular product for providing IT personnel with comprehensive system information for most major UNIX and Linux platforms. New features in this release, such as the new GUI, and significantly improved hardware information, allow System Administrators to quickly and easily obtain highly detailed information about the systems they manage. With these enhancements, MagniComp continues to build upon its world-class SysInfo product and now offers an IT solution for small to large enterprise environments.

Additional new features in this release include up to 70% performance improvement in the speed of hardware information retrieval, a 10X increase to over 8,300 in the number of recognized PCI devices, improved installation from a new self-extracting distribution file format, and the newly added printer information class. Enhancements to data output formating includes support for HTML and the ability to format output in column and row format.

SysInfo 4.2 is now available for download and purchase from SysInfo will run for evaluation purposes for 60 days with full functionality without purchase. Pricing is based on the number of CPUs in a system and starts at $12 for a system with 1-4 CPUs. ...MagniComp
The line-up of Tadpole's pre-configured enterprise appliances now comprises:
  • Bajai by Tadpole - offers image recognition capability, automated list generation based on artificial intelligence algorithms, and protection from email leaks of intellectual property through Bajai's Steganograpghic Sanitization™ technology
  • Nexor by Tadpole – delivers high tolerance messaging and directory capability in complex and mission critical environments for government, military, financial and commercial applications
  • Stonesoft by Tadpole - with the StoneGateTM High Availability Firewall and VPN. Provides advanced security, reliability, and performance, including elimination of the Internet as a potential point of network failure by providing connectivity and load balancing through multiple network providers.
  • Tarantella by Tadpole – with Tarantella Enterprise 3 cross-platform software for secure, web-based access to enterprise applications. Also acts as a gateway for thin client devices, such as Sun Ray , to provide seamless access to both UNIX and Windows enterprise applications.
  • TrustWorks by Tadpole – with Trusted Gate software enabling enterprises to centrally manage and easily configure network security devices at satellite locations
  • ValiCert by Tadpole – with ValiCert's SecureTransport software for secure paperless e-Business in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and government
Tadpole's No-Nonsense, Plug-In Enterprise Appliance Program Brims With Burned-In, Secure Network Applications

Cambridge, UK - May 7, 2002 - Sleek rackmount appliances pre-configured with secure enterprise applications for no-nonsense, out-of-the-box deployment is the thrust of Tadpole's value-add proposition for the networked enterprise. The appliances are being showcased on Tadpole's booth #1565 this week at the Networld+Interop conference and exhibition.

The Tadpole Appliance Program (TAP) is a select network infrastructure initiative that partners Tadpole's hardware subsidiary with best-of-breed software vendors, complementary hardware firms, channel partners and system integrators. With TAP partners' solutions pre-configured into Tadpole's enterprise server appliances, and then shipped from the firm's ISO 9000-certified California plant direct to their customers, enterprises are delivered a truly optimized, unbreakable network experience that eliminates the costly and time consuming practice of system integration that characterize other solutions on today's market.

"Tadpole's appliance program opens the next page in enterprise network infrastructures," says Bernard Hulme, Tadpole's group chief executive. "Finally, network administrators can focus on securely delivering immediate knowledge across their enterprises, not the costly and time-consuming practice of bundling applications into appliances in order to deliver knowledge."

Tadpole's plug-in appliances are built around Sun Microsystems' 64-bit UltraSPARC chips and Solaris operating environment. As TAP partners, participants benefit from Tadpole's highly flexible manufacturing services to gain competitive advantage, specifically shorter sales cycles and incremental revenues, by offering customers tailored solutions that require no configuration prior to deployment and thus deliver the earliest return on investments and sustained benefits. ...Tadpole profile

Editor's comments:- nowadays you have to make a special effort if you DON'T want Microsoft Office preinstalled with a new PC. But there was a time before that when you had to install everything apart from the OS. Sun started the idea of preinstalling applications onto Unix servers in the mid 90's when they realised that the first thing most of their big server customers did on delivery was install Oracle. These "Appliances" as Tadpole calls them are designed to make your life simple, but they also provide a useful insight into what other people are doing with these systems.
Performance Technologies Performance Technologies Expands Sales and Support Channels in Asia By Signing Three New Partners

ROCHESTER, NY - May 6, 2002 - Performance Technologies, Inc. today announced it is expanding its reach into Asia Pacific by signing partnership agreements with Internix, Inc. of Japan, Spinel Technology Corporation of Taiwan and Enetronics Sdn Bhd of Malaysia. The companies chosen represent additional sources for Performance Technologies' carrier-grade technology solutions, which include network access products, embedded Ethernet switching products and integrated SS7/IP Signaling solutions.

Internix is a distributor and support organization for a wide range of enabling products used in information and communications equipment.

Spinel distributes DSP and CompactPCI® components and systems and offers comprehensive design services for a variety of electronics applications.

Enetronics develops telecommunications equipment and network management software solutions for wireless and wireline networks. ...Performance Technologies profile
Rave Computer

Rorke Data
Rave Computer and Rorke Data Team Together to Develop Solaris-based PACS For Medical Imaging Industry

Sterling Heights, Michigan - May 1, 2002 - Rave Computer Association, Inc and Rorke Data, Inc. have teamed together to develop Solaris-based PACS for the medical imaging industry. The solution features the integration of Rave Computer's rackmountable 4UAX2200 server, Rorke's Galaxy series of 2Gbit Fibre Channel RAID, and scalable RTL series of rack-mounted tape libraries. Together, they deliver superior high availability picture archiving and communication systems for medical imaging applications. Immediate benefits provided are high availability, scalability; fast data transfer rates, and enterprise-strength performance for immediate on-line access.

The solution will be distributed through Rorke Data's authorized resellers in the Medical Imaging and Publishing markets, as well as key OEM partners. Rorke Data will be featuring the Solaris-based PACS solution at the Cleveland, OH, 19th Annual Symposium for Computer Applications in Radiology (SCAR 2002), Cleveland Convention Center, Booth #429, May 2nd - 5th, 2002. ...Rave Computer profile , ...Rorke Data profile
Sun Microsystems

Storage Performance Council
. "Sun Microsystems is pleased to support industry standards by participating in producing this ground breaking SPC-1 benchmark result," said Rhonda Holt, vice president of engineering, Sun Microsystems, Network Storage. "The Sun StorEdge 9910 system is a data center class storage system that provides maximum levels of availability, scalabiltiy and, as demonstrated by the results of this benchmark, extreme bandwidth due to its switched-fabric architecture. Producing an SPC-1 IOPS rate of 8,404.22 and an SPC-1 LRT of 2.07ms using only 640 GBytes of configured storage capacity," Holt continued, "the Sun StorEdge 9910 system configuration used RAID-1 data protection with VERITAS Volume Manager Software."
Sun's SPC Results

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.- May 1, 2002 - Today the Storage Performance Council (SPC), in conjunction with IBM, LSI Logic Storage Systems and Sun Microsystems, announce initial results for SPC Benchmark 1 (SPC-1), the first industry-standard benchmark for enterprise storage systems. These SPC member companies are simultaneously announcing the initial SPC-1 results to visibly demonstrate their support for the ground-breaking achievements and contributions made by the SPC to the storage industry and its customers. This new benchmark specification and its results, for the first time, give customers a clearly applicable, vendor-neutral process to accurately compare and configure direct attach or network storage technology....Storage Performance Council

Editor's notes:- if you can define a "winner" in these new benchmarks, it was LSI Logic Storage Systems. LSI Logic's SPC-1 IOPS™ performance results were more than 86% faster than others reported, and at $16.07/IOPS demonstrated clear leadership in price/performance.
Sun Microsystems
. "I am proud of all that we have achieved at Sun," said Zander. "This is a decision I have considered carefully over the past year. As we are marching down the path back to profitability, and have, for the most part completed our massive product and customer engagement transitions, I believe I have accomplished what I set out to do. From a products, marketshare and strategy perspective, Sun is in a stronger position than it has been for many years. I am leaving Sun on a high note and in the hands of a new generation of leaders that are the result of years of leadership development and succession planning."
Sun Announces Zander to Retire from Full-Time Duties this Summer

SANTA CLARA, CA - May 1, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that after more than 15 years of service to Sun, Edward Zander, 55, president and chief operating officer, has decided to retire from his full-time duties with Sun. Zander will remain in his position through the end of Sun's fiscal year. Effective July 1, 2002, Zander will hand over his full-time duties to Scott McNealy. He will then assist McNealy with the transition and begin a teaching and mentoring role at Sun for the balance of the calendar year.

As president and chief operating officer, Zander has been responsible for executing Sun's global vision of being one of the largest suppliers of products, technologies and services for making the net work. Zander has run the company's day-to-day business operations, including System Products, Storage Products, Software Products and Platforms, Enterprise Services, iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, Global Sales Operations, worldwide manufacturing and purchasing, research and development, including the Office of the CTO, customer advocacy, and worldwide marketing.

Prior to being named chief operating officer, Zander was the president of Sun's multibillion dollar computer systems business. He also has held numerous other management positions at the company, including president of Sun's software division and vice president of corporate marketing. Zander has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry. Prior to Sun, he held management positions at Apollo, Data General and Raytheon.

Editor's comments:- Actually McNealy's job is going to be a heck of a lot easier this year, because Sun has outsourced the strategic mission of downsizing HP and Compaq to Carly Fiorina. (Whoops, there goes another advertising deal...)

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