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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2003, April week 4

See also:- article:- Data Recovery for Sun Servers
article:- Hurrah the Greys! - Independent Sun VARs
article:- the Top #10 SPARC Systems Companies
Squeak! - the Top 10 Storage Software Companies
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Interphase
. . "This new class of products will improve our customers' overall system performance by offloading security-processing cycles from the host CPU," said Randall McComas, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Interphase Corporation. "The 45NS and 55NS are premium IPSec acceleration products featuring 500Mbps 3DES throughput, which is greater than our closest competitor at a more affordable price."
Interphase Debuts Network Security Acceleration Cards

PLANO, Texas - April 29, 2003 - Interphase Corporation today announced its new Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) accelerator cards at the Real World Linux Conference in Toronto, Canada (Booth #319), the first two products in a new line of network security solutions.

The new Interphase 45NS (PMC) and 55NS (PCI) network security acceleration adapters are designed to eliminate the bottleneck on network traffic caused by today's VPNs, gateways, secure routers, and firewalls. Integrating the Interphase security accelerator cards into these applications will increase network efficiency and response times by offloading bandwidth-intensive IPSec security protocol processing from the host CPU in systems. By providing intelligent packet processing, the 45NS and 55NS modules can perform a variety of functions for addressing the complex security needs of today's enterprise and carrier grade systems, including header analysis, payload extraction, compression, encryption, authentication, and packet assembly.

The 45NS and 55NS are currently sampling, and will be generally available with Linux drivers and FreeSWAN IPSec stack integration software in early June, 2003. ...Interphase profile
Interphase Debuts Network Security Acceleration Cards

JNI Reports 32% Decline in Revenue but Pins Hopes on Recovery in Sun Market and InfiniBand

Sun's Competitors Grew Worldwide Server Shipments by 17% in the First Quarter of 2003, while Sun Shipments Declined 13%

Force Computers Introduces Highest Performance SPARC Processor-Based VMEbus SBC

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NAS
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"The storage system is the computer" said Megabyte, misquoting something he'd heard when he was younger...

Nibble:- No silver bullets for slaying storage demons

W
henever I used to watch the first series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I was impressed and intrigued by the impressive array of weapons which the Scoobies used to take out of Giles' armory. Not just sharpened stakes, but axes, knives, crossbows, swords and crucifixes too - an impressive range of symbolic medieval ironmongery. Not so often silver bullets because silver bullets kill werewolves, and these were rarely a problem in Sunnydale.

Yet despite being well stocked with slayer cutlery, and extensive training, sometimes our heroes had to use tactics other than heart staking or decapitation to save the world once more from the armageddon.

I imagine that Giles, who had an extensive library on demons, could be a difficult customer when approached by a wannabe demon weapons sales person. The conversation might go something like this...

"The Demon Slayer 4 is the latest and greatest weapon made by Demon Death Corp. Incorporating the latest technology and feedback from out focus groups it kills all demons and other nasty things at close and medium range. It's clockwork powered, requires no batteries, is portable and can be operated by someone no stronger than a teenage girl. The product is kept continuously up to date by downloading the latest adjustment settings from our web site."

"Give me a demonstration" says Giles. The salesperson from Demon Death Corp complies by dialing up a holographic demon which is quickly despatched into electron dust.

"Tell you what" says Giles, not very convinced. "If you can survive one night on patrol in Sunnydale, armed with nothing more than the Demon Slayer 4, I'll buy three of them."

The salesperson is no fool. The Demon Slayer 4 is much improved compared to the Mark 3 model, but given a choice between losing your commission or losing your soul, it's better to find more gullible customers elsewhere.

And this is where I get back to the storage market...

Nobody is going to offer your organization a cast iron guarantee that they can keep your data available no matter what. And I mean a guarantee which includes reimbursing you for loss of profits and other consequential losses which occur when their product fails to work, even when the storage demon is one which was not specified in the contract. Fire flood, and having a haunted server are not valid getout clauses.

Here are just a few examples of what can go wrong.

Your disk to disk backup system replicates your data in real-time across all your sites... What could go wrong? - Due to a programming error by your storage administrator who was testing a new hardware upgrade the live data and backed up data got deleted by accident. (We're going to run an article soon about what happened to one company when this happened to their Sun server in real life. None of their software or hardware suppliers were able to help them.)

Your web based backup system has been so reliable and convenient in recent years that you decided not to upgrade your tape libraries. Instead the web backup has become your primary form of data protection. What could go wrong? - On Monday morning you need to recover data on a server in one of your factories which was stolen at the weekend. But you keep getting error messages. Eventually you ring the online backup company. Or try too. Later that day after a lot of phone calls and web research you learn that they went bust last week. The press was warning about it, but you never saw those headlines. Their equipment has already been boxed up and bought by a reputable broker who diligently wiped the disks and tapes clean.

Your accounting records are archived according to the latest standards on optical media which is guaranteed to last 30 years and could even last longer. The network attached jukebox is so convenient that you decided to stop paying for the storage and testing of the reel to reel tape backups which the new system replaced... What could go wrong? - A fire in the nearby stationery cupboard spread to your computer room. The servers are being replaced tomorrow, and you've got an offsite daily tape backup for your live data, but your archived optical data is black sticky globules.

Your tape backup, set up by your predecessor works like a dream. Because your company has downsized to less than half the size it used to be, the original system still has plenty of capacity. Every day for the last few years you've been getting reassuring reports which confirm that the backups, have been going OK. Every day you do an incremental backup (which take 45 minutes) which you take home for safe keeping, and every Friday you do a full backup and rotate the tapes to make sure that you always have at least two sets of workable backups. What could go wrong? - The marketing director calls. Your new company catalog got trashed by a virus. Not to worry you've got the backup tape from yesterday. That's when you discover that the backup software parameters were set up long before your company bought the tools and workstations it uses to compile the catalog, and the data has never actually been backed up at all. The only reason you didn't discover this before was because the users were making unofficial backups of their individual work and they didn't bother you if minor things went wrong. Now something major has gone wrong they've contacted you. But you don't have a solution.

The lesson from this story is the following...

Like the Demon Slayer 4, all backup technologies are merely simple tools designed to solve one problem well. Sometimes they can be adapted to solve more than one problem. But when you meet the backup storage demon one dark night on patrol be sure you've got more than just a pointy stick and a clove of garlic in your pocket because you can't be sure that the demon's going to be a vampire.

Themis Computer
Themis Computer is a solutions oriented OEM supplier of Single Board Computers and Systems based on Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC technology.
JNI JNI Reports 32% Decline in Revenue but Pins Hopes on Recovery in Sun Market and InfiniBand

Editor:- April 29, 2003 - in an otherwise dismal set of quarterly results published today for the quarter ended March 31, 2003, JNI was upbeat about future prospects.

JNI's President and Chief Executive Officer Russell Stern said "JNI continued to progress this quarter; we have defined our business strategy and developed a growth plan to expand and strengthen our Fibre Channel business, particularly our market share in Solaris environments. As evidence of our expanding relationship with Sun, Sun has recently selected JNI's FibreStar HBAs for integration with Sun StorEdge SAN Foundation software, which provides a common interface between the Solaris Operating System and the HBA. We anticipate revenue from these products in the second half of this year."

JNI also indicated that its revenue might have been even lower, but for its buoyant InfiniBand sales. This must make JNI one of the only companies actually making any money from this non emerging technology. ...JNI profile
Server Market
. "The worldwide server market performed better than expected in the first quarter of 2003, but the threat of a lingering war with Iraq, combined with a weak economy, still had an effect on IT spending during the quarter," said Shahin Naftchi, principal analyst covering servers for Gartner's servers worldwide group. "As a result, the life cycle for existing large systems was extended and corporate buyers delayed purchases of high-end equipment, preferring the quick returns from short-term investments instead."
Gartner Reports Sun's Competitors Grew Worldwide Server Shipments by 17% in the First Quarter of 2003, while Sun Shipments Declined 13%

STAMFORD, CONN. - April 28, 2003 - Worldwide server shipments totaled 1.2 million units in the first quarter of 2003, a 10.4% increase from the same period last year, according to preliminary statistics from Gartner, Inc.

Hewlett-Packard retained the top spot in the worldwide rankings with 29.1% of server shipments. Dell Computer remained in the No. 2 spot with 20.2% of the market, followed by IBM with market share of 14.8%.
news image - Gartner
Sun Microsystems was the only top-tier vendor to experience a decline in worldwide server shipments in the first quarter of 2003. The top three vendors continued to dominate the market and accounted for more than half of all units shipped during the quarter (see Table 1).

The U.S. server market experienced an increase of 13.2% in the first quarter of 2003, with shipments of 499,609 units, up from 441,540 units in the first quarter of 2002. This is the fifth consecutive quarter in which the United States posted a year-over-year growth rate greater than 10%.

Dell moved into the No. 1 spot in the U.S. server market with 27% of the market. ...Gartner profile
Force Computers
. "From benign defense and aerospace, to medical, industrial control, telecom and data comm, Force's new CPU-56 SPARC VME board provides OEMs a completely integrated, highly reliable solution for virtually any embedded computing need," said Daniel Wuhrer, Force product marketing manager. "By launching this SBC, Force has completed its widely recognized line of VME offerings with this industry-first implementation of dual Gigabit Ethernet and an onboard large-capacity hard disk drive in conjunction with the high-performance SPARC processor - features not found altogether on competitive platforms."
Force Computers Introduces Highest Performance SPARC Processor-Based VMEbus SBC

MILITARY & AEROSPACE ELECTRONICS EAST, BALTIMORE - April 23, 2003 - Force Computers today introduced the CPU-56, the highest performance UltraSPARC-IIi+ processor-based VMEbus SBC.

As the successor to the well-regarded CPU-54 SBC, the CPU-56 offers greater processing power at 650MHz, more bandwidth with dual GigE interfaces and an option for an onboard IDE hard-disk drive with 30 to 60GBytes storage capacity - all of which combine for the best-in-class VMEbus embedded computing platform. It also features up to 2GBytes SDRAM and as well as three optional PMC slots when used with the IO-56 companion board. With the UltraSPARC-IIi+ processor - CPU-56 provides a high-performance Solaris based "system-on-a-board" solution. Overall, it's ideal for benign defense and aerospace, medical, industrial control, communications and other demanding applications

In addition, the CPU-56 offers the option for conformal coating to address the special requirements of ruggedized military applications.

CPU-56 SBCs will be available through Force's Early Access Unit program in May. Single-unit prices start at $4,970. ...Force Computers profile
3Dlabs 3Dlabs Wildcat Technology Powers Sun XVR-1200 Graphics Accelerators

MILPITAS, Calif. - April 16, 2003 - 3Dlabs Inc., Ltd today announced that its Wildcat technology is powering the Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator.

The Sun XVR-1200 card is available for Sun Blade 2000 workstations and Sun Fire 6800 servers from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

With 416 MB of total onboard memory and its unique dual pipeline architecture, the Sun XVR-1200 graphics accelerator achieves up to five times the geometric performance and over four times the texture mapping performance of its predecessor, the Sun Expert3D graphics accelerator. ...3Dlabs profile

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