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Sun, SPARC, Solaris news, 2007 April

See also:- Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
article:- a Short History of Disk to Disk Backup
Squeak! - Who's Eating Whom in the Storage Market?
article:- the Next 3 Years in the SPARC Server Market - (2007 to 2009)
earlier SPARC news, Sun's news page, SPARC news from Google, Storage news
SPARC history:- April 2000, April 2001, April 2002, April 2003, April 2004, April 2005, April 2006
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Survey Reports on Data Center Rack Space

STAMFORD, Conn - April 30, 2007 - 43% of data centers are running out of physical space and power density in racks is at an all time high, a survey by the Aperture Research Institute has discovered.

The survey of over 100 enterprise data managers, representing over 600 data centers, covered a spectrum of company sizes and industries, including banking, insurance, healthcare, data services, retail, and telecommunications.

Nearly 90% of those surveyed indicated that 75% or more of the space in their data centers was already allocated to IT equipment. More than 43% of respondents reported that 90% or more of their data centers were in use, which may suggest that future needs are being planned with the rapid growth in processing and storage across all industries.

Compounding these concerns is the fact that servers and racks are using more power than ever before. Nearly 38% of respondents said that their average rack was using from 7 to 18 kilowatts or more. As well as putting pressure on the power supply infrastructure, such a power high density will also increase demand for cooling and increase the risk of downtime. the survey results (pdf), Rackmount Storage

Sun Disrespects Copyright of SPARC Product Directory

Editor:- April 27, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. has shown it has little respect for the copyright works of others by its recent action of misusing content from the SPARC Product Directory in a new website celebrating Sun's 25th anniversary.

"First Sun used our content, without permission or attribution" says the original author and publisher Zsolt Kerekes. "Then we were offered a form of attribution which was worthless (a footnote at the bottom of a multiple screen long article. Finally after I mentioned possible legal sanctions - Sun replaced the content with a plagiarized version of the original purloined text. I still haven't had an apology from Sun or admission that they did anything wrong. The whole episode has tainted Sun's 25th anniversary celebration for me."

Here are the details of what was done.
1 - Sun's copyright trangression 2 - The original source...... 3 - Sun's "rewritten" version
In Sun's 25 year timeline article which appeared on Sun's website this week the paragraph below appeared alongside the image which marked the launch of the SPARCstation 1. It was copied from a very popular article on the history of the SPARC systems market. See below. Following complaints by the original author and Sun's unwillingness to put in place an a satisfactory attribution (the one they offered would have been almost invisible). Sun replaced this text with the plagiarized text below.
"It certainly wasn't clear that SPARC was going to become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications. At that time most computer manufacturers were talking about introducing their own RISC based computers. Few have survived with today's Unix derived computerware. Many simply vanishing once SPARC became successful." "...It certainly wasn't clear that SPARC was going to become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications. At that time most computer manufacturers were talking about introducing their own RISC based computers. The few which have survived ... ... Many others vanished without trace once SPARC became successful." "Most computer manufacturers at that time were thinking about bringing in RISC based computers into the market. While some of Sun's competitors were delayed in producing their next-generation products, Sun came in with the SPARCstation 1. No one knew that it would become the leading hardware platform for serious server applications."
By the way - the "rewritten" / "Sun authored" paragraph which appeared on April 26 also includes another sentence which is identical to another part of Kerekes' original article - making it even clearer what the original source was. It shows that Sun's PR didn't do a good enough white wash.

Kerekes admits that is not the first time that parts or even the whole content of his articles have been copied without permission or attribution on the web. But Sun's refusal, in this case, to include attribution at the same level of visibility as the content it had taken, even after being found to be in the wrong - suggests a cultural unwillingness to admit mistakes or co-operate with independent publishers which they do not control.

"It's a real problem for publishers when a company with the reputation of Sun with its hand caught in the cookie jar - wriggles and does everything it can to avoid giving a satisfactory attribution" commented Kerekes. "In this case - the botched PR handling of Sun's 25 year celebration web site - has become the story."

ASCDI Files Complaint Against Sun with UK Competition Authority

DELRAY BEACH, Fla - April 24, 2007 - The Association of Service and Computer Dealers International yesterday filed a Complaint with the UK competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading against Sun Microsystems UK Limited.

The Complaint seeks to reverse Sun policies that allegedly infringe UK competition law.

"Sun's policy (since 2006) effectively closes the secondary market trade in Sun products to anyone other than Sun. It is anti-competitive behaviour plain and simple," said ASCDI President Joe Marion.

At stake is an estimated $1.4 billion market in 2007 in the EU for used Sun products. Absent interference from Sun, independent resellers should achieve a market share for Sun products of at least $533 million. If Sun's behaviour continues unchecked, not only will this share drop, other manufacturers may follow suit, forcing independent resellers out of the market and giving manufacturers near monopolies for their respective products. ...ASCDI profile

Editor's comments:-
the pressure leading to this action has been building up for 3 years since Sun started to tighten its control on the independent VAR and broker market using a combination of trademark law and restrictions on 3rd Party Maintenance. In a landmark case Sun sued a UK VAR Amtec and tried to put them out of business.

ASCDI's complaint to the UK fair trade regulators looks like it may have some merit - but the outcome in legal disputes is never certain.

What is certain is that by the time this issue gets resolved Sun will be shipping a new generation of even denser servers - and that old / previously owned systems will be very undesireable in comparison for several years.

Sun Launches Online Sale to Celebrate 25 Years of Innovation

Santa Clara, Calif - April 23, 2007 - In celebration of its 25-year anniversary, Sun Microsystems is offering discounts of up to 65% on its most popular servers and storage for 2 weeks starting today.

Click here to see the promotional prices online.

Sun also launched a Web site honoring the company's quarter-century of innovation, with videos from CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Chairman and Co-founder Scott McNealy; historical timelines; photos; a virtual scrapbook of memories from Sun's 25 years; and more.

Editor's comments:- Sun's timeline also includes a well crafted paragraph commenting on the SPARCstation 1 which is copied verbatim from my own SPARC history article.

Sun / Fujitsu SPARC Server Line Finally Sees Light of Day

TOKYO - April 17, 2007 - Fujitsu and Sun Microsystems, Inc. today unveiled a new line-up of co-developed mainframe-class servers.

The new servers, based on the SPARC architecture and running the Solaris 10 OS, are the fastest SPARC servers ever, and will be marketed by both companies and affiliates under the "SPARC Enterprise" product brand. This the culmination of over two years of joint development between Fujitsu and Sun, building on their 20-year strategic relationship.

The new servers (available today) address the growing customer need to maximize system utilization by offering an array of highly granular partitioning and domaining technologies. The SPARC Enterprise servers are also designed to ensure minimal downtime. The systems marketed by Sun and Fujitsu are identical except for branding, and Sun guarantees 100% Solaris binary compatibility. ...Fujitsu profile

Editor's comments:- I first reported on the start of this project 4 years ago in 2003.

See also:- article:- Fujits...Who? - A Primer on Fujitsu's SPARC Heritage

QLogic's FC HBAs Rule OpenSolaris Roost?

well, maybe not...

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - April 17, 2007 - QLogic Corp today announced that it has completed a license agreement with Sun Microsystems and joined the OpenSolaris storage community, making it the "first company to offer fully qualified Fibre Channel HBAs and technology for OpenSolaris".

More than 95% of Fibre Channel HBAs in Solaris OS environments are from QLogic. This large installed base encompasses the entire range of Sun application and hardware environments. ...QLogic profile, article:- Surviving the Solaris x86 Wars

Editor's comments:-
it shows how much things change. 10 years ago the main FC adapter companies supplying the Sun market (in the SPARC Product Directory) were companies like Antares Microsystems, JNI, Performance Technologies, GENROCO, Emulex and many others...

QLogic was certainly not the first to supply FC HBAs into the SunOS market, nor the SPARC Solaris market. But by the time Sun's OS got renamed to OpenSolaris - and was born again for the Intel market - most oems had exited the Sun compatible market or been acquired / gone bust or went on to do other things.

...Later:- QLogic's claim that it supplied "more than 95% of FC HBAs in Solaris environments" was shown to be spurious and without foundation. I was informed that Sun had forced QLogic to retract this claim - and it doesn't appear in the company's later archived version of this press release.

I had already ridiculed another assertion by QLogic about being "first" in Solaris.

To sum it up... Not a single claim in the original press release stands up to independent scrutiny. It's not unusual for vendors to make over reaching claims in their press releases but this was a particularly striking example.

Sun's Forthcoming 16 Core SPARC Takes Shape

Editor:- April 10, 2007 - Jonathan Schwartz's blog today reveals that Sun has got first silicon of its next generation SPARC processor.

Codenamed "Rock" it will have 16 CPU cores and over 2,300 pins.

See also:- storage chips

Sun Donates Storage Technologies to Open Source

Santa Clara, Calif - April 10, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it is donating a significant set of storage technologies for storage developers within the OpenSolaris community.

Some of the many items included are the ZFS dynamic file system, NFS v4.1 (also known as parallel NFS), Solaris iSCSI Target and some fibre-channel related drivers. ...Sun Microsystems profile, article:- Surviving the Solaris x86 Wars

Sun's UltraSPARC Finally Breaks the 2GHz Barrier

SANTA CLARA, Calif - April 3, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the availability of faster 1.95GHz and 2.1GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors for its popular Sun Fire servers.

Sun claims that, compared to previous generations, the new UltraSPARC IV+ processor has shown 2X performance over the UltraSPARC IV and 5X performance over the UltraSPARC III. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- if Sun's processors had maintained the performance momentum of the 1990s - they should have shipped 2GHz SPARC chips 5 years ago. In fact Fujitsu was shipping 1.9GHz SPARC64 based servers 3 years ago (in 2004) but presumably disheartened by its previous failures in the Sun compatible market didn't make a marketing push in the Sun installed base. But later is better than never - for faster SPARC chips.
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