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News about SPARC systems and related companies - 2003, March weeks 1 - 2

SPARC notebooks
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Where have all the Sun User Groups Gone?
the Last Market Report on Sun Compatible OEMs?
the Rise and Fall of the SPARC Workstation Market
articles about Sun, SPARC & Solaris - the View from the Hill series etc

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news about summary other news on this page
Dataram
. Providing customers with savings of 50% or more, Dataram is the only Sun licensee to hold a continuous licensing agreement since 1998. Advanced engineering and design innovation deliver first to market unique memory upgrades. All Dataram memory products for Sun systems are guaranteed to be 100% compatible with Sun's hardware and software and are backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.
Dataram Introduces Low-Cost 4GB Memory Upgrade For Sun Blade 1000/2000 & Sun Fire 280R

Princeton, NJ - March 18 , 2003 - Dataram Corporation announced today the immediate availability of its latest low-cost 4GB upgrade for Sun Microsystems' Sun Blade 1000/2000 and Sun Fire 280R systems, offering customers a cost savings of about 50% over Sun's equivalent product.

The newly released Dataram DRSB2000A/4096, like Sun Microsystems's X7063A, is available for the Sun Blade 1000, 2000 and Sun Fire 280R. However, Dataram's list price is $1,984 as compared to Sun's list price of $3,800. As always, Dataram's 4GB upgrade is designed to the specific system requirements and has undergone extensive compatibility and validation testing in the targeted systems. Dataram's lower-cost modules are 100% form factor compatible to Sun's X7063A modules, being one-half inch taller than the optional X7056A and DRS280 1GB DIMMs. ...Dataram profile
Dataram Introduces Low-Cost 4GB Memory Upgrade For Sun Blade 1000/2000 & Sun Fire 280R

Sun's New Blade

Sun and Topspin Collaborate on Delivering InfiniBand Technology

Avocent Introduces Next Generation KVM Switching System

SPARC International Welcomes New Member Mobile Workstations, Inc.

Tadpole Computer Executes Management Buyout

Systran Corporation Announces PCI-Based Solution for FPDP and Serial FPDP Data Transfers

SCO files billion dollar lawsuit against IBM

SurfControl Offers Sun Microsystems' LX50 Customers High-Performance Internet Filtering for the Enterprise

Quatech Introduces New ThinQ™ Serial Device Servers

Spam Prevention Service for Sun Solaris Now Available

earlier news - archive
iSCSI
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Terrorbyte liked to test out hot new backup technologies.

Nibble: Why Sun's Server Revenue will Decline Again Next Year (and HP's and IBM's too)

Recently IDC reported that in 2002, worldwide server factory revenues declined 11.6%, while unit shipments increased 5%. We've been used to seeing revenue declines in the IT market, so that news comes as no surprise. But that got me wondering if we might continue to see server revenues decline for the next couple of years, even if total spending in the IT market increases.

That might be bad news for companies which get a lot of revenue from servers, but good news for network storage makers, and users.

In the past couple of years we've seen increasing adoption of the network storage model, and a recent IDC report quoted by EMC said that spending on SAN and NAS has now overtaken spending on DAS (directly attached storage). That means, when someone buys a server, a decreasing proportion of the storage cost associated with that server is now installed in the same box. The storage can sit anywhere on the network. It doesn't even have to be in the same building.

And, of course, it doesn't have to be from the same manufacturer.

The recent recession has speeded up the unbundling (or dismembering) of the server market. Users have less money to spend and so will pick and mix the bits they like. A server from company X, disk storage from company Y, and a tape library from company Z. It used to be technically difficult and risky for users to make these kind of choices. But not any more.

As long as you avoid some obvious pitfalls such as choosing Sun storage to go with a Dell server, then you're probably on safe ground. And there are plenty of VARs and systems integrators who have done it before and can reduce your risk and your cost.

If we extrapolate this trend, there's no good reason why a server should contain any disk storage at all. apart from what is needed to store the operating system.

Technologies like InfiniBand at the high end, Fibre-channel and NAS in the middle and Serial ATA at the entry level, will get sufficiently standardized so that anyone can connect a storage appliance to their server as simply as you connect a satellite connection to your TV. Choosing your favorite programs to watch, or setting up your backup & SRM software might take a little longer. But nothing's perfect.

Of course other factors will also contribute to making servers cheaper. Many users have found that rackmount server farms give them adequate peroformance at much lower cost that factory assembled mainframes. But a 64 processor mainframe still costs a lot more than 64 times the cost of a single server. Not for much longer. The increasing use of compact PCI blade servers, where multiple servers sit in the same high speed bus, will cut out the fat in the low end mainframe market, and that too will help to shed cost.

So we'll just get used to a new market in which the server is a decreasing part of the total IT budget. Bad news for server sales people. Good news for everyone else.

Curtis
Curtis, Inc., based in Minneapolis, MN, is a leading supplier of solid state disk products, and has been making SSDs since 1985.

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Sun SPARC resellers - UK

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Sun Microsystems
. "Today, our customers are realizing it's more important than ever to find the right commercial-off-the-shelf solution, instead of having to build everything themselves," said Arlen Vanderwel, Vice President, Netra Systems Product Group, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Our Netra CP2300 telecom blade directly addresses this need, helping NEPs get to market faster and enabling them to focus on their core competency of building highly available solutions for network infrastructures."
Sun's New Blade

CTIA Wireless, New Orleans - March 17, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today adds its first commercial-off-the-shelf cPSB product to its portfolio of NEBS level 3-certified solutions - the Netra CP2300 PICMG 2.16 telecom blade server.

Based on both cPCI and cPSB standards, the Netra CP2300 telecom blade offers the ability to leverage cPCI and Ethernet technology, with standards-based Hot Swap capability, while providing mission-critical high availability and robust systems management capabilities in a rugged system. The Netra CP2300 telecom blade is powered by a 650MHz UltraSPARC® IIi processor supporting up to 2.5GB of memory and supports the Solaris Operating Environment, in addition to Sun's Netra HA software.

Meeting the needs of network equipment providers, the Netra CP2300 telecom blade server can function in any of the available blade server slots in the cPCI chassis adhering to PICMG 2.16 or as a stand-alone SBC in an embedded environment.

The Netra CP2300 telecom blade comes with a full complement of I/O interfaces, including one serial port to the front panel, dual Ethernet and serial, one USB, and EIDE to the rear panel, and dual PMC slots.

An entry Netra CP 2300 telecom blade server configured with the UltraSPARC IIi processor, and 512 MB of on-board memory is available for $1,995 list price U.S., and will be available in May. ...Sun Microsystems profile

See also:- Blades - SPARC
Sun Microsystems

Topspin Communications
. "While some of our competitors are taking a 'wait and see' approach as InfiniBand evolves, Sun is delivering on its commitment to develop leading InfiniBand technology," said Neil Knox, executive vice president, Volume Systems Products at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "We are one of the first system providers to integrate InfiniBand technology into our proven volume systems products, and we've teamed with Topspin to deliver breakthrough InfiniBand solutions that will result in exponential application performance gains."
Sun and Topspin Collaborate on Delivering InfiniBand Technology

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - March 14, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Topspin Communications today announced that they have entered into a joint technology development and software licensing agreement.

Sun has selected Topspin to provide both the Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet I/O modules for Sun's next-generation InfiniBand-based server platforms that help deliver improved application scalability, performance and resource utilization. Under the agreement, Topspin will also help develop InfiniBand server software components for the Solaris Operating System. Sun will embed these components in their next generation volume server products. Topspin will offer the software components for building high-performance computing and scalable database clusters in conjunction with its industry-leading family of InfiniBand host channel adapters and switched computing systems. ...Topspin Communications profile

See also:- InfiniBand
Avocent
. "With this high density switching system, as many as 16 users and 64 servers can be connected to each switch," said Gary Johnson, senior vice president of worldwide sales and marketing. "Administrators can easily control hundreds of servers and support simultaneous users who need to share access to busy data centre servers. This scalability, combined with our superior Autotuning video performance, clearly define the AMX as the most reliable analogue switching solution for larger data centres."
Avocent Introduces Next Generation KVM Switching System

Hannover, Germany - March 12, 2003 - Avocent Corporation today announced its new high density AMX5010 analogue matrix KVM switch, extending its popular AMX analogue matrix switching system that provides centralised control of hundreds of servers. Each matrix switch provides server access from a single point or simultaneous access for as many as 16 users throughout the data centre. Capable of connecting 64 servers per device, the new AMX analogue matrix switching system provides a scalable solution for PS/2, Sun and USB server installations. The AMX solution features end-to-end CAT 5 connectivity, efficient scalability for multiple servers and unparalleled video compensation for a wide range of targeted devices and cable types.

Each device in the AMX system can be administered through AMWorks, a Java-based advanced system administration tool. This interface supports customised server names, simplifies creating user profiles and provides multi-level security of server environments.

Avocent will be demonstrating its AMX analogue KVM switching solution as well as its KVM OVER IP switching systems at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, March 12-19, in Hall 15, Stand B11. ...Avocent profile
SPARC International

Mobile Workstations
SPARC International Welcomes New Member Mobile Workstations, Inc.

San Jose, California - March 11, 2003 - SPARC International is pleased to welcome their newest OEM member Mobile Workstations, Inc. located in Miramar, Florida.

Mobile Workstations, Inc. is evolving as a leading innovator and manufacturer of deployable products & peripherals including: SOLARIS, semi rugged field LINUX, and Microsoft notebooks, wireless, and security products. They support a full range of SPARC and Intel processors. ...Mobile Workstations profile, ...SPARC International
Tadpole
. "Thanks to the management buyout and a focused team of leaders who are determined to meet the needs of our customers, Tadpole is better positioned today than ever before to bring new and innovative 64-bit UNIX solutions to market," said Mark Johnston President and CEO. "Faced with increasing security threats and an economy-driven need to increase productivity and efficiencies in the workplace, customers today want the power, security and reliability of 64-bit enterprise solutions at their fingertips, no matter where they're working."

An executive team with deep Silicon Valley and UNIX roots leads Tadpole Computer.

President and CEO Mark Johnston previously founded companies such as Opus, Axil Computer, and Cycle Computer, which all focused on extending the reach and lifecycles of Sun Microsystems solutions. Tadpole Technology purchased Cycle in 2000, at which point Johnston assumed a leadership role in the hardware division of the former parent company. In addition, Tadpole Computer boasts Bruce Borden, co-founder of 3Com and one of the inventors of TCP/IP as its Chief Scientist. Other executives of the new Tadpole bring industry experience from Sun, Apple, and McKinsey to the new company.
Tadpole Computer Executes Management Buyout

Cupertino, CA - March 10, 2003 - Tadpole Computer, Inc today officially announced its successful management buyout from its former parent and unveiled plans to extend its market reach to commercial customers while continuing to build its core government and military business via new product families.

Tadpole Computer executives purchased the hardware division of UK-based Tadpole Technology, plc to focus the company's efforts on driving 64-bit UNIX productivity at each end of the data center – from back-end servers to mobile notebooks.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Tadpole has long been a leader in the 64-bit UNIX computing market. It was the first company to offer 64-bit notebooks and it has the largest installed base of 64-bit portable systems. The new company, headed by President and CEO and former Tadpole Technology executive Mark Johnston, is already executing on a plan for fast-track success, having achieved profitability after only one quarter since the completion of its management buyout.

Tadpole plans to expand its world-class UNIX notebook line into low-end and high-end families to take advantage of the emerging growth opportunities in mobile 64-bit UNIX solutions.

The low-end line will be introduced within the next two months. It will target commercial-class customers, offering 64-bit performance, reliability and security in a mobile system at breakthrough prices.

The new high-end line will deliver true server capabilities in a portable, multiprocessor, 1GHz+ machine, specifically targeted at core government and military customers. Tadpole will continue to manufacture and support its world-class line of UNIX notebooks, portable servers and slim form factor rackmount servers. ...Tadpole profile
Systran Systran Corporation Announces PCI-Based Solution for FPDP and Serial FPDP Data Transfers

Dayton, Ohio - March 7, 2003 - Systran Corporation today introduced its new FibreXtreme PCI-based Common Mezzanine Card (CMC) carrier. The carrier gives PCI-based platforms the capability to send and receive FPDP and Serial FPDP signals via an onboard CMC module. More importantly, FPDP signals can be received by the carrier and translated into Serial FPDP signals, extending the distance the signals can travel to up to 10 kilometers.

FibreXtreme hardware uses the Serial FPDP protocol, an emerging standard (VITA 17.1) pioneered by Systran, providing up to 247 MB/sec sustained throughput over fiber optic media.

FibreXtreme boards are designed for use in advanced DSP systems and other environments where data transmission from the source to the processor requires very high bandwidth connections. The protocol's extremely low overhead allows utilization of over 99% of its potential bandwidth, providing sustainable and continuous high-speed data streaming. ...Systran profile
SCO
. editor's comments:- Sun issued the following in reaction to the SCO release

Sun Confirms Intellectual Property Rights for All Versions of its Unix Operating Systems

Santa Clara, Calif. - March 7, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today confirmed with its customers and partners that it has licensing rights to UNIX code, on which the Solaris Operating System is based for both SPARC and recently available x86 systems.

In light of SCO's legal dispute with IBM over UNIX licensing rights,

Sun announced it has absolutely no licensing issues with SCO today. Sun's previous licensing agreements give Sun complete UNIX IP rights in relation to Sun's operating systems. This makes the Solaris Operating System a safe choice for customers moving forward. With the Solaris multiplatform product line, customers can have a consistent Solaris environment from low-end x86 servers, up to hundreds of processors, in a SPARC mainframe-class system.

Sun confirms that: As part of a series of licensing agreements, Sun acquired rights to make and ship derivative products based on the intellectual property in UNIX. This forms the foundation for the Solaris OS that ships today.
SCO files billion dollar lawsuit against IBM

LINDON, Utah - March 7, 2003 - The SCO® Group (SCO), the owner of the UNIX operating system, announced today that it has filed legal action against IBM in the State Court of Utah, for misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition and breach of contract.

The complaint alleges that IBM made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's new Linux services business. IBM originally entered into their UNIX license agreement with AT&T in February 1985 in order to produce the AIX operating system. These agreements require that the UNIX software code be held in confidence, and prohibit unauthorized distribution or transfer. In 1995, SCO purchased the rights and ownership of UNIX and UnixWare that had been originally owned by AT&T. This included source code, source documentation, software development contracts, licenses and other intellectual property that pertained to UNIX-related business. SCO became the successor in interest to the UNIX software licenses originally licensed by AT&T Bell Laboratories to all UNIX distributors, including HP, IBM, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, and many others.

As a result of IBM's unfair competition and the marketplace injury sustained by SCO, SCO is requesting damages in an amount to be proven at trial, but no less than $1 billion, together with additional damages through and after the time of trial. SCO is also demanding that IBM cease these anti-competitive practices based on specific requirements sent in a notification letter to IBM. If these requirements are not met, SCO will have the authority to revoke IBM's AIX license 100 days following the receipt of SCO's letter. ...SCO

Editor's comments:- what's this got to do with Sun? Nothing really. It just shows that Sun's rivals have their own fair share of problems.

Business Week recently ran an article in which they said IBM was the main beneficiary of the shift to Linux. That makes them an attractive target for this sort of action. But IBM's lawyers fought off the US government successfully during the 1970s and 80s, so I don't think they'll be too worried about this SCO suit.
SurfControl
. "We are pleased that SurfControl's Web filtering technology is available for the Sun LX50 server providing a cost-effective, easy-to-deploy solution," said Richard Finlayson, Linux Market Development, Sun Microsystems, Inc. "This is a great product package that gives enterprises quality tools to manage their Internet communications and secure critical network resources against unauthorized access."
SurfControl Offers Sun Microsystems' LX50 Customers High-Performance Internet Filtering for the Enterprise

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - March 4, 2003 - SurfControl today announced SurfControl Web Filter VS™ for Linux and SurfControl Web Filter for Check Point FireWall-1® are now available for Sun Microsystems' LX50 server, allowing enterprise customers to better manage Internet access and maximize network resources.

With SurfControl Web Filter, customers have access to a database of more than 5 million sites in 40 well-organized categories and in more than 65 languages. The SurfControl Content Database, the industry's premier database, provides extensive coverage of the most widely accessed sites on the Internet, and is organized into categories that are easy to manage. Content is kept current with a combination of expert human review, state-of-the-art automated tools and customer submissions.

SurfControl Web Filter, including a subscription to the full category list, is priced at approximately $16 per user, based on installation of 500 users. Discounts also are available for resellers and larger organizations and when sold in combination with SurfControl E-mail Filter. SurfControl Web Filter typically delivers a positive ROI within just a few hours. ...SurfControl
Quatech
. One would expect that a serial device server would be simple to install, however that is often not the case with competing products which can take hours or even days of waiting for technical support.

"We benchmarked our new ThinQ device against the industry leaders, and found users were able to install ThinQ in just ten minutes, or three times faster than the closest competitive product," said Quatech President and CEO Steve Runkel. "In fact, one our customers told us he took the ThinQ device home to his 11-year-old son, who also was able to install it in ten minutes."
Quatech Introduces New ThinQ™ Serial Device Servers

Akron OH - March 4, 2003 - Quatech Inc announces the availability of ThinQ™, the smart choice in serial device servers. The new line addresses two longstanding industry problems with serial device servers-slow data processing that causes network latency problems, and complex, time consuming installations.

Quatech's ThinQ serial device servers are based on reliable Motorola® Digital DNA™ technology and use a best-in-class PowerPC® processor. On the serial side, ThinQ contains Quatech's proven high-speed, 921k-baud serial technology. Thus, users can be assured that critical business applications won't be slowed down by throughput or latency issues - even with multiple serial devices attached to one ThinQ unit. Moreover, as future network speeds and peripheral devices become faster, ThinQ gives systems room to grow.

The first ThinQ serial device servers are available in one, two, four and eight port RS-232 versions. Each independent port provides full modem control and hardware flow control. The auto-sensing, 10/100 Base T Ethernet connection is made using a standard RJ-45 connector. Serial connections are made using either an RJ-45 or DB-9 connector, depending on model. The devices have CE and FCC approvals. ...Quatech profile

See also:- Terminal Servers
Trend Micro
. Gartner analysts predict that left unchecked, spam will comprise over 50% of corporate email by 2004.

Spamming has become relatively easy since email protocols are easier to forge, user addresses are simple to harvest, and there is virtually no cost involved with sending out spam. Additionally, spammers are devising new ways to fool classic detection methods, which are based on key words or SMTP identifiers. As a result, organizations face the increased waste of resources like email storage space, network bandwidth, and man-hours used to identify and deal with unwelcome emails, as well as the increased potential of malware or computer viruses being introduced into their networks inside of spam.
Spam Prevention Service for Sun Solaris Now Available

Cupertino, CA - March 03, 2003 - Trend Micro, Inc. today announced the introduction of its Trend Micro™ Spam Prevention Service for enterprise networks. The service is designed to block non-productive and malicious spam at the Internet gateway and interoperates seamlessly with the company's other antivirus and content security products. Trend Micro Spam Prevention Service provides another level of spam protection, working with Trend Micro eManager™, a content filtering application, to ensure the highest level of spam prevention.

This Trend Micro service is based on heuristic technology anti-spam filtering rules provided by Postini, Inc., a leading email security service provider, who analyzes nearly 50 million messages a day for enterprise clients worldwide.

Beta test results suggest that Trend Micro Spam Prevention Service can potentially block 90-95% or more of spam, with a very low occurrence of incorrectly identifying messages as spam.

Trend Micro Spam Prevention Service for Sun Solaris is available immediately. Pricing begins at $30 per user per year for 25 users, with volume discounts available for higher numbers of users. ...Trend Micro profile
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