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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2003, July weeks 1 - 4

See also:- article:- the Top #10 SPARC Manufacturers - 2003
article:- Data Recovery for Sun Servers
article:- Should Sun, Apple and Red Hat form an anti-Microsoft Marketing Alliance?
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Sun Microsystems

Tech Data
. "Sun has been aggressively pursuing market opportunities with midsize enterprises for some time," said Gary Grimes, vice president, U.S. Partner Sales and Management at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "Our presence is growing, and Tech Data has the established reseller relationships that will help us continue to expand. Customers will now have even greater access to Sun's low-cost, enterprise class products through Tech Data's proven distribution channel."
Tech Data and Sun Expand Distribution Agreement

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and CLEARWATER, Fla. - July 28, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Tech Data Corporation are expanding their distribution agreement to more aggressively drive Sun technology solutions to midsize enterprises across the United States. Tech Data resellers can now offer customers Sun's line of entry-level systems, which provide a low-cost, high-performance technology solution for small and midsize businesses. As part of Sun's 100% partner-led mid-market strategy, this expanded relationship adds to the portfolio of Sun servers, storage, software and services that Tech Data resellers can leverage to build and deploy Network Computing solutions with maximum levels of reliability, availability and scalability.

To help solution providers enter or expand their reach within the mid-market, Tech Data and Sun have created two new partner categories: "Registered Volume Reseller" and "Authorized Volume Reseller." As entry-level partners, Registered Volume Resellers will have access to Sun's full line of Linux-based servers and the workgroup storage products for the mid-market. No certification or fees are required to participate in this program; new partners must register with Tech Data.

Authorized Volume Resellers will be a part of Sun's iForce Community and gain access to related benefits, including leasing, SunFund, rebate and other programs. ...Sun Microsystems profile, ...Tech Data profile
Tech Data and Sun Expand Distribution Agreement

Sun's Reports Declining Revenue as Expected

SBE announces passive 64-Bit PMC-to-PCI adapter card to ease integration of PMCs into PCI systems

Plug & Play PMC Graphics Support for Force Computers' CPU-56 SPARC-Based VME SBC

SPARC Product Directory Lists the Top #10 SPARC Manufacturers

Sun Offers Migration Path to Solaris for DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha/Tru64 Users

Sun Offers Migration Path to Solaris for DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha/Tru64 Users

Texas Memory Systems Targets Sun VARs

Sun Awarded $50m DoD Contract to Develop High Productivity Computing

Avocent Launches KVM Switch with Integrated USB Hub

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Megabyte found that coupling new technology to old could increase his horsepower and get things moving faster.

Nibble:- Is 200+ Gone Away Storage Companies Necessarily a Bad Thing?

I
n the early part of 2000, I added a new category to STORAGEsearch.com - to list acquired, dead, renamed, merged & gone away STORAGE companies.

Experience with my ancient Sun focused directory had shown that buyers try to track down suppliers upto 5 years after they have gone bust or disappeared. It's frustrating when a customer actually wants to buy more products but can't locate the original supplier. Often the products (or their successors) are available, but the company has been acquired and is operating under a different name on a new web site and it's hard to make the connection.

Part of my thinking in setting up the gone away storage companies list was also defensive... because it would reduce the number of email inquiries I would get about this subject. I never dreamed this would be popular feature... but it's not unpopular either with nearly 30,000 visitors a year.

In July 2003, the gone away companies list went past the 200 mark. That represents about 20% of the top 1,000 storage companies.

Is this a good or bad thing?

If you're closely connected and work in a company which has just gone bust, or own their shares, or are a supplier who is not going to get paid, you'll say it's a bad thing. But from a more distant perspective, if you're a competitor or looking at the health of the storage industry as a whole - you might take the opposite view.

The first time that the company you work for disappears comes as a bit of shock. But if you're lucky you may soon find another job in the same industry, which is better paid. Your new employer benefits from the trial and error experiences in your old company. Your old company took risks, some worked out, others didn't. But you can apply those lessons in the new company. That makes the new company more efficient and more effective.

You could say that the best of the business DNA from the gone away companies gets picked up and adapted by those companies which survive. Markets evolve. Sometimes they go in unwise directions - like the craziness at the peak of the dotcom era. But when rationalization comes, it doesn't erase the best ideas from the past. It cherry picks them at low cost and recycles them, sometimes in a different form.

It's sad when companies disappear, or an exciting business experiment fails. But it would be worse if lumbering dinosaurs were allowed to continue long beyond their proper time. This business evolution is what makes the breed stronger. So I would say on balance - 200 gone away storage companies is probably a good thing for the storage market. We all benefit from their failures and achievements.

See also:- gone away storage companies, venture funds in storage

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Sun Microsystems Sun's Reports Declining Revenue as Expected

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - July 22, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) reported results today for its fiscal fourth quarter and full fiscal year which ended June 30, 2003.

Revenues for the fourth quarter were $2.982 billion, a decline of 13% as compared with $3.420 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002. Net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 was $12 million or zero cents per share.

Cash generated from operating activities was $335 million for the quarter, and the balance of cash and marketable securities was over $5.7 billion.

For the full 2003 fiscal year, Sun reported revenues of $11.434 billion, a decline of 8.5% as compared with $12.496 billion for the full 2002 fiscal year. The net loss for fiscal year 2003 was $2.378 billion or a net loss of $.75 per share as compared with a net loss of $587 million or a net loss per share of $.18 for the 2002 fiscal year. The net loss for fiscal year 2003 included a non-cash impairment expense of $2.125 billion. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's coments:- no surprises here for anyone who read my March article. Open systems buyers are cherry picking server solutions to get best price performance. To increase revenue Sun will have to increase the amount of non core SPARC solutions - like storage - for which it is a reseller. Upcoming disruptive technologies will give Sun a chance to bounce back. But only if it is willing to partner with acceleration technology companies as a democratically equal partner among equals and not in classic Sun style - primus inter pares.
SBE
. "Delivering the advantages of the adaptPCI-1PMC to our customers supports our continued commitment to helping engineers combat the many design challenges they face today," said Darrell Gray, Director of Engineering for SBE. "The adaptPCI-1PMC significantly reduces the time required to integrate PMC or PTMC boards into PCI systems, thus allowing our customers to focus on their core competencies."
SBE announces passive 64-Bit PMC-to-PCI adapter card to ease integration of PMCs into PCI systems

San Ramon, CA - July 21, 2003 - SBE Inc. today introduced adaptPCI-1PMC, a single slot PCI card that facilitates the integration of any PMC or PTMC board into standard PCI systems.

Designed to host any 32- or 64-bit PMC module, adaptPCI-1PMC is a passive PMC-to-PCI requiring no special bridge software to integrate PMC mezzanine cards into a PCI system. The user I/O signals from the PMC J4 connector are accessible via connector pads at the side of the board. The adaptPCI-1PMC card allows data transfers of 32 or 64 bits at up to 66 MHz, and supports PN1 to PN4 connections with 3.3V or 5V signaling. ...SBE profile
Peritek

Force Computers
. "Our SPARC VME customers benefit when industry partners like Peritek qualify their PMC cards with Force CPU boards," said Daniel Wuhrer, Force product marketing manager. "The availability of high-performance, SPARC-compatible graphics and frame grabber PMC cards only speeds and eases system integration."
Plug & Play PMC Graphics Support for Force Computers' CPU-56 SPARC-Based VME SBC

OAKLAND, Calif. - July 21, 2003 - Peritek Corporation has qualified its popular family of Solaris-compatible PMC graphics and frame grabber modules with Force Computers' CPU-56, a high-performance UltraSPARC-IIi+ VME single board computer.

Now, system designers seeking to add single- or dual-head high-performance 128-bit graphics to the CPU-56 can simply plug a Peritek PMC module into the CPU-56's on-board PMC slot or one of the three PMC slots available on the CPU-56's companion IO-56 board. Peritek offers 2D and OpenGL graphics compatibility with the CPU-56 for Solaris 9 operating system environments. All configurations of the CPU-56 are supported. ...Force Computers profile, ...Peritek profile

See also:- VMEbus SBCs, Graphics Adapters
Top #10 SPARC Manufacturers
. "The statistics from focused web directories can provide a real-time snapshot of what buyers and system specifiers are actually interested in," said editor Zsolt Kerekes. "And they are often predictive of future market trends - sometimes by as much as several quarters. Publishing this information helps our readers identify how their interests align with other people in the market. And it also helps me as an editor to prioritise new content to better match readers' changing needs."
the Top #10 SPARC Manufacturers

Hampshire, UK - July 21, 2003 - ACSL, publisher of the SPARC Product Directory today published its annual article listing the Top #10 SPARC Manufacturers ranked by reader pageviews.

The #1 company for the second year running is SPARC notebook maker - Tadpole Computer.

Five out of the top ten companies in this list manufacture SPARC compatible compactPCI SBCs reflecting the growing importance of embedded systems in the Sun compatible SPARC systems market.

First published in 1992, the SPARC Product Directory has been tracking and reporting on trends in the Sun market, informed by its own web statistics since 1996. ...read the article, ...ACSL profile
Sun Microsystems
. "Its not everyday a competitor unlocks its vault and makes it easy to steal away their customers," said Larry Singer, Sun's vice president, global information systems strategy office. "We have a golden opportunity to grow our UNIX server leadership position. We're fully mobilized to target the entire Alpha/Tru64 installed base, with the goal of moving a large percentage to Sun Solaris. We're confident that customers comparing the proven track record of SPARC and Solaris to the shaky history of Itanium will choose Sun."
Sun Offers Migration Path to SPARC/Solaris for DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha/Tru64 Users

SANTA CLARA, Calif - July 15, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced a new program designed to take advantage of disruption within a competitor's installed base and move these customers to a Sun Solaris environment. The HP Away migration program offers a no-risk alternative for customers fed-up with the havoc created by the end of development for the Alpha/Tru64 platform, and forced migration to Itanium-based systems. Sun is taking advantage of this opportunity to aggressively attract new customers in the very lucrative UNIX server market.

As a result of HP's plans, an estimated 400,000 Alpha/Tru64 installed servers have to be moved to a new architecture and operating environment, the only question is to which platform and vendor. Sun is offering a shared, no risk model where the company works with customers to deploy an effective migration solution. Included in the program is a free two-day assessment, designed to determine the cost and technical requirements involved in a migration. Customers that meet the determined requirements will also receive the following:
  • A two-week Alpha/Tru64 to Solaris OS migration assessment service, at no risk.
  • If the customer decides not to proceed with the Tru64 to Solaris migration, Sun absorbs the cost of the two-week migration assessment service.
  • Sun will defer payment for the entire migration - including Sun services, servers, and software - until completion of the engagement (not to exceed 90 days).
  • If they decide to proceed, application porting is offered through Sun's professional services group, teamed with ISVs, systems administrators and Sun's iForce centers.
  • Financing and trade-in offers to ease the financial transition to Sun.
...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- It's good to see Sun going into classic aggressive mode again. My memory may be faulty on the sad Alpha/Tru64 saga, but I think it went something like this...

DEC denied that RISC processors were a threat to its Vax line, and that Unix was a threat to its VMS OS. Then DEC lost lots of sales to Sun and responded by badge engineering a line of MIPS RISC servers running Unix. Then DEC decided to orphan its MIPS customer base by designing its own Alpha processors. Then DEC couldn't decide what OS its customers should really use and changed its mind a few times. Then DEC got decked and acquired by Compaq which had its own screwy incompatible server products acquired from all over the place. Then Compaq got Delled out of the PC business. Instead of declining into oblivion quickly it merged with HP, whose server strategy is as comical and inconsistent as all the antecedants it acquired.

Although Sun's own farcical history with Linux and Solaris X86 was just as amusing as the antics of its server rivals, Sun never made the mistake of taking this subplot too seriously. Instead it continued investment with the only viable server line which the company sells - its SPARC/Solaris family.
Texas Memory Systems Texas Memory Systems Targets Sun VARs

Editor:- July 11, 2003 - Texas Memory Systems, manufacturers of the "World's Fastest Storage®" have recently started an information campaign to educate Sun VARs on the potential business benefits of Solid State Disk systems.

Our sister site STORAGEsearch.com says that the SSD market is currently growing at nearly 100% a year, and could be a $10 Billion market in 2 - 3 years. SSDs were the #1 most popular subject visited by STORAGEsearch readers in the 2nd quarter of 2003.

This month Texas Memory Systems launched a new family of SSD systems which can complement mid to high end Sun servers.

Sun VARs who are interested in discussing business growth opportunities using these new products are invited to contact Brian Harding, the new Director of Sales at Texas Memory Systems. Email: brian.harding@texmemsys.com Direct phone: (603)-893-2677 ...Texas Memory Systems profile

See also:- Solid state disks
Sun Microsystems
. "DARPA asked for breakaway innovation and Sun's HPCS research results demonstrated that we are developing radical new technologies that can change the industry," said Scott McNealy, chairman, president, and CEO of Sun Microsystems. "As a total systems company with high-performance computing in our DNA, we're well positioned to deliver the next-generation system that will far outclass any of today's most powerful supercomputers. Our work will transform the way the world builds and uses high-end computer systems."
Sun Awarded $50m DoD Contract to Develop High Productivity Computing

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - July 8, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that DARPA, in conjunction with the Department of Interior, has awarded funding for a 36-month effort to Sun Microsystems worth nearly $50 million for Phase II of the High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) Program. Phase II of the project focuses on research and development that will produce a prototype design for an innovative high performance computing system that is also capable of delivering high programmer productivity.

DARPA's award to Sun Labs for Phase II of the HPCS Program signals acceptance of Sun's Phase I concept design, developed by a team of Sun Microsystems' top scientists and engineers in collaboration with leading academic institutions. Sun's Phase I design includes revolutionary chip technologies that will dramatically increase computer systems performance and productivity.

DARPA's goal for the HPCS program is to provide a new generation of economically viable and holistically designed systems with breakaway levels of performance, programmability, reliability and portability. DARPA challenged vendors to provide 'petascale' systems in the coming decade that can perform quadrillions of operations per second without the problems of achieving ease-of-use and reliability that have plagued giant computer systems in recent years. ...Sun Microsystems profile
Avocent Avocent Launches KVM Switch with Integrated USB Hub

Bracknell, UK - July 7, 2003 - A new SwitchView KVM (keyboard, monitor and mouse) switch and integrated USB hub from Avocent Corporation gives home office and small business users the ability to use a single keyboard, monitor and mouse to access up to four computers and share access to multiple USB devices. People can use one keyboard, monitor and mouse to switch between connected computers and share access to multiple USB devices, such as a digital camera, external hard drive, external CD-ROM, printer, scanner or PDA. The 4-port audio model includes the additional value of being able to share one set of speakers and a microphone.

The SwitchView USB devices, available in 2-port and 4-port models, are scheduled to begin shipping this month. SwitchView USB features either push-button control for switching between connected computers or switching through the keyboard with hotkey commands. The SwitchView USB provides full control of all connected USB devices, regardless of which computer is in use. All SwitchView USB models support high resolution video up to 2048 x 1536 @ 85 Hz. All include colour-coded connectors to simplify installation, a flash upgrade cable and a two-year warranty. ...Avocent profile

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SPARC(R) is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. SPARC PRODUCT DIRECTORY(SM) is a service mark of SPARC International, Inc used under license by ACSL. Products using the SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.