|Throw Away Your PCs or
Editor:- April 24,
2005 - Jonathan Schwartz, President of
Sun Microsystems made a valuable observation in his blog today.
average utilization in a datacenter is 15% (what we see is tyipcally lower, but
we like to be polite). That implies some 80% of the capital that goes to
purchasing computers, 80% of the real estate, and best of all, 80% of the
electricity to power and cool the unused systems - is flat out wasted.
Greenpeace, where are you?"
Unfortunately after that went on to
preach Sun's old mantra - "throw out the PC, replace it with a
SPARCstation, dumb terminal, X terminal, JavaStation... or Sun's latest dumb
terminal - the SunRay." - The actual replacement proposed depends on where
you are in the period 1992 to 2005 - and what Sun is selling at the time.
don't let that nonsense spoil the essence which I used in my quote - 80% of
datacenter server power is not used. We can assume this is a reliable figure,
because Sun measures a lot of this stuff in order to tweak its Solaris OS -
which has as much to do with SPARC server performance as its chip design. But if
you talk to most datacenter managers - they are mostly worrying about the slow
response times for critical apps and planning the next processor upgrade.
call to action, is different to Schwartz's. I think this data bite shows that
your server could speed up your applications by a factor upto x5, if you had a
fast enough network storage system. Or another way of looking at it - is you
could double the application performance, and take out half your servers, saving
licensing costs, service costs etc. There are many
case studies and
articles which show how users have done exactly this, not just with Sun, but
with other server architectures as well. Same data, different conclusion. But
that's because Sun sells servers and terminals. I published an article a year
ago which showed what the future direction of Sun (also IBM, HP etc) will be
when their processors hit the GHz ceiling. Having more of the same old CPUs
in the same chip (throughput computing) is not as good as having CPUs which
run all applications twice as fast. That's something which users are going to
learn - when they find critical parts in their applications which aren't
So what conclusion do your draw from the 15%
datacenter utilization factoid? Throw away your PCs? - or - Throw away half your
servers? It's worth looking at the options. ...Sun profile,
Solid State Disks
Why Sun Should Acquire a Solid State Disk Company
Azul Launches Network Attached Java Accelerator
California - April 18, 2005 - Azul Systems Inc. today introduced the
Azul Compute Appliance, the world's greatest capacity single system targeted at
virtual-machine based applications such as those using the Java platform or the
Microsoft .Net framework.
Azul Compute Appliances are available
this quarter for customer orders and as part of the company's "No Cost
Evaluation" program. There are three configurations with 96, 192, and 384
coherent processor cores. Prices for a 96-way symmetric multiprocessing system
with 32 GB of memory start at $89,000 in the US. At the heart of the Azul
Compute Appliance is the industry's first 24-core, 64-bit SMP-capable
microprocessor that is optimized for virtual machine-based applications. The
Azul Vega chip supports object-oriented operations, pauseless garbage
collection, 96 GB of heap, and optimistic thread concurrency.
The Azul Compute Appliance integrates easily with today's leading
application server deployments including IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic platforms
as well as JBoss and other open source J2EE platforms.
comments:- the company claims this is the industry's first network attached
processing solution. That's complete nonsense. But there is something new below
the hype. The best way to look at this new product is as a Java accelerator, in
much the same way that floating point maths accelerators (like the Intel 8087)
and graphics accelerators were used in PCs and workstations before chip
technology enabled most of these features to be integrated onto a single CPU
Azul cites a Gartner report which says that by 2008, more
than 80% of all new eBusiness application development will be based on virtual
machines (Java and .NET). Azul claims their accelerator offers a better return
on investment than simply adding more traditional server resources. Accelerators
have their uses, but this is just one of many solutions for SPARC servers.
Upgrades to Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster
Sun Reports Results for Fiscal 2005 Third Quarter
CLARA, Calif. - April 14, 2005 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. reported
results today for its fiscal third quarter, which ended March 27, 2005.
Revenues for the third quarter were $2.625 billion, a decrease of
1.0% as compared with $2.651 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2004. Net
loss for the third quarter of fiscal 2005 on a GAAP basis was $9 million or a
net loss of $0.00 per share. This compared with a net loss of $760 million or a
net loss of $0.23 per share for the third quarter of fiscal 2004.
"We made good progress in the third fiscal quarter, but more
importantly we're seeing a marked improvement over the first nine months of
fiscal 2004," said Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive officer, Sun
Microsystems, Inc. "Break even is a huge move forward from the loss
we experienced a year ago. We've made over a $1 billion improvement in Net
Income on a year to date three quarter comparison," McNealy continued, "Revenue
was stable for the first three quarters of fiscal 2005 as compared with the same
period in fiscal 2004, while margins have improved and we've made tremendous
strides in reducing our R&D and SG&A by over $400 million dollars. On
top of that, in the third quarter we experienced growth in Sun x86 server unit
shipments, good traction in Netra servers, Sun Fire 4-8 way and 12-24 way SPARC
processor-based servers, and Solaris 10 registrations exceeded expectations. All
of these results, combined with a solid new product pipeline, point to real
improvements in the business."
comments:- Sun has a better lineup of server and storage products and is in a
fitter more competitive state than it has been at any time since 2000.
Interview with Sun UK's New Boss
Editor:- April 13, 2005 -
Computing magazine published an interview today with Sun's
recently appointed UK head - Trudy Norris-Grey.
Asked about the
most important issue for Sun's UK users, she said it was identity management
and identity sharing.
On the subject of her own immediate priorities?
- It was clarifiying what Sun stands for. Well, I guess everyone would be
interested to know that - not just Sun users in the UK. ...read the article,
Sun VARs in the UK
LynxOS Selected as Embedded OS for US Army's Future Combat
JOSÉ, Calif. - April 11, 2005 - LynuxWorks Inc. today announced
it was chosen as the embedded operating system vendor by General Dynamics
Advanced Information Systems for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS)
program's Integrated Computer System (ICS).
Under terms of the
contract, LynuxWorks' Linux-compatible LynxOS-178 safety-critical real-time
operating system will be used to meet the performance and reliability needs of
the FCS, a family of advanced, networked air- and ground-based military systems
for use by the Army's Future Force.
A Linux compatible, open standards operating system is required to
meet the Army's needs for real-time information and safety-criticality.
LynuxWorks enables developers to easily move FCS applications between those that
have been developed for standard Linux environments and those targeted for
embedded RTOS platforms with no costly or lengthy porting process. In addition,
FCS's developers can utilize LynuxWorks' Luminosity, a Linux, Windows and
Solaris-based integrated development environment powered by the open source
Eclipse IDE platform, giving developers complete control over creating, editing,
compiling, managing and debugging C/C++, Ada and Java embedded and real-time
for SPARC, Linux Portals
Sun No Longer Shines in Italy's 7th Largest Bank
MILAN, Italy - April 7,
2005 - Red Hat, Inc. today announced that BPU Banca, Italy's
seventh largest banking group, has kicked out Sun's Solaris and decided
to implement Red Hat Enterprise Linux across its desktops and servers.
The bank is migrating all of its 8,000 UNIX workstation clients to Red
Hat Desktop. In this project BPU Banca will replace Sun hardware with
Intel-based PCs to achieve combined hardware and software cost savings of about
"This project is one of the most important migrations to Linux in
the Italian financial sector," says Roberto Semplici, Account Executive Red
Hat Italy. "BPU Banca is a clear proof-point of the advantages guaranteed
by the Red Hat Enterprise Linux product family, opening the path to future Linux
implementations in this market sector."
Solaris Migration - migrating away from Sun's OS
|Throw Away Your
PCs or Servers?|
Azul Launches Network Attached Java Accelerator
Reports Results for Fiscal 2005 Third Quarter
Interview with Sun UK's
LynxOS Selected as Embedded OS for US Army
Kicks Out Sun in Italian Bank
earlier news -
|Arkeia is a leading
provider of enterprise|
network backup solutions, noted for its
and comprehensive support of the
Linux operating system.
Aboard the 4 Gigabit Train? - by Steve Gardner, Director of Product
future of 4 Gigabit Fibre Channel technology is here and by 2006 it will be
widely adopted by organisations around the world.
|Just 6 -months
ago that statement would have been met with heavy skepticism; but today,
industry analysts, customers and manufacturers all agree that 4 Gbps technology
will be available from the world's leading IT vendors by mid-2005.
Companies with high performance computing needs, such as scientists,
engineers, artists and others who need access to large amounts of data to solve
complex problems, will be the first to adopt the technology. Four Gigabit Fibre
Channel technology will enable auto manufacturers to reduce time to market and
improve the safety of vehicles by making testing and simulations less time
consuming. Energy companies will be able to conduct more iterations of analysis
thereby improving the bidding process and increasing their probability of
finding petroleum. Companies that aren't considered "traditional"
high performance computing customers will also benefit. Food manufacturers, for
example, will be able to redesign and improve packaging in less time by using 4
The entertainment industry will produce higher quality animated
movies, in less time, when they adopt 4 Gbps technology. The producers of Polar
Express, an animated film that was a holiday hit, used a new technique called "Performance
Capture" that allows an actor to be covered in hundreds of tiny computer
chips. The data from these chips contains precise information about all of the
actor's movements, including facial expressions. Production of the graphics
involved in the endeavor required millions of time consuming calculations. Had 4
Gbps been available, the time required to produce the movie could have been
The most frequently asked question regarding 4 Gbps technology is "Why
do I need this?" After all, most users still aren't taking full
advantage of all that 2 Gbps SANs have to offer. The answer is twofold:
technology and economics. As technology advances components become smaller,
faster and less expensive. Vendors push improvements to differentiate and create
competitive advantage. As a by product, the new technology can drive lower
costs, creating an economic incentive for buyers to use the latest technology,
even if their need is not immediate. When you add the fact that the new 4 Gbps
technology will be compatible with 2 Gbps and 1 Gbps installations. There will
be no need to uninstall 2 Gbps investments, and customers will be able to
seamlessly plug into the improved infrastructure. This understanding changed the
question from "Why do I need this?" to "When can I have this?"
It's important to remember that 4 Gbps Fibre Channel Technology is
only part of the computing equation. If your performance bottleneck is the
server horsepower for example, adding 4 Gbps infrastructure won't produce
improved results. 4Gbps technology is just around the corner. The speed is
impressive, and the costs are attractive. This train will be leaving the station
soon. Don't be left behind. ...Engenio profile,
Fibre-channel adapter cards,
article:- Fibre-Channel SAN
See also:- another article by Steve Gardner -
Disk to Disk Backup
versus Tape - War or Truce?
Serial Attached SCSI - Delivering Flexibility to the
Data Center - article by LSI Logic and Maxtor
"SAS gains a
performance advantage through its support of multiple initiators, or the ability
to support I/O requests from more than one controller at a time. With dual ports
and multiple initiator support, SAS RAID arrays can implement dynamic load
balancing, allowing I/O requests to be evenly spread across multiple
controllers, leveraging the full processing power of all of them. Without this
capability, the I/O requests can become skewed, and overload one controller,
while the others may not be at full capacity. SATA technology does not
support this capability."
...read the article,
...LSI Logic profile,
Serial Attached SCSI