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SPARC History - November 2003

Are Sun's Days Numbered?
Data Recovery for Sun Servers
the Solid State Disk Buyers Guide
What's the Trigger Event that will Turn Around Sun's Revenue Decline?
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IDC IDC Reports on Worldwide Server Revenue

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - November 26, 2003 - The worldwide server systems market continues to gain ground, showing 2% revenue growth in the third quarter of 2003, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. This gain was nearly one percentage point higher than expected. Worldwide server factory revenue topped out at $10.8 billion. It was the second consecutive quarter of positive growth for server revenues worldwide, following nine quarters of decline during the economic downturn.

Overall, server unit shipments grew dramatically by 19.5%, reflecting the underlying demand for volume servers, which are small servers priced less than $25,000. This demand led to volume server revenue growth of 9.5% year-over-year. Sales of more expensive server systems in the midrange enterprise ($25,000 to $499,999) grew revenues by 7% year-over-year, and high-end enterprise servers (priced $500,000 or more) declined in revenue by 14% year-over-year. IDC believes this is due in part to IT budget constraints and to shifts in server deployments that favor volume servers.
IDC Reports on Worldwide Server Revenue

Sleuth9 Slams Cyber Crime

Nu Horizons is Lockheed Martin STAR Supplier

Tadpole Doubles SPARC Notebook Performance

Dolphin Sales Promotion

How Have SPARC Readers' Interests Changed?

NEXL Network Systems Opens Chicago, IL Office

LSI Logic U320 SCSI HBAs Solaris ready

Sun Cuts Price of Workstation by 30%

GNP Unveils Alert!Node Smart Alarm Cards

Sun Expands HP Away Program

Sun Server Blend Sets New Benchmark Record

Infineon Demonstrates 10GbE on Legacy Fiber

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

Nibble: Tape Backup Trends

Tape backup is one of the oldest product segments in the storage market so it's interesting to see how this market changed. The tape drive market had shrunk 8% in revenue in 2002 according to Freeman Reports, and there was little sign in company reports during 2003 that the tape market was going to recover.

STORAGEsearch believes that there is a new barrier to revenue growth in the tape backup market. Disk to disk backup which started out as a niche technology evangelized by Nexsan Technologies just a couple of years before gained a lot of new converts in 2003 - including many tape library companies. The writing was on the wall. The declining cost of hard drives, the massive expansion in corporate data, and the growth of internet backup and offsite replication technologies like iSCSI together meant that the traditional advantage of tape - that you could walk out of the building carrying the backup - was no longer true for most companies.

So if tape backup no longer offered convenient off-site data security for most users - it would have to find a new role. I believe that new role is at the entry level, in very small installations - and at the other end of the scale in systems on a Petabyte scale - where tape libraries have been proven, and cautious users will resist the unknown risks and management factors in disk to disk backup.

The fate of StoneFly Networks, the pioneer in very large capacity disk to disk systems, will be scrutinized carefully by many to see if this technology really is a viable alternative to tape libraries.

...from the article Chewing over 2003

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Worldwide Server Systems Factory Revenue - Q3 2003 - source IDC
Vendor Revenue (millions) Q3 2003 Revenue Growth 2003/2002
IBM $3,368 6.6%
HP $2,997 3.5%
Sun Microsystems $1,165 -9.3%
Dell Computer $1,025 11.6%
Fujitsu $684 -2.5%
. The x86 server market dynamics drove much of the quarterly revenue growth year-over-year. In all, revenue derived from the sales of x86 servers (servers based on Intel and AMD microprocessors) expanded 8.3% and unit shipments grew 21.4%.

Linux server platforms posted a 49.8% growth in factory revenues, year-over-year (to reach $743 million), while unit shipments grew 51.4% year-over-year.

Unix server revenues were $4.1 billion in the quarter – a decline of just 3.8%, which is the lowest rate of decline in seven consecutive quarters. Driven by price competition as a sweetener, Unix server unit shipments showed an up-tick of 4.3% year-over-year. HP was the Unix server market leader in 3Q03, outpacing Sun, which had been the leader in 2Q03. Sun's Unix revenue declined by 10.1% year-over-year, but Sun's unit shipments grew by 17.4%, reflecting the company's focus on low-cost computing. ...IDC profile

Editor's comments:- if I was trying to put a positive gloss on this for Sun, I would say that the revenue growth figures for IBM and HP have the potential to be padded by server storage revenue. Both companies (unlike Sun) are significant storage companies with very high double digit storage revenue growth. So it would be easy to make the server revenue figures look better by sliding some of the system cost over from the storage side, without making the storage figures look any worse. It's a question of interpretation. I'm not saying that's what happened - just that these kinds of figures are never quite as clear cut as you might think. The fact that Sun's unit shipments grew by 17.4% is a clear positive though.
DeepNines Technologies
. "Cyber attacks, whether of a criminal act or not, are a growing problem and companies need to make sure the technology infrastructure and security solutions they deploy can combat these complex threats," said Sanjay Sharma, market development, security at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "The combination of Sleuth9 from DeepNines and hardened Solaris, x86 and Linux operating systems from Sun provide you with the utmost security."
Sleuth9 addresses the latest trend in cyber crime

DALLAS, TEXAS - November 20, 2003 - DeepNines Technologies today announced its Sleuth9 Security System, which runs on the Sun platform, can instantly stop Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks launched by hackers and cyber criminals before they can penetrate the perimeter of the network.

The latest cyber crime wave that targets the networks of companies engaged in high-volume, low-value transactions such as online payment systems, online gambling sites, and web retailers, has escalated from simple hacking to outright blackmail. According to a recent article in London's Financial Times, cyber criminals are launching DDoS attacks at networks, and then demanding payment in exchange for a one-year abatement of attacks. There is little police can do to catch or prosecute these criminals, and while new laws are in the making, they will do little to ferret out perpetrators. For the foreseeable future, these cyber criminals are free to exploit known network vulnerabilities and the lack of perimeter security.

Sleuth9 is uniquely capable of detecting and automatically preventing these types of cyber attacks from entering or leaving a network by forming a new perimeter of defense against DoS, DDoS, Trojan horses, and self-propagating worms and viruses. Sleuth9 sits inline, invisibly, in front of the router and evaluates all network traffic, both ingress and egress, at the packet level, to determine what is valid and what is malicious, intelligently mitigating the attack while allowing good traffic through. In addition, Sleuth9's ForensiX Capture System arms IT professionals with the detailed data they need to identify the type and source of the attack. ...DeepNines profile
Nu Horizons Nu Horizons Electronics Awarded Lockheed Martin STAR Supplier-Facility Award

Melville, New York - November 19, 2003 - Nu Horizons Electronics Corp. announced today that Lockheed Martin Corporation awarded the Company with their STAR Supplier-Facility Award at Nu Horizons' corporate headquarters. Designed to recognize supplier excellence, the highly coveted and exemplary STAR award is granted to a limited number of Lockheed Martin top-performing suppliers who distinguish themselves by meeting some of the most strict performance criteria within the aerospace industry. Nu Horizons Electronics Corp. is the first electronic component distributor to earn this award- winning status. ...Nu Horizons profile
Tadpole Tadpole Computer Unleashes Highest Performance SPARC Notebook

Carlsbad, CA - November 18, 2003 - Tadpole Computer today announced VIPER, an UltraSPARC®-IIIi powered notebook with integrated wireless capabilities. Tadpole claims that VIPER provides more than twice the performance of other SPARC notebooks. It supports up to 2GB memory, up to 80GB disk storage, DVD/CD-RW drives, 10/100 Ethernet, a PCCard slot, three USB 2.0 ports, external video, printer port, PS/2 ports and audio in/out connections.

It comes pre-installed with Solaris 9, GNOME 2.0, StarOffice 7.0, Evolution 1.4 and Mozilla 1.4. These applications provide users with all of the critical software and tools needed coupled with interoperability with Windows file formats, networks, and messaging applications while UNIX platform developers and engineers no longer need to compromise on their development environment. VIPER will be available to customers in December 2003 with a starting price of $5,995. ...Tadpole Computer profile
Dolphin Dolphin Interconnect Announces New Sales Promotion Offered by Sun Microsystems

CLINTON, MA and OSLO, NORWAY - November 18, 2003 - Dolphin Interconnect today announced a new sales promotion for users of the Sun Java System Cluster (formerly known as Sun Cluster) running Oracle Database with Real Application Clusters, which uses Scalable Coherent Interface (SCI) cards and switches provided by Dolphin. This promotion reduces, by up to 50%, the license fees for Sun Cluster 3 agent licenses and the cost of the Dolphin SCI hardware purchased from Sun. ...Dolphin profile
Changing SPARC Focus How Have SPARC Readers' Interests Changed?

Editor:- November 17, 2003 - I thought it would be interesting to see how the interests of our readers have changed since the boom time in Sun's fortunes.

The table below compares the most popular product index pages visited by readers 3 years ago to those now.
Top 5 Product Indexes in SPARC Product Directory
(then) October 2000 (now) October 2003
  1. Desktop workstations
  2. Motherboard upgrades
  3. rackmount servers
  4. memory
  5. Military SPARC
  1. Military SPARC
  2. SPARC Notebooks
  3. Desktop workstations
  4. SPARC SBCs - cPCI
  5. rackmount servers
As indicated by other articles and data we've published in these pages, the SPARC market is moving towards the focus of an embedded market.

Interestingly although the SPARC market revenue has declined in the last 3 years, our own SPARC pageviews are actually 47% higher today than back in 2000. We think this is because competing publications have dropped out of the Sun market.

As a result the #3 subject today still gets the same level of pageviews as the #1 subject back in October 2000.
NEXL NEXL Network Systems Opens Chicago, IL Office

Peabody, MA - November 14, 2003 - NEXL Network Systems announces the opening of its new Chicago office. This expansion allows the respected east coast IT services company to offer complete Enterprise Computing and Storage, Networking and Security, and Managed Services to companies through out the mid-west. ...NEXL profile
LSI Logic LSI Logic U320 SCSI Host Bus Adapters achieve Solaris ready certification

MILPITAS, Calif. - November 13, 2003 - LSI Logic today announced that three U320 SCSI HBAs achieved Solaris Ready Certification from Sun Microsystems.

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 OS.

The three products achieving Solaris Ready Certification are the LSI20320-R single channel PCI-X HBA, the LSI22320-R dual channel PCI-X HBA, and the LSI21320-R dual channel PCI-X HBA. The 20320-R and 21320-R products are also available in kits that include cables. ...LSI Logic profile
Sun Sun Cuts Price of Sun Blade 2000 Workstation by 30%

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - November 11, 2003 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced performance enhancements to the Sun Blade 150 workstation and a price cut to the Sun Blade 2000 workstation.

The Sun Blade 150 workstation will feature double the memory and disk capacity as well as a DVD-ROM with no price increase.

The Sun Blade 2000 workstation price has been slashed by $3,000, dropping from $9,995 to $6,995 U.S. for the base configuration.
GNP GNP Unveils Alert!Node Smart Alarm Cards

MONROVIA, Calif. - November 10, 2003 - GNP today unveiled its Alert!Node Smart Alarm and System Manager.

The Alert!Node is a hot-swappable card incorporating an IPMI-compliant baseboard management controller that monitors the operational status of all PICMG 2.9-compliant CompactPCI equipment installed within a NodeXU cPCI chassis and gathers information on other factors like power status, voltage levels and cooling fan health. Accessible through the rear of the chassis without consuming a cPCI slot, the Alert!Node provides LED indicators for critical/major/minor alarms, power, and booting/shutdown as well as dry relay contact closures. System monitoring includes input feed detection, CompactPCI voltage monitoring, power supply monitoring and control, fan detection, temperature sensing, IPMI-compliant device monitoring and control, and user configurable event control. The unit provides remote alarming through an RS-232 serial console or an Ethernet port .

Price for Alert!Node alarm cards is $100. Samples are in stock, and volume shipments are made 30 days ARO. ...GNP Computers profile

See also:- Watchdog cards and alarm modules
Sun

HP
Sun Expands HP Away Program, Migrates 50 Customers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - November 10, 2003 - Sun Microsystems today took significant steps to help end-of life Alpha/Tru64 customers by adding key resources to the Sun HP Away migration program.

Six new Migration Solution Providers-Datamatics, EvolveWare, IrisLogic, Transoft, Treklogic and Relativity Technologies-will provide customers with automated tools and professional services to assist in porting applications from Alpha/Tru64 to a Sun environment.

In addition, two new ISVs, Ulticom and Sysix, have joined the program. They will each bring their installed base and a commitment to work with Sun to migrate these customers from Alpha/Tru64 to Sun. Sun also announced today that the HP Away program, initially only available in the U.S., has been extended to Europe, with plans to expand to the rest of the world by the end of 2003.

To date, over 50 customers have opted to migrate from HP's AlphaServer/Tru64 to Sun. The catalyst for this migration was created when HP announced the end of life for the estimated 400,000 Alpha/Tru64 installed systems. HP is forcing customers to Itanium based systems, but despite HP's best efforts Itanium has yet to gain broad industry support-either with customers or ISVs.
Sun

Oracle
Sun Server Blend Sets New Oracle Benchmark Record

Santa Clara, Calif. - November 5, 2003 - Sun Microsystems announced a world record SPECjAppServer2002 benchmark running Oracle Application Server 10g on a heterogeneous Sun configuration which included a seven-node Sun Fire V65x server cluster, each equipped with two Intel Xeon 3.06 GHz processors running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1, and linked to the SPARC-based Sun Fire 6800 database server running Oracle Application Server 10g.

This performance on Sun servers is 36% better in price-performance than a competing UNIX vendor's record, established on a homogeneous, Intel-based platform.

The Sun and Oracle record-breaking benchmark achieved 2,408.73 TOPS@MultipleNode at 700.07 US$/TOPS@MultipleNode. ...Oracle profile, ...Red Hat profile, ...Sun profile
Infineon Technologies Infineon Demonstrates 10 GbE on Legacy Fiber

Munich, Germany - November 4, 2003 - Infineon Technologies today announced that it has demonstrated the industry's first 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) XPAK-compliant transceiver module operating over 300 meters of low-bandwidth multimode fiber. The XPAK optical transceiver used a 1310 nm laser with EDC (electronic dispersion compensation) technology to extend the distance over which 10 GbE data can be transmitted error-free. The demonstration proves the feasibility of using single-laser transceivers for high-speed transmission over the installed low-bandwidth fiber infrastructure, which preserves capital investment while increasing capabilities.

The EDC-equipped Infineon XPAK optical module has shown the ability to transmit 10 Gbps data over up to 300 meters of virtually any grade of legacy multimode fiber. According to the IEEE 802.3 High Speed Study Group, more than 80% of the world's current enterprise fiber infrastructure is based on this type of low-bandwidth multimode.

First samples of Infineon's modules with integrated EDC will be available in the first half of 2004. ...Infineon Technologies profile

Editor's comments:- this new type of GBIC will make it possible for many organizations to leapfrog the adoption of iSCSI and IP SAN backbones using their existing network cabling.

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