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SPARC History 2003, October

See also:- article:- Are Sun's Days Numbered?
article:- Data Recovery for Sun Servers
Squeak! - the Solid State Disk Buyers Guide
article:- the new Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS
article:- What's the Trigger Event that will Turn Around Sun's Revenue Decline?
other sites:- STORAGEsearch - news, Solaris Central, SPARC-FLASH, SunFlash PR FAQs

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Sun SPARCengine Ultra AXi based systems from Rave Computer
custom embedded SPARC systems
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LSI Logic LSI Logic Fibre Channel Storage Adapters achieve solaris ready certification

ORLANDO, FL - October 27, 2003 - LSI Logic Corporation today announced that five Fibre Channel HBAs have achieved Solaris Ready Certification from Sun Microsystems, Inc. The Solaris Ready logo identifies technologies that have passed Sun's standards for reliability, integration and ease-of-installation into Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 Operating Systems. ...LSI Logic profile
LSI's Fibre Channel Adapters Solaris Ready

the New Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS

Sun and Fujitsu May Merge High End SPARC Server Product Lines

Sun Improves Price/Performance of SPARC Rackmounts

Solaris Migration Resources Page

Dataram Expands Sun Blade 1500 Memory to 8GB

Sun Confirms Continuing Revenue Slide

Are Sun's Days Numbered?

Oracle and Sun Just Good Friends - article in the Mercury News

Sun Previews UltraSPARC IV

More than 300,000 Solaris 9 OS x86 Registered Licenses

Dy 4 Introduces Rugged Graphics PMC

Rumors of Sun's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

HP Extends Linux Lifeline to Sun Customers

SAMSUNG Receives Sun's Supplier of the Year Award

Solaris Training at Affordable Rates in Columbia

Sun Anticipates $1 Billion Loss for Quarter 30

Conduction-Cooled, PMC Breaks Price Barrier for 128-bit Graphics

PTI and Sun Collaborate on Packet-Based Technology

SunNetwork Conference a Yawn

Aberdeen Report Looks at Sun's Linux Strategy

Gartner Critiques Sun's New Software Pricing Model

Themis Computer RES-302s Servers Have 1.2 GHz UltraSPARC III

McNealy Warms Up Crowd at SunNetwork Conference

Tadpole Endorses Sun's Java Desktop System for Notebooks

CAI and AVANU Load Balancer for Gigabit Ethernet

Innovative Systems Design, Inc. Announces ITVerify 2.3.1

earlier news - archive
iSCSI on
Terrorbyte liked to test out hot new backup technologies.
Nibble:- Buyers Interests in the Sun Market Have Changed
This is the busiest time of year for buyers in the Sun Microsystems market.

During September, October and November we typically see double digit month on month growth rates in pageviews in the SPARC Product Directory. That's been true in every year since 1996, with the exception of 2001 - because of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

The server side of the SPARC market has been seeing significant revenue declines recently compared to servers based on other architectures - and this has led to a change in the kind of products which our readers are looking at.

For the first time in 5 years - our PCI, cPCI & SBus cards directory significantly overtook the SPARC servers directory during the last quarter by very large margin. That suggests buyers are actively looking at add-in cards which will help them get the most out of their SPARC servers, even though they are less actively looking at new replacement SPARC servers.

Many host bus adapter companies were badly hit in 2002 by shakeouts in the Fibre-channel market, and the slow adoption of new technologies like iSCSI and Infiniband. So most HBA vendors have cut back on their advertising spends compared to a few years ago. But our readers statistics indicate that buyer activity in the HBA area is picking up in the Sun market. So marketers, take note, or lose out to your competitors.
Network Technologies, Inc - manufacturers of computer peripheral products since 1984: KVM switches, video switches, video splitters, keyboard/ monitor/ mouse splitters, computer classrooms and cables to 500 feet.

SPARC manufacturers

Sun SPARC resellers - USA

Sun SPARC resellers - UK

SPARC based computers - all

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SPARC SBCs - other

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SBus, PCI & cPCI cards


KVM Switches

Solaris Migration the New Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS

Editor:- October 27, 2003 - a new article and resource page is published today in the SPARC Product Directory - "the New Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS".

For most of the 1990s - the term "Solaris Migration" meant "migrating to Solaris" from another operating system. Nowadays, with the end of Sun Microsystems a significant probability, the new use of the term is for migration from Solaris to something else. the article

Sun and Fujitsu May Merge High End SPARC Server Product Lines

Editor:- October 24, 2003 - a news story today in speculates that Sun Microsystems may reduce development costs by pooling resources with Fujitsu on the design of future high end SPARC servers.

This wouldn't be the first time that Sun teamed with a SPARC partner in the mainframe business. Sun and Cray Research codesigned the backplane and architecture of Sun's barnstorming SPARCcenter 2,000 which was launched in 1992. Sun got the kudos from that design, while Cray's own SuperServer 6400 garnered virtually no sales due to poor marketing.

A decade ago there were dozens of commercial SPARC mid range server companies, and as many as 6 companies which made mainframe class SPARC systems (Solborne, Auspex, Cray, Meiko, ICL and Sun). But today Fujitsu is the only mainframe company still using SPARC technology apart from Sun.

An agreement between Sun and Fujitsu on high end SPARC development would do more than save Sun hundreds of million dollars annually in development costs. In recent years, Fujitsu's own PrimePower SPARC servers have outperformed Sun in public benchmarks. Also Fujitsu's independently designed SPARC servers did not suffer the ignominious reliability problems which hit Sun a few years ago.

Fujitu's flagship products have often been better than Sun's, but Sun's marketing has always been superior. In the late 1990s - Fujitsu had to write off its failed investment in HAL Computer - which developed US designed 64 bit SPARC chips, workstations and servers.

A few days ago in the editorial office I was discussing the possibility that Fujitsu may try to acquire Sun. We agreed it wouldn't work because it would be like a hippo trying to manage a tiger. The hippo would have to sit on the tiger to keep control of what it was up to. And having a tame tiger which can only move at a snail's pace wouldn't be much fun. This new agreement, if it goes ahead, will solve some, but by no means all of Sun's many deep rooted business problems.
Sun Sun Improves Price/Performance of its Multi Processor SPARC Rackmounts

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - October 21, 2003 - Strengthening its revenue growth in the four-processor, rack-optimized server market, Sun Microsystems, Inc., today announced new customers choosing its four-way systems. In addition, the Sun Fire V480 server, previously offered with 1.05 GHz UltraSPARC III Cu processors, now features faster 1.2 GHz USIII Cu processors, and the highly scalable and secure Solaris Operating System. Customers running their IT environments on the Solaris 9 Operating System can deploy the Java Enterprise System that is anticipated to be available later this year.

The Sun Fire V440 server starts at $9,995 with 2 CPUs and 4GB of memory. The Sun Fire V480 server starts at $19,995 with 2 CPUs and 4GB of memory and is also available in certain configurations with the faster 1.2 GHz USIII processors. The systems are available now through Sun's iForce Partners and can be pre-configured and integrated at Sun prior to shipping through the Sun Customer Ready Systems program.

According to industry research firm IDC, Sun is tied for number one in revenue in Q2 2003 for the four-processor rack-optimized market (all OS) and grew more unit and revenue market share in the four-processor rack-optimized market (all OS) than any other vendor year-over-year. ...Sun profile
Solaris Migration Solaris Migration Resources Page

Editor:- October 20, 2003 - In a recent article I identified the risks and timeframes in which SPARC and Solaris might cease to become commercially viable, and I associated these with future possible implementations of Sun Microsystems' own business strategy. In my view the risk approaches 50% by 2006 for commercial users, and later for embedded applications. This is not high enough to justify immediate panic, but disturbing enough to prompt cautious contingency planning by most Sun SPARC users.

Later this week we're going to set up a resources page to help readers identify companies and information which can help them with migration. For most of the 1990s - the term "Solaris Migration" meant "migrating to Solaris" from other operating systems. With Sun's server business revenue now clearly aiming in a different direction to much of its competitors, our new migration page will be aimed exclusively at SPARC Solaris users migrating to something else.

Vendors and service companies who are involved in Solaris to Linux, or Solaris to other types of OS transitions are encouraged to contact the publisher by email with details of their services.
Dataram Dataram Expands Sun Blade 1500 Memory to 8GB

Princeton, NJ - October 16, 2003 - Dataram Corporation today announced the industry's first 4GB memory upgrade for Sun Microsystems' new Sun Blade 1500 workstation, as well as cost effective 1GB & 2GB upgrades. Customers can save up to 50% when compared to the cost of buying directly from Sun.

Dataram's memory offering for these systems, the DRS240 series, is available in 4, 2 and 1GB capacities. The upgrades consist of a two dual in-line memory modules of half the total capacity. The DRS240 memory series was designed specifically for the high performance double data rate (DDR) memory interface of the UltraSPARC IIIi processor used in the new Sun workstations and servers.

Dataram is licensed by Sun Microsystems to incorporate Sun's patented technology into these memories. 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 profile
Sun Sun Confirms Continuing Revenue Slide

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - October 16, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. reported results today for its fiscal first quarter which ended September 28, 2003.

Revenues for the first quarter were $2.536 billion, a decline of 8% as compared with $2.747 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2003. Total gross margin as a percent of revenues was 40.1%, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points as compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2003. Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2004 was $286 million or $0.09 per share compared with a net loss of $111 million or a net loss of $0.04 per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2003. ...Sun profile
Sun Are Sun's Days Numbered?

Editor: - October 14, 2003 - in a new article published today in the SPARC Product Directory - Comeback Strategies for a Faded Rock Star - I examine the strategic options for Sun Microsystems at a time when its fortunes seem to have hit rock bottom. Are Sun's days numbered? Should users and partners be thinking about bailing out? This is a major article which Sun users, partners and employees can't afford to miss. the article

Oracle and Sun Just Good Friends - says Ellison in the Mercury News

Editor: - October 13, 2003 - in an article published today in the Mercury News Larry Ellison commented on the suggestion that Oracle might buy Sun Microsystems. ...Oracle profile, ...Sun profile
Sun Sun Previews UltraSPARC IV

SAN JOSE, Calif - October 13, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today kicked-off the 16th annual Microprocessor Forum by disclosing additional information on its Throughput Computing strategy and the new UltraSPARC IV processor. The UltraSPARC IV has the potential to double the throughput of Sun's existing high-end and mid-range systems when it hits the market in the first half of 2004.

At the heart of this new strategy is Chip Multithreading (CMT), a design concept that allows the processor to execute tens of threads simultaneously, thus enabling tremendous increases in application throughput. Sun is bringing CMT to the market in a phased approach. First generation CMT processors, such as the UltraSPARC IV family of processors, can enhance current UltraSPARC III system throughput, initially by up to 2 times, and later by up to 3 to 4 times the current levels. In the future, Sun will be rolling out a more radical CMT design, which will first appear in Sun's blade platform in 2006, that can increase the throughput of today's UltraSPARC IIIi systems by up to 15 times.

The UltraSPARC IV processor will introduce CMT technology into Sun's current mid-range and high-end server lines. This new fourth generation UltraSPARC processor maintains Sun's tradition of binary compatibility, preserving the investment customers have made in development tools and application software, and it will also help current Uniboard-based Sun Fire customers preserve the investments made in their systems. ...Sun profile
Sun Sun Announces More than 300,000 Solaris 9 OS x86 Registered Licenses

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - October 9, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced more than 300,000 registered licenses of the Solaris 9 OS (x86 Platform Edition). This volume attests to a surge in customer demand for the secure, reliable and highly performant Solaris OS on a variety of x86 systems, setting the foundation for continued growth and interest in Sun's Java Enterprise System. Currently, more than 1,000 applications from more than 600 ISVs are available on Sun's Solaris OS x86 Platform Edition ranging from database, security and Web services applications to vertical solutions such as military-grade solutions for government and defense applications. ...Sun profile

Editor's comments:- 300,000 licenses for the latest edition of Solaris X86 is an impressive number. It's about 20% higher than Sun's SPARC Solaris licences for the last year. But Solaris X86 is not the spade which is going to dig Sun out of its present financial black hole.
Dy 4 Dy 4 Introduces World's First Rugged Graphics PMC to Offer Dual Analog and Digital Interfaces

KANATA, Ontario - October 8, 2003 - Dy 4 Systems introduced today the newest member of its Insights graphics product family, the PMC-706. The PMC-706 is based on the ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9000 graphics processing engine. The card provides two completely independent outputs, both of which support non-interlaced analog RGB, LVDS digital and DVI digital interfaces. One channel is capable of driving legacy monochrome or RGB displays that require analog interlaced signals. This channel can also output color encoded NTSC or PAL signals to drive video recording systems.

Support is planned for multiple real-time operating systems including VxWorks from Wind River, INTEGRITY from Green Hills Software, Linux from Timesys and LynxOS from LynuxWorks. The PMC-706 will be offered in commercial air-cooled, rugged air-cooled and conduction cooled configurations. The PMC-706 will be available in Q1, 2004. Pricing for the PMC-706 starts at US $3,600. ...Dy 4 Systems profile
Sun Rumors of Sun's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Editor:- October 8, 2003 - looking ahead in the SPARC Product Directory... Next week we will publish an article which looks at the long term risks for Sun users sticking with SPARC.

Every IT publication you look at tries to find clever new words to headline their predictions of Sun's decline... Eclipse, Comet, Red Dwarf. Hey - I've used those often enough myself.

As a independent publisher focused on the Sun market for 12 years, I have my own views. In my risk assessment which will be published here next week, I hope to demonstrate why there's still a future for Sun's SPARC - even if Sun continues with high losses and declining revenue for another couple of quarters.

Sun's management are smarter than DEC, which went through similar troubles a decade ago before disappearing. The Sun guys don't know the PC market and can't get jobs anywhere else. They have to make it work. And there are some trends which will help them.
. "Customers are telling us it's time to take advantage of the economics of Linux while cutting their risk and architecting for the future," said Marc Jourlait, vice president of enterprise marketing programs, HP Enterprise Systems Group. "HP already offers the market's leading Linux platforms with our industry-standard servers, and we're taking accountability by now helping customers migrate to the future faster than ever."
HP Extends Linux Lifeline to Sun Customers

PALO ALTO, Calif. - October 3, 2003 - HP today announced a comprehensive migration program to help move customers from Sun Solaris to HP's market-leading industry-standard platforms running Linux. The new sales and service program offers customers at no cost a combination of assessment, porting and migration services, valued at approximately $25,000, for moving applications from Sun Solaris to Linux.

The program enables qualified customers to take advantage of the cost savings of open source Linux and the power and choice of industry-standard computing. HP's Sun migration program provides qualifying customers in the Americas with a free assessment of porting and migration needs for up to three applications; porting of one application at no charge; use of an industry-standard HP ProLiant server for up to 30 days for proof of concept testing; and an HP StorageWorks storage area network assessment at no charge to improve storage utilization.

HP has established a hotline at +1 800 HP ASK ME (+1 800 472 7563) and a Sun eclipse website for customers to take advantage of this offer, which is available through Dec. 31, 2003. ...HP profile

Editor's comments:- my first reaction on seeing this was to smile. Because HP marketers are copying the sentiment, if not the precise wording, of Sun's own "HP Away" July 15 press release which targeted HP's own Alpha/Tru64 users and offered them a migration path to SPARC/Solaris.

But on a serious note - until Sun sees the light on SPARC/Linux the HP offer may be worth exploring.

The timing by HP is clever. It's public knowledge that Sun will report dire results for its recent quarter later this month. Until that's out of the way Sun can't put out aggressively upbeat press releases about Solaris - because that would mislead investors.
SAMSUNG Electronics

Sun Microsystems
SAMSUNG Receives Sun Microsystems' Supplier of the Year Award

Seoul, Korea - October 2, 2003 - SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd. today received Sun Microsystems, Inc's prestigious Supplier of the Year Award. The award recognizes companies that have made an outstanding contribution to Sun's ability to deliver superior quality and service to customers. SAMSUNG, which received the global award based on its "second to none" supply efforts, was measured on a combination of its technology, quality, cost and supply. SAMSUNG was selected from Sun's entire vendor base, which is indicative of the value placed on this award.

SAMSUNG supplies Sun with memory products including advanced DRAM and SRAM devices as well as state-of-the-art custom memory solutions for Sun's high-performance servers, workstations and storage systems. The supplier relationship between the two companies spans two decades. ...Samsung profile, ...Sun Microsystems profile

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