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SPARC News - 2002, October week 4

See also:- Squeak! - the Fastest Solid State Disks
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HP
. "HP is seeing a growing number of customers adopting Linux on industry-standard HP ProLiant servers as an alternative to more expensive Sun systems running Solaris," said Judy Chavis, worldwide director of Linux, HP Industry Standard Servers. "HP is committed to providing these customers with tested, proven, Linux-based solutions, like Sendmail's email products, allowing them to deploy cost-effective, reliable Linux solutions with confidence in their enterprise infrastructure."
Benchmark Shows HP ProLiant Servers Running Linux-based Sendmail Email Solutions Outperform Sun Platforms

FRANKFURT, Germany, LinuxWorld Expo - Oct. 31, 2002 - HP and Sendmail, Inc. today announced the results of a performance benchmark testing Sendmail's email software on industry-standard HP ProLiant servers vs. proprietary Sun systems. The results show that significant price/performance benefits and better message throughput are achievable when Sendmail's software is deploying mail and messaging solutions on industry-standard hardware running Linux, as compared to more expensive Sun servers running Solaris.

Performance testing indicated that Sendmail software running on two- and four-way HP ProLiant servers with SuSE Linux Enterprise 7 and the Reiser Filesystem was significantly better than Sun servers running Solaris in message throughput, price and performance. For example, the two-way, IA-32 HP ProLiant DL380 server running Linux outperformed and has a lower acquisition price than a two-way, 64-bit, Sun Fire 280R running Solaris. The HP ProLiant DL380 running Sendmail Switch™ delivered 30 messages per second while a Sun Fire 280R delivered only 19 messages per second. The HP ProLiant DL380 server costs $6,463 while the Sun Fire 280R costs $16,490 (price includes Veritas file system).

Additional tests revealed that the HP ProLiant DL580 server running Sendmail Advanced Message Server™ and Linux was capable of serving 14,000 users at approximately 100 percent concurrency (with all users logged in and working at the same time). By comparison the Sun Fire V880 server running Solaris was only capable of serving 9,000 users at approximately 100 percent concurrency. The price of the HP ProLiant DL580 server, including fibre channel storage, is $48,603 while the Sun V880, including T3 storage and the Veritas file system, is $190,095. ...HP profile

Editor's comments:- sounds like a cue for Sun to reduce its pricing again.
Benchmark Shows HP ProLiant Servers Running Linux-based Sendmail Email Solutions Outperform Sun Platforms

Interphase Announces a High Performance, High Port Density, and Highly Functional T1/E1/J1 PCI Controller for Computer Telephony Integration

23rd Anniversary for US Sun VAR AMES Sciences

Sun Funds Steep Storage Ramp at Dot Hill

Sun Teams with Nortel Networks to Provide Enterprise Continuity

Accelerating Application Performance - white paper by Platypus Technology

Themis Computer Announces Next Generation 650 MHz USPIIe VME Computer Boards

Sun Blade 2000 Gets a Faster Processor at No Extra Cost

Themis Computer Announces UltraSPARC III based Rugged Enterprise Servers

Adax releases HDC-PMC protocol controller

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View from the Hill

One Third of Sun Resellers May Disappear


Editor:- the 4th quarter of 2002 marks the first time in Sun's history that the total number of US resellers selling Sun based solutions has markedly declined. Problems for Sun VARs have been emerging for the past two years, mainly fuelled by own Sun's 65% revenue decline from its peak at the height of the dotcom boom. That problem has been exacerbated by problems in the IT market as a whole. Sun's announcement in October that it will lay off another 11% of its workforce confirms that the outlook for the market does not contain any quick fixes which might lead to a change in fortunes for Sun's VARs.

ACSL, publisher of the SPARC Product Directory has been tracking the active number of Sun resellers for over ten years. In October the number of Sun VAR web sites removed, because the web site was no longer functioning, significantly exceeded the number of new VAR sites added.

Economic analysis would suggest that the Sun market could be profitably served by as little as half the current number of VARs. Many resellers have been hanging on, hoping that things would get better after Sun's announcements at the SunNetwork Conference in September. However the signals coming out from Sun seem to be - too little change, too late - for many of its long term partners. Although many Sun VARs have already diversified into other areas such as storage and Linux, we predict that upto one third of all Sun VARs in the US may exit the Sun market or cease operating as companies altogether during the next 6 months.

Sun has hastened this process by competing directly with its VARs and by delisting companies whose sales have fallen below their agreed levels. However, those VARs which continue to service their customers as "gray Sun resellers" retain their listings in the SPARC Product Directory, and are not numbered among the missing.

I would love to be proved wrong about this prediction, and if there are active Sun VARs out there who aren't currently listed in our US directory, they can send me their profiles to even up the score.

See also:- Sun VARs in the US
Continuous Computing
Continuous Computing Corporation, established in 1998 with headquarters in San Diego, is the leading provider of high-availability platform solutions for telecom equipment manufacturers and service providers.

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Interphase
. "Interphase has leveraged our extensive intelligent T1/E1/J1 controller experience by offering the CTI market a high performance, high port density and highly functional solution in a small PCI form factor," said Greg Kalush, CEO and President of Interphase Corporation. "The scope of the product offering affords the CTI market a single solution that spans all of its needs with the iSPAN 5539F."
Interphase Announces a High Performance, High Port Density, and Highly Functional T1/E1/J1 PCI Controller for Computer Telephony Integration

DALLAS, Texas - October 31, 2002 - Interphase Corporation today announced the new intelligent iSPAN™ 5539F Quad Port T1/E1/J1 PCI Communications Interface Card that also contains a 10/100BaseT Ethernet port for gateway applications.

The iSPAN 5539F is a modular, intelligent PCI card targeting Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) applications. The iSPAN 5539F offers a high port density T1/E1/J1 solution in a small form factor with a variety of protocol offerings including SS7, Ethernet and ATM (Adaptation Layers AAL2 and AAL5). This portfolio of protocols supported by the iSPAN 5539F is perfectly suited for CTI applications such as Signal Transfer Points (STPs) for SS7 signal routing, Service Control Points (SCPs) for database management services such as number portability, 800 and 900 enterprise, calling card verification, Voice Mail or E-mail Servers and ATM LAN/WAN Networking Applications.

The on-board hardware features of the iSPAN 5539F include the industry leading and recently released Motorola MPC8264 300Mhz core with 200MHz CPM and 66MHz bus for high performance with integrated Inverse Multiplexing for ATM (IMA) functionality. Software available today includes a Solaris Software Development Suite (SDS). In the future, the current software offering will be complemented with VxWorks and Linux Software Development Suites to support multiple host operating system kernels that the market demands.

The iSPAN 5539F is currently available with a starting list price of $2,895 ...Interphase profile
AMES Sciences 23rd Anniversary for US Sun VAR AMES Sciences

Editor:- October 31, 2002 - I just noticed that it's the 23rd anniversary of the founding of AMES Sciences, a Sun reseller based in Easton, MD.

AMES started out selling Data General minicomputers, before the big Unix workstation bang which created Sun. It was one of the first (still surviving) independent Sun resellers.

Nowadays AMES sells new and used Sun systems, peripherals and add ons and has seen many newer VC backed rivals enter the market and disappear without trace. That kind of survival and independence comes from providing great customer service and value in good times and bad.

Congratulations to Ron Ames. Why not take a look at what they have to offer? ...AMES Sciences profile
Dot Hill

Sun Microsystems
Sun Funds Steep Storage Ramp at Dot Hill

CARLSBAD, Calif.- October 30, 2002 - Dot Hill (NYSE:HIL) today announced it has received a short-term loan from Sun Microsystems for $4.5 million. The funds will be used primarily for working capital in order to ramp production associated with Dot Hill's new OEM agreement with Sun, and for general corporate purposes.

"We are extremely pleased with the demonstration of commitment from Sun and their vote of confidence regarding our relationship," said Jim Lambert, Dot Hill chief executive officer. "In addition, we recently received a $19 million purchase order from Sun. This increases our current total backlog to over $44 million - the highest level in Dot Hill's history. We anticipate shipping the backlog by the end of March 2003." ...Dot Hill profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Teams with Nortel Networks to Provide Enterprise Continuity

October 29, 2002 - Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced Enterprise Continuity, a solution that delivers real business continuance and addresses the biggest concern of its customers: the ability to continue conducting business - "no matter what." With this solution, multiple data centers now act as one unified, productive data center. If one site goes down, transactions are quickly and automatically routed to the alternative site(s). There is no need for time-consuming re-start of applications and manual restore procedures. This greatly reduces the time to recovery, lowering costs and generating a better ROI for industry segments such as financial services, government, healthcare, retail and others.

Demonstrating its value as a systems company, Sun designed and pre-tested the Enterprise Continuity solution which includes Sun's advanced UltraSPARC® processor-based servers, Sun StorEdge Open SAN Architecture, Sun StorEdge storage arrays and SunPlex clustering technology, utilizing Sun Services, along with Nortel Networks DWDM-based OPTera 5200 Multiservice Platform, of which Sun is an authorized reseller. The Sun solution utilizes dark fibre and Nortel Networks optical technologies, saving companies up to 35% in the second year of implementation when compared to current solutions using traditional leased telephone lines.

Enterprise Continuity offers companies and governmental bodies the ability to cost-effectively separate data centers far enough apart to be protected in the case of a disaster. The result is increased assurance that their critical business information and applications are protected and always available. ...Sun Microsystems profile
Platypus Technology Accelerating Application Performance - white paper by Platypus Technology

Editor:- October 23, 2002 - Platypus Technology has released a new white paper today on STORAGEsearch.com called "Accelerating Application Performance". The 8 page white paper, coauthored by the research group Aberdeen, starts out explaining why solid state storage technology can speed up critical applications at an economic price.

The second part of the article, uniquely in my opinion, provides a number of case studies about real companies in a diverse set of markets. These companies had business problems which were solved by using solid state disk technology from Platypus. The examples given quote the before and after performance in a simple to understand manner, which users can relate to. It will help you form a judgement about whether it's worth learning more about this technology in your own organization.

Although we've run many articles on this technology over the years, and the benefits are not unique to any single solid state storage vendor, this article provides one of the clearest descriptions of the end to end benefits I've seen. It will be of particular interest to anyone who wants to get faster performance from their Sun servers today. ...Accelerating Application Performance (pdf), ...Platypus Technology profile
Themis Computer
. "Our USPIIe-USB family of single board computers provides the high performance, reliability and scalability required by today's increasingly demanding COTS applications," stated William E. Kehret, president of Themis Computer. "Since our founding, we've focused on developing the highest performance and highest quality single-board computers and systems commercially available. Today Themis Computer offers rugged UltraSPARC-based VMEbus and Compact PCI single board computers for the most demanding voice and data applications."
Themis Computer Announces Next Generation 650 MHz USPIIe VME Computer Boards

FREMONT, California - October 22, 2002 - Themis Computer has announced a new family of USPIIe-USB™ VMEbus single-board computers. The USPIIe-USB provides users with 500 MHz, 600 MHz, and 650 MHz UltraSPARC® RISC processing performance options, and Solaris™ 8 and Solaris 9 compatibility. These high-speed VME 64-bit architecture boards offer users configuration options designed to provide maximum I/O flexibility and performance.

Designed for configuration flexibility and high performance, the USPIIe-USB combines the latest 650 MHz UltraSPARC-IIi processors with a PMC peripheral controller slot and a high performance bridge. The USPIIe-USB is available in one-slot, two-slot and three-slot configurations.

Each of the USPIIe-USB models includes a high performance VME64 interface, a dual Ultra3 80MB/sec SCSI port, up to two 10/100Base-T Ethernet ports, and up to six RS-232 serial ports. Memory is expandable up to 4 Gbytes using memory mezzanine cards. All versions may be configured with Themis' high performance TGA3D graphics co-processor. The TGA3D uses one additional VMEbus slot and provides one additional PMC slot. ...Themis Computer profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Blade 2000 Gets a Faster Processor at No Extra Cost

Santa Clara, Calif.- October 22, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. now offers the 1.015 GHz UltraSPARC III Cu CPU for high-end Sun Blade 2000 workstations at no additional cost to the customer. Taking price/performance to a new level, the Sun Blade 2000 configurations based on the higher-speed processor are offered at the same price point as previous Sun Blade 2000 configurations featuring the 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processor. The Sun Blade 2000 workstation with the 1.015 GHz UltraSPARC III processor is available today starting at $10,995.00 list price. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comment:- as with all semiconductor technology, the yield of faster devices improves after a time based on manufacturer experience. Texas Instruments, which makes these chips for Sun is now working on a process which will deliver 1.3GHz SPARC chips in volume by January. Consequently most of the chips coming out from the current design are actually working 1.015 GHz chips, which previously had to be selected out from the majority of 900MHz characterised chips.
Themis Computer
RES-302s upto 2 x SPARC processor rugged server
. "I am pleased to announce our new generation of UltraSPARC servers that are engineered to provide outstanding performance and exceptional reliability," said William Kehret, president of Themis Computer. "Combining the Sun Blade 2000 architecture with our ruggedized technologies enables us to deliver industry leading systems and support for more than 12,000 industry applications."
Themis Computer Announces UltraSPARC III based Rugged Enterprise Servers

FREMONT, California - October 22, 2002 - Themis Computer announced its new RES-302s™ rackmount servers that provide users with exceptional computing speed, graphics and I/O capabilities, for demanding applications in extreme shock and vibration environments. Based on the Sun Blade 2000 workstation, Themis' RES-302s incorporates single or dual 64-bit 900MHz - 1050MHz UltraSPARC III processors.

The RES-302s is a flexible and powerful next-generation server offering users outstanding platform performance, dependability, and versatility. The RES-302s server reflects Themis Computer's extensive experience designing rugged, high performance aerospace and military systems. To ensure reliable operation in extended operating environments, the RES-302s is designed to withstand shock loads of 20G @ 20 msec and operate in ambient temperatures to 50°C.
  • 19" 5U Rack-optimized Sun Blade 2000
  • Upto 2 x UltraSPARC III processors, 900 - 1050 MHz with 8MB of L2 cache
  • Up to 8GB main memory capacity, memory is installed in banks of four DIMMs (256MB, 512MB or 1GB SIMM modules) to take advantage of the architecture's 576-bit-wide memory path.
  • Upto 2 hard disk drives and CD-RW/DVD
  • 4mm DAT tape backup drive (optional).
  • Fibre Channel - Arbitrated Loop port for mass storage.
  • 2 x 64-bit UPA graphics slots have dedicated ports to the high-speed fireplane system bus, providing maximum bandwidth for real-time 3D image rendering.
  • 4 USB and 2 x IEEE 1394 (Firewire) interfaces
  • 4 PCI slots for industry standard controllers, including 1 x 64-bit, 66 MHz slot and 3 x 64-bit, 33 MHz slots.
  • 2 Ultrawide SCSI ports (one internal, one external).
  • RJ45 Fast Ethernet (10/100Base-T) port.
  • 4 x 16-bit stereo-audio channels, including one line-in, one line-out, one microphone, and one speaker channel.
  • Solaris™ 8 and Solaris 9 Operating Environment
The RES-302s runs the Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 Operating Environment. The RES-302s can also run 64-bit applications unmodified from the Solaris 7 Operating Environment, as well as 32-bit applications from previous versions of the Solaris Operating Environment, making these systems compatible with previous systems and software. ...Themis Computer profile
Adax Adax releases HDC-PMC protocol controller

Reading, England - October 22. 2002 - Adax today announced the release of the PMC version of its HDC signaling protocol controller. The HDC-PMC offers a powerful high-density solution to expand the capabilities of legacy SS7 systems or sit within SS7/IP gateways to connect the PSTN with the Internet and other IP networks The PMC form factor enables full slot space utilisation, maximum development flexibility in next generation infrastructure and provides a totally scalable and cost effective solution. The HDC-PMC compliments the existing PCI and cPCI intelligent controller offerings from Adax, giving customers maximum platform choice.

The HDC-PMC has been designed specifically for customers building Signaling Gateways, Media Gateway Controllers, Serving GPRS Support Nodes (SGSNs) and Gateway GPRS Support Nodes (GGSNs) in GPRS and 3G networks.

The HDC-PMC can be configured with an SBC as a single board signaling gateway, for the most cost effective single slot solution for infrastructure developers in converged and next generation network environments. The controller can support a complete SS7 stack over T1/E1 interfaces and SIGTRAN protocols over Ethernet ports (which provide SS7 transport over IP). The HDC-PMC supports the latest SIGTRAN protocol suite including Stream Control Transport Protocol (SCTP), M3UA, M2UA or M2PA. This is in addition to its support for traditional SS7 MTP-2 64k and 2Mb high speed signalling, Frame Relay, X.25, LAPB/D/F and LAPV5. T1/E1 connections communicate to Signaling Transfer Points (STPs) and Signaling Control Points (SCPs) on one side of the network and Ethernet ports interface to the Media Gateway Controller/IP network.

The HDC-PMC can also be deployed within GPRS networks, for SGSNs and GGSNs or SGSNs and BSSs. In addition, the HDC-PMC can support simultaneous frame relay for the Gb interface alongside SS7 for the Gc/Gd/Gf/Gr and Gs interfaces. The solution provides a completely scalable solution for the Gb interface and enables large numbers of BSSs to be connected to a single SGSN. Multiple cards can support up to 2,048 Frame Relay channels and thousands of DLCI's per system. For maximum performance of the application, the HDC-PMC card enables an OS independent solution. ...Adax profile

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