click to visit home page
leading the way to the new storage frontier .....

SPARC Product Directory

from the makers of
SPARC history
..... SPARC history ..
image shows software factory - click to see storage software directory
SSD software ....

Sun, SPARC, Solaris news

September 2005 in SPARC History

See also:- Surviving the Solaris x86 Wars
after All Flash Arrays - what next?
the 2005 Market Report on Sun Compatible OEMs
Why Sun Should Acquire a Solid State Disk Company
Hardware Upgrades to Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster
the Benefits of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) for External Subsystems
SSD ad - click for more info
Sun, SPARC, Solaris Market news other news on this page
Sinking the Itanium

Editor:- September 29, 2005 - an article published this week in - "How many chips does it take to sink an Itanic?" - reports on the dismal state of Itanium server sales.

It seems that despite server makers giving away Itanium servers - the total market is still very small. That prompted some of my own reflections on this subject below.

SPARC Product Directory has commented before that we expect the Itanium to quietly disappear, despite vociferous comments to the contrary by Intel and HP that they are continuing to pour money and resources into it. This was the first time in 30 years that Intel's next generation microprocessor was a flop.

In the period 1975 to 1980 - Intel processors dominated designs first, because they invented the market and then with 2nd generation 8 bit micros Intel offered better development tools and more support chips than the competition from Motorola, Zilog, Mostek, Signetics etc.

In 1979 when 16 bit processors started to figure in many of the new product plans that I was involved in as an Electronic Engineer, Intel was actually shipping the 8086 in volume upto 2 years before Motorola (who was struggling with reliability problems due to the very big ceramic chip case needed to fit in all the extra address pins).

At that time AMD was promoting its second source of the Zilog 16 bit design, the Z8000. AMD had a good ad campaign aimed at wannabe 8086 designers - which said "the Z8000 is better!" But Intel did a deal with the devil - and allowed AMD to become a legal second source for the x86 microcode. In return, AMD dropped the Z8000. Many senior Intel manager, haunted and annoyed by that deal, have since told me that the AMD deal was not strictly necessary at the time because Intel had already sown up about 80% of 16 bit design wins by 1980 anyway. I remember Intel's 16 bit design win campaign called "Crush" - because my wife who was an ISE with Intel at the time took me on a Carribbean holiday which was the reward the European sales force got for their part in it.

But at that time few people knew or suspected that IBM and Microsoft would shift the balance of processor architecture with the IBM PC.

In the period 1981 to 2000 - the domination of Microsoft's operating systems in PCs simplified Intel's design task - because all they had to do was to make sure that their 16, and then 32 bit processors were code compatible and ran faster.

But in the period 1996 to 2000 Sun had shown with its SPARC chips and Solaris OS that there was a big ($20 billion / year) market for 64 bit servers. Although Sun's business collapsed with the bursting of the dotcom bubble, and then the whole IT market went into a long recession extended by the events of 9/11 - Intel's thinking was driven by the need to establish a 64 bit processor - which needed a more reliable operating system than Microsoft could provide. So the issue of code compatibility with Windows was dropped at the point when the Itanium was conceived.

As we now know that was a really big mistake. Because code incompatibility also locked out Linux - which has now overtaken Sun in revenue in the non Windows server market. And Microsoft did eventually manage to get its OS reliability up to the level needed for enterprise servers. The beneficiary of all this was AMD whose 64 bit x86 compatible processor is now regarded as the top performer in the 64 bit market.

But it takes more than a fast chip to drive an enterprise, and the breadth of software applications and networking support on SPARC Solaris is still far greater than that on Solaris x86 or Linux. Intel and HP seem to be the only two companies in the world saying that the Intanium is a viable server platform But saying is not the same as believing. Itanium, like the Titanic, is one for the history books. But I doubt if it will inspire any movies. SPARC History

See also:- latency reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix

LSI Logic Increases Solaris 10 Support for MegaRAID

MILPITAS, Calif. - September 28, 2005 - LSI Logic Corporation announced today that it will port the MegaRAID line to Sun Microsystems' Solaris 10 Operating System for x64/x86.

Once complete, LSI Logic and Sun customers will be able to cost-effectively manage, protect and share information, using MegaRAID systems and software with the Solaris 10 OS on X64/X86 processor-based systems. The dual channel Ultra320 SCSI PCI-X MegaRAID adapter already supports the Solaris 10 OS, on x64/x86 platforms. The MegaRAID family also includes 3Gb/s SATA II and SAS. ...LSI Logic profile, RAID controllers

Sun Chooses LSI Logic for Serial SCSI

MILPITAS, Calif. - September 20, 2005 - Design wins at four of the five largest server OEMs pushed LSI Logic's Serial Attached SCSI IC design win market share above 80%, the company announced today.

HP, Dell, Sun, and FSC have selected LSI Logic SAS products. Other OEMs including Japan market leader NEC, Chinese server maker Lenovo and Taiwan server maker ACER will also be using LSI Logic SAS products. Revenue from the SAS design wins is expected to exceed $450 million over the next three years. LSI Logic has also completed extensive interoperability testing with leading hard disk drive manufacturers including Seagate, Maxtor, Hitachi and Fujitsu.

IDC estimates the server market will grow from 6.9M units in 2004 to 9.5M units in 2008. One data point used to make market projections is shipment estimates for the major server market suppliers such as HP, Dell, IBM, Sun and FSC. Together, these five vendors represented 74.7% of the worldwide server shipments in the 1st half of 2005, according to IDC, and have continued worldwide leadership in terms of server shipments since. By 2008, IDC estimates that Serial Attached SCSI will achieve more than 30% market share in the enterprise storage and server space. ...LSI Logic profile, Serial Attached SCSI

Sun Launches its Fastest SPARC Servers Yet

SANTA CLARA, CALIF - September 20, 2005 - Sun Microsystems today announced the release of Sun Fire servers powered by new 1.5 GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors.

The new UltraSPARC IV+ processor based Sun Fire servers deliver up to 5x the performance increase over UltraSPARC III systems. The new Sun Fire Servers running the USIV+ processors are immediately available and began shipping in late August. Pricing starts at $30,995.

Commenting about the competition, Jonathan Schwartz, President of Sun Microsystems said:- "This introduction makes it clear that SPARC and Power are going head-to-head, now that IBM and Dell have de-comitted to Itanium and Hewlett Packard has effectively end-of-lifed HP-UX. And of the two, only SPARC benefits from the features and volume of the open source Solaris 10 operating system, which supports industry-standard servers from Sun as well as IBM, HP and Dell." ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:-
SPARC users will welcome these long anticipated servers, and the low cost upgrade path that the new chips facilitate.

When any server vendor like Sun talks about their competition - you have to take what they say with a pinch of salt. The real competition to SPARC/Solaris servers are not the living dead Power and Itanium or the deceased Alpha. The real competition to SPARC/Solaris is Intel Architecture AMD chips running Linux.

Although Sun makes a lot of noise about the 2 million plus downloads of Solaris x86 and the performance of its own new Galaxy servers - the fact is that Sun has achieved very little measurable market share in the IA server market. Most Solaris x86 runs on non Sun supplied hardware, and recent market data suggests that nearly half of Linux servers are actually running on old Windows machines which have been redeployed as low end appliances.

2006 will mark 20 years of commercially available SPARC servers. In 1996 SPARC Product Directory published a forcast from leading SPARC evangelists predicting the second SPARC decade (which has now passed). In January we will publish a similar follow up article - "Will SPARC Reach 30?"

Oracle Uses IP Acceleration Technology from NetEx in Technology Centers

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.- September 19, 2005 - NetEx today announced its HyperIP Data Replication Optimizer is being utilized by Oracle Corp. to optimize data movement between Oracle's Atlanta-based Enterprise Technology Center and the Oracle Partner Technology Center in Reston, VA.

"We're honored to be included with the elite group of vendors providing infrastructure solutions for Oracle's Technology Centers," said Robert MacIntyre, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing at NetEx. "Oracle user feedback has been very positive and extremely valuable to ensure that Oracle partners and customers get the most value from HyperIP."

HyperIP eliminates the inefficiencies of traditional TCP/IP-based networks by accelerating leading data replication applications, including Oracle DataGuard, critical to supporting business continuity and disaster recovery compliance and ensuring these applications are consistently completed on time. Data replication optimization substantially improves end-to-end performance and minimizes the risk of non-compliance, compared with costly and complex Fibre Channel WAN products. HyperIP DRO installs as a simple appliance that easily attaches to an existing IP infrastructure and requires no changes to applications or code upgrades to network devices. ...NetEx profile

UltraSPARC IV+ Servers - More Sizzle than Flash Bang Wallop?

Editor:- September 14, 2005 - an article on ZDNet today discusses Sun's UltraSPARC IV+ processor, which they say will appear in servers imminently.

The article says that the new chips still aren't clocked as fast as those already available in SPARC servers made by Fujitsu. The main difference in the UltraSPARC IV+, compared to the IV is the addition of some on-chip cache and a small tweak upwards in clock rate.

As we've said many times before - Sun's SPARC users who need more applications performance now should look at solid state disks as their primary route to increased speedups. Enterprise wide speedups of x2 to x3 have been reported in dozens of SSD case studies in heterogenous environments, and one SSD vendor, Texas Memory Systems, offers money-back performance guarantees.

See also:- article:- Fujits...Who? - A Primer on Fujitsu's SPARC Heritage ,
article:- Hardware Upgrades to Make Your Sun SPARC Server Go Faster

Neterion's "Test Drive 10 Gigabit Ethernet" Evaluation Program Report

Cupertino, CA - September, 13, 2005 - Neterion, Inc. announced they are extending their end user evaluation program called "Test Drive 10 Gigabit Ethernet," launched in June.

The program has reached over 6,600 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, data center managers, system architects and lab directors at Fortune 500 companies. The success of this program in revealing the latest end user trends has led to the decision to continue the evaluation program.

"We are very impressed with the degree of detail and relevancy of the information that we are receiving from the senior management of these Fortune 500 companies," stated Dave Zabrowski, President & CEO of Neterion. "We reached thousands of end users via mail, email, and then talked directly to over 500 of them. We learned that 10 Gigabit Ethernet is ready for prime time in a variety of mainstream datacenter applications and Neterion looks forward to leveraging this data by driving even greater business to our OEM customers and channel partners."

Based on the responses, awareness of 10 GbE technology is growing rapidly as many data centers of Fortune 500 companies are currently conducting cost studies, implementation planning or evaluation testing. Examples of the applications driving these activities are: data warehousing, back-up and other networked storage solutions, video-on-demand, oil and gas exploration, complex life sciences, manufacturing data modeling, etc.

The research reveals that leading factors in determining migration decisions include cost and application performance advantages that 10 GbE can deliver over existing solutions such as trunking 1 GbE links. In addition, many organizations are seeking to upgrade their systems and networks to deliver increased levels of productivity, better meet the demands of business in a zero-latency market, while minimizing disruptions to their existing infrastructure. ...Neterion profile, InfiniBand, iSCSI

Sunnytech Offers Trade-in and Upgrade Path for Old Tadpole SPARC Notebooks
Editor:- September 12, 2005 - I noticed today that Sunnytech is offering owners of old SPARC notebooks from Tadpole - trade-ins upto $2,000 against the purchase of new higher performance NatureBook SPARC/Solaris notebooks.

The future availability of Tadpole notebooks is far from clear following the company's acquisition by General Dynamics. My own view is that the new ownership will be great for military customers who will get a much shorter logistical supply chain - but bad news for commercial users who don't appear in any military marketing plans.

Tadpole had been losing ground in the civilian SPARC notebook space for some time. So users have little choice but to look at NatureTech products (resold by a variety of VARs) for an ongoing source of competitive SPARC notebooks.

Meanwhile in the Intel Architecture notebook market, Hitachi last week announced that it will shortly be shipping user installable disk upgrade kits which will enable Windows notebook users to increase storage and performance by a disk upgrade instead of replacing the whole notebook. The Solaris market is too small to be supported by that kind of upgrade by a big name storage company. But if any VARs have their own supported upgrade storage solutions they should let our readers know. ...more about Sunnytech's offer, ...SunnyTech profile

HP Wins $200 million Revenue from Sun Customers in First Half of 2005

PALO ALTO, Calif. - September 7, 2005 - HP has generated more than $200 million in revenue from wins in 150 Sun customer accounts during the first half of calendar year 2005.

"Given recent market share figures, customers are obviously concerned about the uncertainty of Sun's server roadmap," said Mark Hudson, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Storage and Servers, HP. "Customers are turning to HP for the value of stable, standards-based platforms with a broad portfolio of solutions for Linux, HP-UX and Windows operating systems."

To drive this opportunity even further, HP has expanded its Sun Eclipse Program of services and incentives that help Sun customers move to HP solutions. The program now includes additional migration incentives, expanded channel programs, new Linux migration tools and additional support options to offer Sun customers more choice and flexibility to migrate to Linux, HP-UX 11i and Windows® on standards-based HP Integrity, BladeSystem and ProLiant servers. ...HP profile, article:- the New Solaris Migration?

Sun's SPARC Servers Set New Sybase Benchmark Record

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - September 1, 2005 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the UltraSPARC IV-based Sun Fire V890 system running Sybase IQ has set a new benchmark world record.

The Sun Fire V890 server achieved best multi-user performance for any system at the 100GB Scale Factor 24139 TPC-H throughput@100GB - more than twice the previous best from IBM, 11531 TPC-H throughput@100GB obtained with 16x Opt 2.0GHz processors (August 31, 2005). ...Sun Microsystems profile, Record Breaking Storage

What Are the Most Important Trends in the Storage Market?

Editor:- September 1, 2005 -, which is 7 years old today, has published a review of the 3 most important trends which have affected the storage market in the last 7 years.

The article also predicts what will be the 3 most important trends for the next 7 years too. the article,
SSD ad - click for more info
Sinking the Itanium

LSI Logic Increases Solaris 10 Support for MegaRAID

Sun Chooses LSI Logic for Serial SCSI

Sun Launches its Fastest SPARC Servers Yet

Oracle Deploys IP Acceleration Technology from NetEx

UltraSPARC IV+ Servers - More Sizzle than Flash Bang Wallop?

Neterion's "Test Drive 10 Gigabit Ethernet" Report

Sunnytech Offers Trade-in for Old Tadpole Notebooks

HP Wins $200 million Revenue from Sun Customers

Sun's SPARC Sets New Sybase Benchmark Record 7 Year Review

earlier news - archive
Serial Attached SCSI
Serial Attached SCSI on
Megabyte found it difficult
adapting to the newer thinner
Serial SCSI connections.

Dynamic Solutions International supplies solutions for the financial and banking markets
DSI is the premier supplier of solid state
disk solutions to the financial services industry.
USA Sun VARs - USA / Storage VARs

Prob-Solve Solutions
Prob-Solve Solutions' Data Storage solutions
address the administration and management of
businesses' most vital corporate asset: information.
european VARs Sun VARs- UK / Storage VARs

Epoka Group sells Sun and Fujitsu and has offices in Denmark, Germany and Russia
Epoka Group, with sales offices in
Germany, Denmark and Russia is a leading
European reseller of Sun and Fujitsu SPARC
european VARs Sun VARs Germany

2005 Market Report on Sun Compatible OEMs
in the SPARC Product Directory

his article reviews the history of Sun's relationships with Sun compatible hardware OEMs and chronicles the 3 great culls of SPARC compatible OEMs.

The article also analyzes emerging new trends and strategic growth markets for Sun partners in 2005. the article
click to read article click to read article

Serial Attached SCSI - Delivering Flexibility to the Data Center - article by LSI Logic and Maxtor

If you think you already know SAS because you know SATA and traditional SCSI then think again. Sometimes disruptive technologies wear an unassuming disguise. In fiction, Clark Kent, Frodo Baggins and Buffy Summers at first seem harmless, but we see them change into Superman, the Ring Bearer and the Slayer.

SAS too comes cloaked in plain garb - with a physical layer which looks a lot like SATA. But like the Incredible Hulk there are muscles rippling under that shirt - and you would be wrong to dismiss SAS so lightly. There's a lot more inside this interface than it says on the box as this informative article reveals. the article, ...LSI Logic profile, ...Maxtor profile, Serial Attached SCSI

read the serial scsi article by Adaptec
the Benefits of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) for External Subsystems - article by Adaptec

This introduction to Serial Attached SCSI gives you an idea of the performance, compatibilities, applications and roadmap for this new directly attached disk connection standard. With throughput capability faster than 2Gbps Fibre-channel systems and faster than ultra320 SCSI - the new SAS products not only provide an upward migration path for parallel SCSI applications but also open the door to a new class of high performance high reliability enterprise systems. the article, ...Adaptec profile, Serial Attached SCSI
click to read article click to read article

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." the article, ...LSI Logic profile, ...Maxtor profile, Serial Attached SCSI

article by
War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash Solid State Disks - Despatches from the Magneto / Flash Wars - article by BiTMICRO

BiTMICRO is the #1 best recognised brand of SSDs (source SSD Survey) and they have published a lot of articles to help customers understand the benefits of their products. When I first saw the submission for this article I was pleased to see that it quoted extracts from and linked to several other articles that I myself had written or edited - so that gave me a warm glow.

After years of analyzing this market SSD vendors and analysts are starting to see some clear patterns emerging. Although opinions still differ on some subjects, and vendors are prone to pitch their own solutions as best, this article is a useful synthesis of current industry thinking by one of the leading flash SSD module manufacturers. the article, ...BiTMICRO Networks profile, Solid State Disks, Hard disk drives
SPARC history
SPARC History

current SPARC news
SPARC History (from 1987 till last month) STORAGEsearch SPARC Product Directory ACSL - the publisher

SPARC(R) is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. SPARC PRODUCT DIRECTORY(SM) is a service mark of SPARC International, Inc used under license by ACSL. Products using the SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.