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SPARC History - 2002, November week 2

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Tadpole Tadpole are giving away 3 new SPARCbooks to celebrate the SPARCbook's 10th Anniversary

Editor:- November 13, 2002 - Tadpole are giving away 3 new SPARCbooks to celebrate the SPARCbook's 10th Anniversary. There are 3 ways to win.
  • Do you still own an original and functioning Tadpole SPARCbook? The winner will be the owner of the longest running and oldest SPARCbook. Tell us how old your SPARCbook is and how you are using it.
  • Submit a short story on how you or your company is using an original Tadpole SPARCbook. The winner will be selected based on the best user story submitted.
  • Or simply enter for our random selection drawing
...Tadpole profile
Tadpole are giving away 3 new SPARCbooks to celebrate the SPARCbook's 10th Anniversary

Arkeia Debuts Automatic Disaster Recovery Module for Linux

Red Hat to Distribute Oracle Cluster File System

PCI Appliance from VideoPropulsion Enables the Next Generation of Scaleable, High Density, Very Low Cost Per Stream, Video Servers

Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Experienced 7% Growth in Third Quarter of 2002

Antares PCI-X SCSI Ultra 320 Adapters Achieve Solaris Ready Certification from Sun Microsystems

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View from the Hill

One Third of Sun VARs 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
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. "The results of our research into real-world disaster recovery situations were incorporated into this version 5 add-on," said Arkeia CEO Phil Roussel. "Getting a server back up and running must be automatic, fast and secure, and this is what Arkeia's Disaster Recovery option brings to its users."
Arkeia Debuts Automatic Disaster Recovery Module for Linux

Carlsbad, Calif. - November 12, 2002 - Arkeia Corporation has released a state-of-the-art disaster recovery module for automatic restoration of lost data. Complementing Arkeia's new version 5, the module offers fast, reliable and easy re-creation of Linux clients or backup servers. The Arkeia Disaster Recovery add-on provides the ultimate safeguard for irreplaceable data, even if a machine is stolen or destroyed. Working with version 5, the module rebuilds a backed up client or the Arkeia backup server from scratch with a simple bootable CD solution. It avoids long, tedious set-up that can take precious hours (or days) of a system administrator's valuable time.

The process of rebuilding a client machine is as simple as: Inserting the Arkeia Disaster Recovery CD as a boot disk Entering the IP address of the backup server, the name and the IP of the machine to rebuild (this information can be saved on a floppy from the backup server and inserted into the machine being rebuilt) Arkeia DR will first format the disk with the original partitions and restore the system information, then restore the data included on the hard drive. For disaster recovery of the Arkeia Backup Server, the process is similar except that low-level information and the backup catalog will be retrieved directly from a tape. System level backup, integrated into Arkeia v5, combined with the extremely efficient bare metal disaster recovery, can totally restore a client or backup server in a very short period of time from previous backup tapes.

Introductory price starts at $79 for protection of a Linux client (includes price reduction for purchase in quantity) and $490 for the backup server protection. ...Arkeia profile

Red Hat
Red Hat to Distribute Oracle Cluster File System

San Francisco - Nov. 11, 2002 - Today at the Oracle World event, Red Hat, Inc. announced that it will make the Oracle Cluster File System (OCFS) available to Red Hat enterprise customers. The Oracle Cluster File System, combined with Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, allows customers to manage their database storage in an Oracle9i Real Application Cluster (RAC) configuration as easily as on a single system. The Oracle Cluster File system supports all database files, archive logs, redo files and control files. This greatly simplifies Oracle database installation and management.

The Oracle Cluster File System allows all nodes in a cluster to concurrently access a given file system, which allows for easy management of databases that need to be shared across the cluster. For customers running an Oracle9i Real Application Cluster on Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, the Oracle Cluster File System eliminates the need to manage and set up raw devices, making cluster database administration much easier.

The Oracle Cluster File System beta is currently available. Red Hat plans to make the production release of Oracle Cluster File System available to Advanced Server customers by Q1CY03. ...Oracle profile, ...OracleWorld San Francisco, ...Red Hat profile
news image - VideoPropulsion
. "Our goal in developing the Torrent was to produce a flexible building block that could be exploited for everything from small to gigantic VoD deployments," remarks Don Woelz, VPI Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Interfacing a modulator directly to the PCI bus instead of translating data to and from DVB or Ethernet reduces overhead, cost, complexity, and physical density. A 'thinserver' with one Torrent can provide the stream requirements for a hotel or small business. With this technology, we can also offer the capability for clustering together a hundred or more UNIX systems, with hundreds of thousands of hours of content, in fewer than twenty 6 foot racks that can playout over 60,000 RF streams."

According to many market analysts, digital set-top boxes (STBs) will be in over half of US homes by the end of 2005, and requirements for delivering peak load VoD will necessitate infrastructure capable of supplying millions of unique, simultaneous video streams – dozens of times the current installed base. Higher consumer demand for greater available content at significantly reduced costs, will begin to force the VoD system business to be done taking advantage of inter-operable, commodity servers and storage arrays.
PCI Appliance from VideoPropulsion Enables the Next Generation of Scaleable, High Density, Very Low Cost Per Stream, Video Servers

Slinger, Wisconsin - November 11, 2002 - VideoPropulsion, Inc. has begun demonstrating its Torrent™ 6 port PCI Quadrature Amplitude Modulator (QAM) Host Bus Adapter, the newest member of the Company's VDOPump™ family of high performance, low cost MPEG delivery appliances for open system Video on Demand (VoD) servers. Using patented architecture and timing mechanisms, the VPI Torrent™ provides up to sixty 3.8 megabit per second MPEG-2 256QAM output streams (forty-two 64QAM outputs) via Intermediate Frequency (IF) at a price of under $100 per stream in OEM quantities. An integral JAVA engine and multiplexing hardware reduce host CPU overhead substantially.

Onboard PCI addressable DRAM allows for direct I/O from storage devices to the HexQAM without transferring in and out of host memory. Software drivers are available today for Sun Solaris, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Output from a Torrent connects directly into commodity RF upconverters.

The VPI Torrent is a powerful, single PCI HBA with six IF QAM output links, CPU, a buffer/cache of up to 256 megabytes, and a 32/64 bit 33/66 MHz host PCI connection. Video streams can be pipelined directly from cache, storage and/or network for playout or from the card, through PCI, to host memory and peripherals. The VPiTV™ Player application for demonstration, development, or broadcast environments is included with the appliance. Several Torrent VDOPumps can run in parallel in a single host. One Torrent will deliver up to sixty 3.8 Megabit per second streams with content cached in the HBA or host memory, as well as coming from local or host storage or networks.

VPI offers the Torrent PCI HexQAM as an individual module or in Solaris and Linux based systems ranging from 120 streams with 50 two-hour movies to 600 streams with over 3000 Movies. Systems exploiting the high density and low cost of the VPI Torrent can be clustered to deliver tens of thousands of streams for less than the cost of current, standalone DVB or Ethernet based QAMs. VPI will demonstrate the Torrent in conjunction with the Broadband Plus Show December 3-6 in Anaheim, CA. ...VideoPropulsion profile
Workstation market
. "The third quarter shipments bring us nowhere near the record year 2000 shipments, but any sign of growth is a welcome change," said Pia Rieppo, principal analyst covering workstations for Gartner Dataquest's Computing Platform Worldwide group. "Given that this is only the second consecutive quarter of modest growth, we're hesitant to say the workstation market is completely out of the woods. The economy is still under performing, IT executives are reserved in their purchasing and there are still no new compelling technologies in the workstation market."
Gartner Dataquest Says Worldwide Workstation Shipments Experienced 7% Growth in Third Quarter of 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. - November 11, 2002 - For the second consecutive quarter, worldwide workstation shipments experienced an increase of shipments, according to preliminary third quarter results from Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc..

Worldwide workstation shipments totaled 367,710 units in the third quarter of 2002, a 6.5% increase from the same period last year and 1.8% from the second quarter of this year. The industry also experienced a growth increase in the second quarter of this year. Before then, the market suffered five quarters of year-over-year declines.

Dell extended its lead as the No. 1 workstation vendor worldwide with its market share surpassing 40% (see Table). IBM moved past Sun Microsystems to take the No. 3 position.
Company 3Q02
Market Share (%)
Market Share (%)
Growth (%)
Dell 149,004 40.5 115,241 33.4 29.3
Hewlett-Packard 81,125 22.1 90,356 26.2 -10.2
IBM 56,442 15.3 46,117 13.4 22.4
Sun Microsystems 52,774 14.4 58,788 17.0 -10.2
Fujitsu Siemens 11,782 3.2 5,895 1.7 99.9
Others 16,583 4.5 28,759 8.3 -42.3
Total Market 367,710 100.0 345,156 100.0 6.5
. ...Gartner Dataquest profile

Editor's comments:- in a few weeks' time, Sun will most likely issue another SunSpeak press release saying that it increased its market share in the Unix RISC workstation market, or saying that Sun is the 64 bit workstation market leader. It's been doing that for several quarters while its shipments have continued their downward slide.
Antares Microsystems
. "In the Sun Solaris direct attach storage SCSI environment, Antares Microsystems continues to deliver the best price/performance. Our customers have recognized our true 64-bit advantage," said Al Basseri, director of business development & marketing for Antares Microsystems.
Antares PCI-X SCSI Ultra 320 Adapters Achieve Solaris Ready Certification from Sun Microsystems

CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA - November 8, 2002 - Antares Microsystems, a leader in Enterprise quality I/O adapters, today announced that its Dual SCSI 320 Host Bus Adapter, P-0078, has achieved Solaris Ready Certification from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The Solaris Ready program provides customers with a recognizable symbol for tested Solaris solutions from third-party providers. To receive the Solaris Ready designation, products must complete a rigorous testing process conducted by an independent testing laboratory. Products are evaluated for interoperability, platform support, Solaris platform compliance, ease-of-installation, driver compatibility and product documentation.

The Antares PCI-X SCSI Ultra 320 two-channel, low voltage-differential, wide SCSI host bus adapter allows you to connect up to 30 SCSI devices to your workstations or server at data transfer speeds up to 320 megabytes per second, per channel. The P0078 enterprise-quality HBA supports 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X, and the PCI 2.2 standard. Designed for optimal performance on both Solaris and Linux servers and workstations, the P0078 supports packetized SCSI transfers, grouped commands, messages and status bytes at full data-transfer speeds, reducing the protocol overhead. ...Antares Microsystems profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- no great surprise here. Antares launched the industry's first 3rd party SBus card for Sun workstations way back in 1989. The company was founded by one of the designers of the SPARCstation 1. Nowadays they also sell a lot of cards into the Linux and Wintel server markets.
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