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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2004, January weeks 3 - 4

See also:- article:- Hardware Upgrades to Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster
article:- Chewing over the Storage Market in 2003
article:- Are Sun's Days Numbered?
article:- Data Recovery for Sun Servers
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SPARC History:- February 2001, February 2002, February 2003

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. Publisher Zsolt Kerekes said "In one way I am disappointed that any article we published got so little interest from our readers. We promoted this one heavily with links from all our high volume pages - and it quickly became apparent that interest was minimal. In another way it's good news for Sun because it may signal that the peak days of its users migrating to other platforms may be over.

But it also suggests that Sun may be wasting its time with its own Linux/AMD efforts - because most of its own user base are going to ignore that solution. The recent numbers quoted by Sun for x86 licenses suggests that dissatisfied SPARC users are more likely to look at Solaris on Intel Architecture as a route to lower cost or higher performance."
Sun Need Not Fear Massive Customer Migration to Linux or Windows Says SPARC Product Directory

Editor:- January 28, 2004 - research by the SPARC Product Directory shows an astonishingly high rate of loyalty to Solaris.

The research was based on readers pageviews for a widely promoted article on migration away from Solaris which was featured in the publication during the 4th quarter of 2003.

Less than 0.8% of the 66,486 visitors to the SPARC Product Directory in that period actually bothered reading the article. This should provide some comfort to Sun Microsystems and its partners that there doesn't appear to be a great head of steam among the SPARC/Solaris user base to look at migrating away from Solaris.

But simply minimising the flow of defections away from its user base, doesn't fix the other problem which Sun faces... Its server revenues aren't growing anywhere near as fast as that of its Windows and Linux competitors. Sun is still missing the key to the puzzle of how to increase confidence in its products and own survival enough to attract new customers at a fast enough rate.

See also:- Market research companies, articles about Sun, SPARC & Solaris
Migration Away from Solaris is Now Minimal

ISD Named to Sun VAR Partner Council

Red Hat Launches WIDE OPEN Magazine

Sun Acquires Nauticus Networks

Peritek Lowers Cost of Ruggedized PMC Video

What to Do About Sun's Cobalt Servers?

Sun Reports Financial Results

Force Announces Design Win in Mobile Radar

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iSCSI on
Terrorbyte liked to test out hot new backup technologies.

Nibble:- How Many SPARC CPUs 1987-2003?

I was asked recently if I had any idea how many SPARC processors have been deployed in servers and workstations since the market started back in 1987.

The simple answer was - no...

Sure, I did calculate the size of the SPARC market back in 1992 when I first published the SPARC Product Directory, and from time to time updated those estimates. More recently quarterly and annual SPARC computer shipments and revenue data have appeared in these news pages from time to time.

So I realised that although I didn't have a good grasp of the numbers any more, I had most of the information I needed to make a stab at some estimates.

Post Millenium - Jan 2000 to Dec 2003

Over 5 million SPARC CPUs

In estimating the above figure - I had used the following estimates. The average server used 3 CPUs. The average workstation used 1.5 CPUs. I realise that lots of you may have dozens of SPARC processors in your biggest servers, but that's outweighed by the larger number of servers with upto 4 CPUs.

Pre Millenium - 1987 to 1999

Approximately 3 million SPARC CPUs.

Interestingly there were 5 main manufacturers of SPARC chips during this early period and over 50 manufacturers of SPARC systems.

How Many SPARC Processors 1987-2003?

From all the data I've seen I think a floor level of 8 million SPARC CPUs is a conservative estimate. The true number is more likely to be higher than lower.

Please bear in mind these are estimates based on computer shipments. If a manufacturer uses a SPARC CPU in a dumb terminal, printer or photocopier that's not something which gives a useful idea of the size of the historic SPARC computing base market, and is not counted.

If someone from Sun marketing would like to cast more light on this, they should feel free to contact me with the relevant supporting data.


The data I used came from a variety of sources including financial data from various SPARC manufacturers. In particular, data from market research companies Gartner and IDC which appeared in press releases in the SPARC Product Directory were very helpful covering the period 2000 onwards. Any errors in facts or interpretation of trends are my fault alone.

See also:- Market research companies

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Innovative Systems Design Innovative Systems Design Named to Sun VAR Partner Council

EDISON , NJ - January 22, 2004 - Innovative Systems Design, Inc. has been named to the Sun VAR Partner Council. Teaming with Sun for over a decade, ISD is an exclusive Sun hardware reseller and has the distinction of being one of Sun's largest VARs, as well as an Elite Sun One Partner.

"We are very proud of the team that we have built here at ISD and are excited to be named officially to the Sun VAR Partner Council, acknowledging our years of proven experience in building successful business solutions," said Ed Partenope, Vice President of Platform Technologies, ISD. ...ISD profile

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Red Hat Red Hat Launches WIDE OPEN Magazine

LINUXWORLD, NEW YORK - January 21, 2004 - Today, Red Hat, Inc. announced the availability of WIDE OPEN Magazine, a technical magazine focused on a professional and non-professional audiences interested in open source and how to use it.

WIDE OPEN Magazine will be on display at Red Hat Booth #739 at LinuxWorld, NY. A yearly subscription will include 6 issues. Each issue will include 3 CDs and 96+ pages of editorial. Save 40% off the annual cover price by subscribing now and receive a charter subscription for $35. The Premier Issue will also include a System Administrator CD. ...Red Hat profile, ...WIDE OPEN Magazine
Sun Sun Acquires Nauticus Networks

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. - January 20, 2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced that Sun has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nauticus Networks, a privately-held company based in Framingham, Massachusetts. Nauticus Networks' technologies provide a high-performance content-switch, including SSL, security, load-balancing and virtualization, that will be key components of Sun's volume systems strategy to enable massive horizontal scalability.

As part of Sun's initiative, Nauticus Networks will be instrumental in the convergence of compute and network services. This convergence will give customers better integration of their throughput compute environment and allow them to easily develop new network services. ...Sun Microsystems profile
Peritek Peritek Lowers Entry-Level Cost of Ruggedized PMC Video Cards

OAKLAND, Calif. - January 19, 2004 - Peritek has announced the new Garnet/PMC, an entry-level ruggedized video capture and graphics card designed for use in VME and CompactPCI systems.

Garnet/PMC offers the flexible graphics and video I/O. Garnet/PMC supports composite (NTSC/PAL), high speed RGB, or DVI video inputs. The card can display and/or capture video from one to four independent NTSC/PAL (color or B&W) video cameras. Alternatively, the card can support a high-speed RGB camera at resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 x 16 bpp. It can also support DVI input at 1024 x 768 x 16 bpp.

The Garnet/PMC is designed for mission-critical military, aerospace, homeland security and industrial applications and is available in two levels of ruggedization. ...Peritek profile
Sun Linux What to Do About Sun's Cobalt Servers?

Editor:- January 19, 2004 - A recent report from Gartner looks at what users should do as Sun's Cobalt servers reach the end of their market life. According to the report Sun has made slow progress in the Linux market apparently only 1% of respondents at Gartner's December 2003 Data Center conference rated Sun as a strategic Linux supplier. ...Gartner Group profile
Sun Microsystems Sun Reports Financial Results

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - January 15, 2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) reported results today for its fiscal 2004 second quarter, which ended December 28, 2003. Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal 2004 were $2.888 billion, a sequential increase of 13.9% and a year-over-year decline of 0.9% as compared with $2.915 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2003. Net loss for the quarter was $125 million or $0.04 per share as compared with a net loss of $2.283 billion or a net loss of $0.72 per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2003. ...Sun Microsystems profile
Force Computers Force Announces Design Win for SPARC SBCs in Ericsson Mobile Radar Systems

FREMONT, Calif. - January 15, 2003 - Force Computers today announced a design win for its CPU-56 SBC in a series of mobile radar systems developed by Ericsson Microwave Systems.

Based on the UltraSPARC-IIi+ 650MHz processor, the CPU-56 SBC was chosen by Ericsson because this VME board offers the necessary high-performance features supported by the required value-added customer services. Overall, Force VME solutions satisfy stringent customer demands such as those for high-performance computing, energy efficiency, product longevity with robust end-of-life (EOL) support and effective TCO as well as optional conformal coating.

Defense and aerospace products, including those from Ericsson Microwave Systems, have long life cycles so they can take maximum advantage of Force's robust EOL program for extended product supply and repair services. In addition, the company chose the option of conformally coating the CPU-56 for the special requirements of ruggedized defense applications.

As the overall embedded computing leader (source: VDC, May 2003), Force is committed to manufacturing boards as soon as possible so OEMs can develop products with their required application features - reducing time from concept to full functionality. ...Force Computers profile

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