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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2004, August

See also:- article:- SPARC Trivia Quiz
article:- A Bridge Too Far? - Linux Apps on Solaris 10
article:- Are Sun's Days Numbered?
article:- Why Sun Should Acquire a Solid State Disk Company
article:- Hardware Upgrades to Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster
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New Sun Fire System from Rave Speaks SPARC Solaris and Windows

Sterling Heights, Michigan - August 31, 2004 - Rave Computer Association Inc. introduces a fully-integrated Sun Fire B1600+ capable of running Windows XP or 2003, Solaris 9, Solaris X86 and Red Hat Linux simultaneously in a 3U chassis.

"Rave's development efforts were driven by a request from the US military to meet weight, depth, and height requirements by consolidating multi-vendor platforms into a single 3U form factor," according to Rick Darter, President of Rave Computer. "Additional goals included the improvement of logistical challenges by reducing the required quantity of spare parts, the requirement for multi-vendor platforms, and the cross training of field personnel. This solution provides optimal flexibility for end-users by allowing them to deploy multiple operation systems within the same hardware chassis. I believe that this solution redefines the concept of open systems." ...Rave profile, military SPARC systems, Compact PCI SPARC CPU cards


Sun Reports 38% Server Shipment Growth

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - August 25, 2004 - In the second quarter of 2004, Sun Microsystems, Inc. achieved significant revenue and volume growth in almost every server category.

Sun outperformed all vendors in revenue market share growth on a quarter-to-quarter basis including All OS, UNIX+Linux and UNIX, as reported in the 2Q04 Worldwide Server Database report by Gartner Dataquest, released this week. Year on year, Sun outpaced all competitors in unit shipment growth at 38.4%, and gained market share against key rivals. Sun's performance was fueled by strong demand for Solaris servers with UltraSPARC IV and Opteron processors, and Netra 240/440 systems, and primarily from customers in financial services, communications and government markets. ...Sun profile, ...Gartner profile, Market research

Editor's comments:- you can get a clearer picture by going back to theoriginal Gartner press release about this report.


Worldwide server revenue surpassed $11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2004, a 7.7% increase from the second quarter of 2003. Sun's year on year revenue growth in the quarter was only 2.9% to $1.5 billion. Sun therefore is doing less well than the market in this respect. In contrast, IBM's revenue grew 10.8%.

SPARC Product Directory predicted that Sun would be offering low server prices and give away deals to inflate its revenue for the critical last quarter in its fiscal year - as Sun didn't have to worry so much about profit contributions due to the inflow of funds from the settlement with Microsoft which would help the overall profit/loss figures. That's what happened. Sun's server prices dropped significantly - resulting in a massive 38.4% year on year increase in quarterly server shipments to 90,487 units. Sun's server unit growth is healthy and better than that of most of its rivals.

The fastest growing part of the worldwide server market (all vendors) is Linux. Linux revenue grew 54.6% in the second quarter, and Linux unit shipments (all vendors) increased 61.6%. One in ten servers now shipping runs Linux.


SBE's Revenue Grows 81% Year Over Year

San Ramon, California - August 25, 2004 - SBE, Inc. today reported results for the three-month and nine-month periods ended July 31, 2004.

Net sales for the third quarter of 2004 were $2.9 million, compared with $1.6 million for the third quarter ended July 31, 2003. Net income for the third quarter of 2004 was $79,000. Net sales for the nine months ended July 31, 2004 were $8.8 million, compared with $5.2 million for the same period last year. Net income was $660,000 for the nine months ended July 31, 2004.

William B. Heye, Jr., president and CEO, SBE said "We achieved important milestones with our new product initiatives during the quarter. I am pleased to report that we installed our Dual Port Gigabit Ethernet TCP/IP Offload Engine product in select BETA customer sites and test results indicate that the TOE performance exceeds expectations. The TOE has been installed in conjunction with PyX Technologies' iSCSI software for storage networking applications as well as independently in high-traffic server applications. This BETA testing will continue as we approach production status in the coming quarter." ...SBE profile, iSCSI

See also:- article:- the State of iSCSI? - we interview PyX Technologies



Quad Graphics Head Now Available in SPARC Portable

Nashua, NH - August 24, 2004 - NextCom LLC announces the first 64-bit dual processor mobile workstation with the ability to support four graphics heads at the same time.

The FlexSPARCIII, targeted at deployable military-aerospace, homeland security, imagery, and EDA applications, is now available with one internal 1600x1200 display and support for up to 3 external flat panel displays with resolutions to 1920x1080. The solution provides 8/24 Bit color support with 2D rendering and HW acceleration for 4 heads or 4 displays cascaded together in a panoramic display for graphics, imagery, and mapping applications.

In a very small briefcase style computer, FlexSPARCIII includes single and dual 64 bit UltraSPARC IIIi processor technology, up to 16GB of memory, Ultra160 SCSI, dual Gigabit Ethernet delivers quad head or quad display panoramic display capabilities in a mobile, small footprint platform. ...NextCom profile, SPARC Notebooks


S2io to Offer 10 Gigabit Ethernet Technology for Solaris

Cupertino, Calif. - August 23, 2004 - S2io, Inc. announced that drivers for its Xframe 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter will be integrated into Sun Microsystems, Inc.'s Solaris for SPARC, AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon based systems.

In addition, S2io will be working with Sun to deliver a TCP/IP offload engine with RDMA functionality to enhance performance and scalability in intense compute/server environments. Combining Xframe, S2io's 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter, with the new high-performance TCP/IP architecture in Solaris, also known as project FireEngine, will offer customers inherent performance advantages. ...S2io, iSCSI , InfiniBand


Hooray! - No More HP Alpha Processors

Editor:- August 20, 2004 - an article in PhysOrg.com discusses the end of HP's Alpha Processors.

The last one is being released on Monday.

This should help Sun's HP Away program - since the demise of HP's proprietary Unix server engine is coming from non Sun sources and therefore can't be dismissed as wishful thinking.

But cynics might ask - what's Sun's own processor strategy? Will SPARC users be forced to migrate to Solaris on Opteron?

The answer to this strategic roadmap question was provided in our SPARC Trivia Quiz


Gigaram Announces Memory Upgrades for New Sun Opteron-based Workstations

Irvine, Ca - August 16, 2004 - Gigaram has announced today the release of their new Sun Licensed memory upgrades for the new Sun Workstations 1100Z and 2100Z.

The new 1GB & 2GB memory upgrade kits with chipkill technology will enhance the computing power of Sun's new line of AMD Opteron-based workstations that have been designed to compliment & broaden the Sun workstation portfolio. Soon to be released will be Gigaram's 4GB kit which will allow the 1100Z and 2100Z to reach their maximum memory expansion of 8GB which will deliver ideal computing performance for segments including SW Development, EDA and MCAD/MCAE.

1GB KIT (2pcs 512MB MODULES) SUN # X9208A GIGARAM #GRX9208A

2GB KIT (2pcs 1GB MODULES) SUN #X9209A GIGARAM #GRX9209A

4GB KIT (2pcs 2GB MODULES) SUN # NA GIAGRAM #GRX9210A

...Gigaram profile, Desktop - SPARC systems


Enterprise-class SCSI HDDs Available in Mobile SPARC Workstation

Nashua, NH - August 12, 2004 - NextCom LLC announced the first mobile workstation/server platform to offer high performance removable, internal, enterprise-class SCSI HDDs.

FlexSPARCIII - is now available with dual removable 36GB or 73GB, Ultra320 SCSI, 8MB cache 2.5" HDDs. The platform can be used as both a mobile or small-footprint server as well as a high performance mobile workstation. Applications targeted include military-aerospace, homeland security, imagery, and EDA applications.

Bob Labadini, President of NextCom, comments "FlexSPARCIII is the first 64 Bit single and dual processor platform to offer enterprise class performance for database and data intensive applications in a briefcase style computer that is reconfigurable, expandable, and deployable." ...NextCom profile, Removable disk drives, SPARC Notebooks


SBE launches industry's highest density T1/E1 PTMC solution

San Ramon, CA - August 11, 2004 - SBE Inc. today introduced wanPTMC-C24TE1, a fully channelized 24-port T1/E1 PCI Telecom Mezzanine Module (PTMC) and Rear Transition Module board set.

Delivering a robust, modular solution on a single slot, the wanPTMC-C24TE1 is built for use with PTMC "Configuration 2" carrier platforms. Designed for high-density applications, such as VoIP gateways, computer telephony softswitches, TDM switches/PBX, and voice conferencing systems, the wanPTMC-C24TE1 bundles a PICMG 2.15 compliant PTMC module with a configurable rear transition module.

The PTMC module is based on the architecture of SBE's popular DS3 module, the wanPTMC-256T3. Providing full local CT Bus access to all 672 timeslots of the T3 stream, the PTMC module combines a 256-channel HDLC controller with a timeslot interchanger/assigner to create an ideal platform for terminating data traffic, such as TDM signaling and switching voice calls in a VoIP application. The RTM component consists of DSX connectivity 12 or 24 T1/E1/J1 streams via two industry standard RJ48H connectors. Both the PTMC card and the RTM are fully configurable from the host computer.

"Demand for modular solutions with greater density yet offering simple configuration and scalability options continues to rapidly build as pressures for quicker time-to-market, lower costs, and more robust feature sets keep on climbing," commented Steve Nester, vice president of business development at SBE. "SBE has been utilizing a flexible, scalable design architecture for our board-level solutions for years, and the wanPTMC-C24TE1 is no exception. The wanPTMC-C24TE1 is virtually a high-density, networking power pack, especially when bundled with our HW400c/M, a 6U CompactPCI core processor platform. Delivering modularity and easy access to multiple data or voice channels from T1/E1/J1 ports, makes this sophisticated board set a solution of choice for carrier class programmable switches, media gateways and soft PBX solutions."

The wanPTMC-C24TE1 is designed to operate on SBE's HW400c/M or any other PICMG 2.3 compliant carrier board. An optional 12-port version, the wanPTMC-C12TE1, is also available. Both the 12-port and 24-port versions offer full software compatibility with SBE's complete line of DS3 board-level products. Full Linux driver support is provided with this solution set ...SBE profile, serial interface cards



SPARC Trivia Quiz

Editor:- August 3, 2004 - a SPARC Trivia Quiz is published today in the SPARC Product Directory.

Whether you love them or loathe them it's hard to ignore Sun Microsystems and its hype machine. Test your knowledge of Sun's technologies and marketing strategies (or lack of them) in this light hearted and serious quiz. ...SPARC Trivia Quiz, ...Sun profile
New Sun Fire Speaks SPARC Solaris and Windows

Sun Reports Server Revenue Growth

SBE's Revenue Grows 81% Year Over Year

Quad Graphics Head Now Available in SPARC Portable

S2io to Offer 10 Gigabit Ethernet Technology for Solaris

Hooray! - No More HP Alpha Processors

Gigaram Announces Memory for New Sun Workstations

Removable SCSI HDDs Available in Mobile Workstation

SBE launches highest density T1/E1 PTMC

SPARC Trivia Quiz

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New Logo for the SPARC Product Directory

Editor:- August 25, 2004 - we've seen a lot of changes in the SPARC Product Directory in the 12 years since it was first published.

When I started work on this publication back in 1991, the SBus and SPARC compatible market was an exciting place to be. Sun's SPARC processor chips were faster than anything made by Intel or Motorola, the two chip makers whose products dominated the DOS, Mac and Unix worlds. During the next 5 years, hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of VARs and systems integrators came into the market to make their mark on what turned into a $20 billion a year market for SPARC compatible hardware.

It was important in those early days for Sun's own people and for users to learn quickly about new products, technologies and partners who could accelerate the growth of the SunOS (later renamed Solaris) market. The SPARC Product Directory helped SPARC chip makers like Ross Technologies, Weitek and Fujitsu reach the attention of OEMs and users. Yes - even when they competed head to head with Sun.

The SPARC market is different now. It's smaller. Hundreds of VARs have quit the market or gone bust. Most competing SPARC server makers have given up the race as lost. There are a lot less suppliers now, and it's likely to stay that way forever.

But that makes it more important than ever for SPARC stakeholders to know about the competing products and suppliers available. Without a publication like the SPARC Product Directory the risk is that the SPARC market would shift towards a closed proprietary market where users always have to pay the price that their supplier asks - because there is no other choice available except switching platform.

With your help we're not going to let that happen.

In the 1980s, before this directory, I went into the SPARC business on the promise of a high performance open competitive market. Maybe I was naiive. But SPARC still offers many advantages of stability and security which other platforms can't yet match.

I still think there's still a bright future ahead for those who tread warily among the many pitfalls and dead-ends which can occur when a market is dominated by a single supplier and when the inflow of new compatible suppliers dries up.

Whatever you might think - Sun and Fujitsu don't have all the answers or all the products you need. With today's computer architectures, the peripherals which you add to your system can make as much difference as doubling the clock speed on the processor. It's always been true that most SPARC innovations didn't originate with Sun. Just as most software innovations didn't start with Microsoft. It only looks that way if you believe the version of history written by their marketers.

The SPARC business is building up in volume and revenue terms again. It may not get as big as it did in 2000 - but the SPARC Product Directory will be here to help light the path along the way. We're going to help keep SPARC open for your business. If you want to avoid the perils of a proprietary market, but still want to keep running with your SPARC platforms, tell your colleagues and suppliers - this is where they should come. And if you haven't tried the SPARC Trivia Quiz take a look. It gets better as it goes along.
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