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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2004, September

See also:- 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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SPARC History:- September 2000, September 2001, September 2002, September 2003

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Sun, SPARC, Solaris Market news other news on this page
HP Lands More than 200 Sun Server Customers in Sun Eclipse Program - A Mere Fleabite of an Irritant to Sun

PALO ALTO, Calif. - September 21, 2004 - HP today announced that in the past 18 months more than 200 customers worldwide have chosen HP servers over Sun systems to help improve agility in the datacenter and adapt rapidly to changing business needs.

By offering a portfolio of services and incentives with the broadest industry standard-based server line, HP has gained new customers in financial services, manufacturing, retail, aerospace, bioinformatics, telecommunications and the public sector. In financial services alone, HP has won more than 40 significant deals from Sun Microsystems, Inc.

The 200 HP customer wins include Bank of Bolivariano of Ecuador, Belkin Corp., Dynamic Net, and The University of Hong Kong.

"Numerous Sun customers looking for more choice, lower total cost of ownership, better investment protection and a consistent long-term roadmap have chosen HP for industry-standard enterprise solutions," said Mark Hudson, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Storage and Servers, HP. "HP is winning business from Sun by addressing critical customer needs, offering a choice of operating systems and delivering the right technology at the right price. In just the past three months, we've increased the number of migrations to HP from Sun by 50%, moving customers to HP Integrity and ProLiant servers."

According to a 2004 META Group study, the top business drivers prompting application replacement on Sun servers are the need for improved agility and adaptability, which align closely with HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy.

The Sun Eclipse Program, a comprehensive portfolio of services and incentives from HP, helps Sun customers move to Adaptive Enterprise solutions. In the Americas, HP has augmented the migration services it offers Sun customers with special incentives and system trade-ins across its industry-standard servers, with the choice of HP-UX, Linux or Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Other specific HP assurances to Sun customers in the Americas include proof-of-concept and migration assistance for qualified customers, as well as attractive incentives for education, mission-critical services, financing and hardware trade-ins. HP also introduced a special introductory offer to qualified Sun customers who are interested in HP's industry-leading blade solutions and is offering incentives in proof-of-concept services to transition to the HP BladeSystem infrastructure. ...HP profile

Editor's comments:- I can cast some more light on the Sun Eclipse issue and its real significance in the market. In October 2003 - I set up a resource page Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS - on the SPARC Product Directory. During the last 12 months, this has received only 1,522 pageviews out of 254,532 unique visitors - which is indicates a very low interest in this subject of 0.6% of SPARC readers. So I don't think this is more than a fleabite of an irritant to Sun's own marketers.

Sun's New SPARC Servers Set New Standards for Price Performance

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - September 21, 2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. introduced two new Solaris powered UltraSPARC IV servers-the Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890.

The Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890 are available today at starting prices of $30,995 (U.S. list) and $39,995 (U.S. list) respectively. The Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890 servers deliver up to twice the application throughput of Sun's previous midrange server systems. The Sun Fire V490 and Sun Fire V890 servers have set world-record benchmarks for sub-$50K platforms, outperforming equivalent systems from HP and IBM in the 4- and 8-way space: The Sun Fire V490 server achieved world record price/performance on the 1TB TPC-H benchmark, demonstrating the highest performance data warehousing and database architecture at this price point.

On the Lotus Domino R6iNotes benchmark, which simulates email users accessing their mailboxes through the web, the Sun Fire V890 server set a triple world-record in the 8 processor class of systems for best performance, highest number of users per CPU, and best price/performance, demonstrating outstanding processing power for a sub-$50K platform. The Sun Fire V890 server also confirms Sun's leadership in the High Performance Computing marketplace by producing the best SPECompM2001 performance result for all 8-way servers. It eclipses the recent results posted by a similarly equipped HP AlphaServer ES80 system by up to 17%. ...Sun profile

ACSL Announces SPARC Buyer Preferences Survey

Editor:- September 16, 2004 - ACSL, publisher of the SPARC Product Directory, announced today that it will run a SPARC Buyer Preferences survey in the 4th quarter to determine the main reasons that users cite for buying SPARC systems.

The survey will focus on organisations which have recently bought SPARC systems or are planning to buy them within a 3 month window. The aim of the survey is to learn what users themselves perceive to be the current strengths and weaknesses of the SPARC platform. The results will be published in the SPARC Product Directory in the new year.

In the period 1992 to 2000 it was easy to understand why discerning users had a preference for SPARC systems. But in the last 4 years many of the superficial relative strengths of the SPARC platform such as:- performance, reliability and openness have been eroded or blurred.

Nevertheless it is undeniable that after years of decline - the SPARC market is now seeing a resurgence in server shipments and revenue. The server market and the technology choices facing users is much more complex today than it has ever been before. The SPARC survey will seek to learn from users what they see as the new factors which vendors should take into account to make sure they are meeting users' needs. ...ACSL profile, Market research, SPARC Product Directory

Interphase Showcases Network Processor Module

PLANO, Texas - September 15, 2004 - Interphase Corporation demonstrated its recently-introduced iNAV 4550 PMC Communications Resource Module this week at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston, MA.

The versatile iNAV 4550 can be used as an advanced communications controller for processing line interface traffic, a compact protocol conversion module for interworking cell-based and packet-based protocols, or a powerful CPU co-processor module for off-loading specialized processing functions such as bridging and routing.

In addition to network convergence, the iNAV 4550's processing capabilities can be used to efficiently execute other system functions such as IP over Ethernet (IPoE) and IP over ATM (IPoA) packet routing & classification per RFC 2684, ATM cell switching, Ethernet switching, and ATM SARing.

Designed with performance and flexibility in mind, the iNAV 4550 establishes a new benchmark in protocol interworking combining all the benefits of a much more expensive solution with the easy integration of a NIC. Availability of the iNAV 4550 is planned for Q1 2005. ...Interphase profile, Events

Speculation About New Sun Servers

Editor:- September 13, 2004 - Sun's rumored launch, later this month of new 4 and 8 way SPARC IV servers is discussed in an article on ComputerWorld.

The article says the new products have already been shipping to some customers. ...Sun profile, rackmount SPARC systems

Perle Systems Unveils Software-Configurable Multi-Interface Multi-Port Serial PCI Cards

NASHVILLE, TN - September 9, 2004 - Perle Systems today released new 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 port versions of its innovative new UltraPort SI universal 3.3v/5v PCI Serial Cards.

With the UltraPort SI, Perle is the first vendor to incorporate EIA-232, EIA-422 and EIA-485 interfaces on a single PCI serial card and provide the ability to individually configure each interface type using software commands. The UltraPort SI takes into account that today's low profile PCs and servers have limited PCI slots and organizations may have requirements for different serial ports to accommodate a variety of serial devices. By combining RS232, RS422 and RS485 ports on one card, the UltraPort SI requires only a single PCI slot. It also minimizes the need to install multiple drivers and takes less time to configure.

Designed to meet the highly electromagnetic and electrostatic environments found on factory floors and in carpeted environments in many retail stores and office locations, the UltraPort SI features industry leading protection from electrostatic discharges of up to 25K volts, providing safe and reliable server operation. The UltraPort SI delivers maximum performance to a serial environment by supporting communication speeds of 921.6 Kbps on EIA-232 and up to 3.6 Mbps on EIA-422/485 connections. It is available in standard and low profile PCI card form factors and will work with all current Unix, Linux and Windows operating systems. ...Perle Systems profile
HP's Sun Eclipse Program - A Mere Fleabite

Sun Sets New Standards for Price Performance

ACSL Announces SPARC Buyer Survey

Interphase Showcases Network Processor Module

Speculation About New Sun Servers

Perle Unveils Software-Configurable Serial Cards

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6 Years of - looking back, looking ahead

Our sister site - celebrates its 6th anniversary this month.

In an age when most IT web sites are blurring into sameness, STORAGEsearch has maintained a unique brand identity with its cartoon characters Megabyte the Mouse and family. But reliable information and critical market analysis have also been important factors in growing the readership every year since 1998.

Commenting about this anniversary - Farid Neema, President of market analyst company Peripheral Concepts, Inc. - said " was one of the first online storage portals. I appreciate its breadth of scope and reliability. It has always been an authoritative source for anyone doing serious market research into this market."

What's been the most important trend in storage during the last 6 years?

Network storage which started with Fibre-channel based SANs in 1994, has changed from being a small part of the overall enterprise storage market to being the dominant part measured by revenue. In the late 1990s competing technologies like NAS based on Ethernet, and more recently, the emergence of iSCSI have simplified the management of storage area networks and extended their reach to nearly every size of organisation.

The technical and economic decoupling of storage from servers has created a major shift in the computer market in which data repositories have become operating system agnostic and the concept of corporate information life cycles have become more important than processor chip generations.

What are going to be the most important trends in storage during the next 6 years?

We're already seeing that processor chipmakers have been struggling to achieve the same rate of increase in 64 bit processors that they did with earlier 32 bit generations. Sun's SPARC, HP's Alpha, IBM's PowerPC, Intel's Itanium and even AMD's Opteron will hit performance ceilings which cannot be resolved by old tricks like increasing the Gigahertz clock rate or adding more processors.

Many users have already discovered that another way to speed up their applications is to use solid state disks (SSDs) to accelerate I/O bound critical data. Another benefit of SSDs is their potential to reduce software licensing costs and server management complexity by reducing the total amount of servers while maintaining or sometimes reducing response times. This important architectural change will, when more widely adopted, mean that the solid state disk market in 3 years time could grow to be bigger than the NAS market is today, because it has the potential to provide the same functionality as additional servers - but at lower cost and better reliability. Eventually solid state disks will be factory fitted as standard instead of being a user or systems integrator add-on as they are today.

We're also going to see the consumerization of network storage which will eventually result in the home entertainment and leisure market becoming a bigger user of disks and RAID systems than the IT market. In the next 10 years hard disk drives will have a capacity of 78 terabytes. You'll be able to fit a 500TB RAID system inside the same space as a little match box.

What's going to happen in the meantime?

Which old technologies will be discarded and which new ones will become the hot products of tomorrow? We have many articles which speculate on this - but the only sure way to find out is to keep visiting the news pages of to see how this exciting future unfolds. ...ACSL (publisher) profile,, Storage portals

Epoka Group sells Sun and Fujitsu and has offices in Denmark, Germany and Russia
Epoka Group with sales offices in Denmark,
Germany and Russia is a leading European
supplier of Sun and Fujitsu SPARC solutions.

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