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Sun, SPARC, Solaris news - Q4 2007

Debunking Tier 0 Storage
After SSDs... What Next?
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
earlier SPARC news, Sun's own news page, SPARC news from Google, Storage news
network storage ad
QLogic Supports Solaris SAN Targets
ALISO VIEJO, Calif - December 12, 2007 - QLogic Corp. today announced the availability of its first Fibre Channel host bus adapters with target mode capabilities for OpenSolaris.

This makes it possible for developers to build SAN-based storage systems based on Solaris. ...QLogic profile

Editor's comments:-
in the late 1990s many Sun compatible oems got burned by getting too close to Sun. But nowadays the "OpenSolaris" initiative provides an insulating layer for most vendors.

Sun Chooses Emulex Fibre Channel AMC

COSTA MESA, Calif - December 4, 2007 - Emulex Corp today announced its LightPulse adapter cards have been selected by Sun Microsystems for its new Netra family of blade servers.

The new Sun StorageTek 4Gb/s Fibre Channel ATCA HBAs are based on the Emulex 4Gb/s LightPulse LPe11000 family. They were designed for use within Sun Netra Blade Servers, and use an AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) form factor which supports the ATCA chassis. ...Emulex profile

Sun's Server Revenue Grew 11% in Q3 - Says Gartner

STAMFORD, Conn - November 26, 2007 - a report from Gartner, Inc. says worldwide server revenue for the 3rd quarter of 2007 grew just 2.6% to $13.4 billion - compared to the year ago period.

Ranked by revenue the top 4 server oems were:- IBM, HP, Dell and Sun.

Sun's SPARC Enterprise servers boosted revenue results in the quarter which resulted in an 11.4% growth in revenue but Sun experienced a 4.5% decline in server shipments. ...Gartner profile

Dell Will Offer Solaris on PowerEdge Servers

SANTA CLARA, CA - November 14, 2007 - Dell and Sun Microsystems have signed an OEM agreement for Dell to make the Solaris OS and Solaris support services available directly to customers for select Dell PowerEdge servers.

"Dell's offering of Solaris redefines the market opportunity for both companies," said Jonathan Schwartz, president and CEO, Sun Microsystems. "The relationship gives Dell broader reach into the global free software community with Solaris and OpenSolaris and gives Sun access to channels and customers across the volume marketplace."

Editor's comments:- back in the late 1990s (while Sun's star was shining at its brightest) Dell did once offer Solaris as an option on its website. The route that Sun took getting back to a position that it gave away by shooting itself in the foot for many years over Linux and Solaris x86 denial - was long and tortuous. But in this case stubborn determination seems to have paid off.

Sun Launches T2 Telco Blade

SANTA CLARA, Calif - November 13, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today introduced the first UltraSPARC T2 powered blade server the Sun Netra CP3260 ATCA.

The NEBS Level 3 Certified product family delivers massive compute density with more than 2,300 threads per rack. ...Sun profile

Sun Storage VP is New CEO at Mendocino Software

FREMONT, Calif - November 6, 2007 - Mendocino Software today announced that Kathleen Holmgren, a former top storage executive at Sun Microsystems, has been named the company's new President and CEO succeeding Steve Colman who now takes over as Chairman.

Holmgren joins Mendocino after more than 2 decades at Sun where she most recently was Senior VP of Sun's Disk Systems Business and played a key role in Sun's integration of StorageTek. Holmgren also formed the original Storage Product Group at Sun and grew it into a major strategic business for the company. She graduated with highest honors with a Bachelors of Science degree in Engineering from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and an MBA from Stanford University. ...Mendocino profile, ...Sun profile, ...Sun bio (2002) - Kathleen Holmgren, Storage People

Sun's Sales Flat

SANTA CLARA, Calif - November 5, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. reported results today for its fiscal first quarter, which ended September 30, 2007.

Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 were $3.219 billion, an increase of approximately 1% compared with the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Net income was $89 million.

"Growth remains our top priority for fiscal 2008 as we look to capitalize on our UltraSPARC T2 servers, delivering outstanding Solaris and Linux performance with extreme energy efficiency." ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- even if Sun's SPARC business grows 20% a year Sun it would Sun 5 years to get back to the SPARC revenue highs it achieved in 2000.

It's unlikely - but not impossible.

It depends on various factors:-
  • how long SPARC's lead in multicore processors prevails,
  • how the demand for telco style servers grows,
  • and what other technologies or technological accidents occur meanwhile.
In the last category - "accidents of the shooting in own foot variety" include Sun's cache reliability problems in 2001 (or something similar by rivals - such as Intel's 1997 floating point bug).

Re the impact of "other technologies" the combined impact of fast flash SSDs and lower cost RAM SSDs will depress the future demand for enterprise servers - as users fill part of the performance gap with accelerated storage.

While the market's future is uncertain, heavily invested SPARC users can breathe a sigh of relief that they got another generation of SPARC chips recently and so can put off the daunting prospect of Solaris Migration for another couple of years.

Themis Signs New VAR in Italy

FREMONT, California - October 24, 2007 - Themis announced a reseller agreement with Primeur headquartered Genova, Italy.

Through this reseller agreement, Primeur will offer Themis's Quorum server availability appliances to its international base of VMware customers. ...Primeur, ...Themis profile

Sun to Benefit from Data Center Virtualization

London, UK - October 23, 2007 - Infiniti Research today published a list of the top 5 emerging trends in the adoption and implementation of virtualization applications throughout the data center.

Virtualization is expected to boost the move toward network delivered computing or what is being termed PC-over-IP. This in turn will place vendors such as Cisco, NEC and Sun at the heart of the market, but interestingly leaves the door open for a host of innovative start-ups. ...Infiniti Research profile, Market research companies

Spectra's Upgrade Program Targets Wrinkly Tape Libraries

SNW, DALLAS - October 17, 2007 - Spectra Logic expanded its T-Series tape library line today.

Spectra preserves data storage investments in its new midrange Spectra T200, T380 and T680 tape libraries by offering a seamless growth path from 1 to 24 tape drives, 50 to 680 slots of tape media, and up to 136TB of disk storage in a single rack mount unit. Spectra's TranScaleT architecture enables customers to complete an upgrade and return to backing up in half a day or less-guaranteed.

"World-wide, there are literally tens of thousands of libraries installed that have reached the end of their economic service life" said Jeb Bolding, a product manager for Spectra Logic. "In our analysis, customers will often have a payback period of less than a year when replacing an obsolete library with our new T200, T380 or T680." ...Spectra profile

Sun Launches UltraSPARC T2 Servers

LAS VEGAS, NV - October 9, 2007 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Fujitsu Limited today introduced the first servers using the new UltraSPARC T2 processor.

The new SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220 servers double the number of processing threads (to 64 per processor chip) and increase floating point capabilities 8x over the previous generation, and are the first servers to integrate 10GbE technology and I/O directly on the chip. They are available immediately with pricing starting at $13,995. ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:-
It was a long forgotten company called Solbourne Computer which shipped the industry's first 8 way multiprocessor SPARC systems running SunOS - the 6/900 (8x 800MIPs SPARC processors) in 1992.

Earlier scientific array processors using SPARC, from companies like the CS-2 from Meiko (with 8 to 32 way SPARC processing elements) didn't run SunOS - but a proprietary OS.

Sun's own first multiprocessor server - the SPARCserver 600MP - launched in 1991 - was a 4 way VMEbus system.

These paved the way for the first commercial 64 way SPARC CPU servers in 1993.

These were:- Cray Research's 6400 (64 x 60MHz SPARC CPUs running Solaris-2) and (Fujitsu owned) ICL's GoldRush Megaserver (64 x 66MHz HyperSPARC running Unix SVR4). The GoldRush Megaserver was rated at 6,000 transactions/second.

Today's new SPARC servers pack just as many operating processors (at clock speeds which are 30x faster and bus widths which are twice as wide) into a single motherboard. And they can still run the same old software. That's a true Scalable Processor ARChitecture.

The Storage is the Computer

Editor:- October 2, 2007 - Jonathan Schwartz revealed this week in his blog that Sun will combine its Storage and Server product teams.

For several years I've been disappointed with Sun's failure to integrate new storage thinking in its products. Storage network performance is fundamental to the success of new high end servers.

Architecting the server separately to the storage just doesn't make sense. So the new move is better late than never. ...Sun profile, Squeak! - Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market
QLogic Supports Solaris SAN Targets

Sun Chooses Emulex Fibre Channel AMC

Sun's Server Revenue Grew 11% in Q3 - Says Gartner

Dell Will Offer Solaris on PowerEdge Servers

Sun Launches T2 Telco Blade

Sun Storage VP New CEO at Mendocino Software

Sun's Sales Flat

Themis Signs New VAR in Italy

Sun to Benefit from Data Center Virtualization

Upgrade Program Targets Wrinkly Tape Libraries

Sun Launches UltraSPARC T2 Servers

The Storage is the Computer

earlier news - archive
RAM based SSDs
RAM based solid state disks
Megabyte rammed through all barriers
to get there faster.
There are hundreds of articles about SSDs on
Here, below, are some examples.
  • RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs - it's important to know the underlying RAM cache architecture - even if you're happy with the R/W and IOPS performance.
SPARC History (from 1987 till last month) STORAGEsearch SPARC Product Directory ACSL - the publisher

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