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SPARC history - 2006, February

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Unix Bumped from Server Throne - 1st Time in a Decade
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - February 22, 2006 - According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, factory revenue in the worldwide server market declined 0.2% year over year to $14.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005.

This was the first year-over-year quarterly decline in revenue since the first quarter of 2003, as year-over-year quarterly compares become more difficult. Worldwide server unit shipments growth slowed modestly to 10.6% in 4Q05 when compared with the year-ago period. Volume systems grew 7.3% year over year and the segment continue to be the catalyst for growth for the server market overall, gaining favor with SMB and enterprise customers alike. After four consecutive quarterly increases, revenue for midrange enterprise servers declined 11.5% year over year and the high-end enterprise server market showed a 1.7% decline year over year, the fifth consecutive quarter of declining revenue for high-end enterprise servers.

Sun's server revenue declined 10.9% in this quarter to $1.2 billion. By coincidence Fujitsu's server revenue declined by exactly the same percentage.

The Windows server market continued to show solid growth, with factory revenues increasing by 4.7% year over year. Overall, Windows servers accounted for $4.9 billion in 4Q05, representing 33.6% of quarterly server market revenue. For all of 2005, Windows server revenues were $17.7 billion, which means that for the first time the Windows server segment modestly exceeded spending for Unix servers as customers deployed more fully configured Windows servers in support of scalable enterprise workloads and server virtualization projects. Linux servers generated $1.6 billion in quarterly revenue, the fourteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, with year-over-year revenue growth of 20.8%.

For the full year, Linux server revenues were $5.7 billion, placing it in third place for the first time from an operating system perspective as customers continued to expand the role of Linux servers into an increasingly wider array of commercial and technical workloads.

Unix servers experienced a 5.9% decline in factory revenue year over year to $5.0 billion for the quarter with worldwide Unix revenues for the quarter representing 34.3% of overall quarterly factory revenue. For all of 2005, Unix server revenues were $17.5 billion, moving the platform from sole possession of first place from an operating system perspective for the first time in more than a decade. ...IDC profile


Sun Embarks on the Business Recovery Plan We Advocated in 2003 - Linux on SPARC

Editor:- February 16, 2006 - Sun is hyping up the prospects of a Linux port to its UltraSPARC T1 processor.

To facilitate this - Sun has published details of the SPARC architecture and relevant APIs for free download.

Commenting on this Jonathan Schwartz, President and COO, Sun Microsystems said "Today we open the door to expanding SPARC onto new platforms and into new markets, breaking down barriers to innovation and giving our customers more choice. Having Linux or BSD ports for the UltraSPARC T1 processor will greatly expand the SPARC market, giving customers more opportunities to reap the benefits of our CoolThreads technology. The OpenSPARC effort is fostering a community for SPARC-based, 32 thread innovation that will play a crucial role in redefining industry standards in the data center."

You can't credit the guys at Sun for original thinking on this. Or fast action either.

Three years ago in a popular article published in the SPARC Product Directory called - What's the Trigger Event that will Turn Around Sun's Revenue Decline? - I argued why this would be a necessary step. I also predicted that this would only happen after Sun brought out some faster processors.

It's not the first time we've accurately predicted Sun's changes in business direction, 2, 3 or 4 years ahead. You can see the full list of these on - SPARC market articles.


Sun Phases Out Trusted Solaris

Editor:- February 14, 2006 - an article in ITworld.com yesterday says that Sun plans to end of life Trusted Solaris.

According to the article Sun wants to concentrate its resources on improving security for its commercial server customers, instead of focusing so much resources on the special needs of its military SPARC customers.

SPARC Product Directory commented in earlier years that the defense and military markets helped Sun to survive the difficult years 2001 to 2003 when its dotcom and commercial SPARC server business collapsed. The fact that Sun is willing to risk alienating this market is a sign that Sun is more optimistic about its business prospects in the civilian server market. ...read the article


Sun Resurrects SPARC Technology Business

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - February 8, 2006 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it is creating a new business unit to serve the needs of OEMs.

The unit's goal is to better support Sun's OEM customers by establishing dedicated sales, support and services for Sun's current products as well as delivering new, tailored solutions to them. The business covers all of Sun's key hardware and software technologies, including the Solaris 10 OS, the new Sun Fire x64 servers, the Sun T1000 and T2000 servers with CoolThreads technology, and ATCA (advanced telecommunications computing architecture) products. Sun will initially be targeting network equipment providers along with computer platform vendors healthcare and imaging OEMs.

Editor's comments:- in the early 1990s Sun had a business unit called SPARC Technology Business (STB) - which performed exactly the same functions as the new business unit created this week. STB was very successful for a number of years - because Sun's technology offered OEMS a competitive edge compared to alternative architectures. Sun's new T1 high density SPARC chips provide a similar window of opportunity.



Industry Collaborates on Remote Direct Memory Access

February 6, 2006 - Leading technology companies, including IBM, Neterion, Sun Microsystems and Universal Network Machines today announced that they have joined forces in the OpenRDMA project to support the open source software for Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over TCP/IP and Ethernet networks.

RDMA technology removes data copy operations and reduces latency by allowing one computer to directly place information in another computer's memory with minimal demands on memory bus bandwidth and CPU processing overhead. Promoting a transport-independent RDMA solution, OpenRDMA software will support network fabrics other than Ethernet.

Once implemented, OpenRDMA software will help organizations meet increasing demands for networking bandwidth and speed that are currently growing faster than the processing power and memory bandwidth of the compute nodes that process networking traffic.While exact timelines for the general availability of OpenRDMA-provided kernel extensions are difficult to predict, the OpenRDMA partners are expecting to provide these extensions for general evaluation in 2006. RDMA technology enables high-performance server clustering and eliminates the burden of excessive memory copies when communicating between servers. ...Neterion profile


Engenio Achieves Solaris Ready Certification

MILPITAS, CA - February 6, 2006 - LSI Logic Corp today announced that storage systems from its Engenio Storage Group are now certified Solaris Ready within the Sun Cluster Open Storage Program.

By meeting these requirements, customers can be assured that Engenio storage products are fully interoperable with the Solaris 10 OS. This certification allows customers to design a storage infrastructure utilizing Sun Cluster software and Sun Fire Servers that takes advantage of the high availability of Engenio storage systems for mission critical applications. ...Engenio profile, Sun, SPARC, Solaris news


Interphase Ships Quad Gigabit Ethernet AdvancedMC

PLANO, Texas - February 1, 2006 - Interphase Corp today announced the availability of the SlotOptimizer 364G AdvancedMC Quad Gigabit Ethernet Card.

The new AdvancedMC adapter is designed specifically for converged next-generation and wireless network applications that require multiple high-speed, high-bandwidth Ethernet ports directly connected to the processor blade, and provides optimum performance and CPU utilization for even the most demanding applications.

Designed for use in AdvancedTCA and MicroTCA platforms, the Interphase 364G product features 4 independent 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet ports, high-performance Gigabit Ethernet controllers, up to x4 PCI Express 1.0a links, auto-negotiation and compatibility with PCI Express-compliant host systems. The 364G also features an Intelligent Platform Management Interface, enabling the card to be monitored and controlled by remote shelf management controllers. In addition, the product comes with inherent robustness, reliability and hot-swap capabilities delivered by the AdvancedMC form factor. Software support for the 364G includes drivers for Carrier Grade Linux and Solaris. ...Interphase profile
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Sun's Server Revenue Declined 10.9%

Sun Embarks on Linux Port for SPARC

Sun Phases Out Trusted Solaris

Sun Resurrects SPARC Technology Business

Industry Collaborates on Remote Direct Memory Access

Engenio Achieves Solaris Ready Certification

Interphase Ships Quad Gigabit Ethernet

earlier news - archive
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Nature Worldwide Technology
Naturetech, founded in 1998, is one of
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Squeak! - the Top 10 Fastest Growing Storage Companies
read the article - the Fastest Growing storage companies in 2005
This is the 5th annual edition of this popular article, and is compiled from analyzing the reported results from the top 1,000 storage companies in 2005.

The top 5 companies had over 70% year on year revenue growth. If you're looking to team with successful storage companies or want to emulate their success, this article will tell you who they are and the market segments they are in. ...read the article, storage manufacturers, storage software, storage VARS - USA, storage VARs - UK, storage VARs - Japan
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Squeak! - Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market
Squeak! - Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market
Animal marketing metaphors are popular in service industries, but you'd be surprised how many companies have used animals in their marketing of data storage products and services.

The storage market was worth over $150 billion in 2005, and as it gets bigger - more companies will turn to animal brands to help differentiate their otherwise bland products and lend them artificial (or deserving) characters and virtues.

The idea behind this type of marketing is to suggest positive connotations so it's unlikely that anyone will choose to associate their products with gremlins. But you may be surprised by the population of the storage ark.

This reference articles lists all known companies who have furry marketing brands, and also includes some which are slimy, scaly and scary too. ...read the article, Mice in storage
read the article by ICS - Sanitization Methods
Sanitization Methods for Cleaning Up Hard Disk Drives - article by Intelligent Computer Solutions

Removing the data on old unwanted disk drives has become a concern for all users.

In 2005 Pointsec found that they were able to read 7 out of 10 hard-drives bought over the Internet at auctions such as eBay, for less than the cost of a McDonald's meal, all of which had "supposedly" been "wiped-clean" or "re-formatted".

This article reviews the various methods available to sanitize hard disks along with the advantages and disadvantages in each case....read the article, ...Intelligent Computer Solutions profile, disk sanitizers
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Squeak! - Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?
read the article - Why are Most Analysts  Wrong About Solid State Disks?
Most analysts and editors of other computer publications don't really understand the solid state disk market. They show their ignorance and naivete by prefacing every discussion of SSDs with a superficial analysis which compares the cost per byte of storage between flash and hard disk drives. That's the wrong answer to the wrong question. And it's far removed from why the SSD market is racing to become a multi billion dollar market seemingly in blithe ignorance of the cost per byte proposition.

This article tells you what's important to users and the main applications in which SSDs are already being used and new applications where they will be used in the next 3 years. ...read the article, Solid State Disks
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