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SPARC Product Directory - since 1992
from the makers of StorageSearch.com
sparc product directory

the SBus Product Directory

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor and publisher
In 1992 I published an independently researched buyers guide called the SBus Product Directory which included details of every SPARC compatible card, notebook, workstation, server and blade (we called them SBCs in those days) from every company in the Sun compatible market.

To research the book I contacted hundreds of computer companies worldwide and asked them about their intentions in the Sun market.

I had previously worked for about 5 years in the Sun market and had already used, benchmarked, integrated or evaluated products from many companies as part of a high performance systems integration business.

In many of our systems - an embedded Sun workstation was the cheapest (and slowest) piece of hardware.

I didn't plan to be a publisher and I thought the first edition of the book would be it. But I realized that the SPARC market was growing and I might be able to make a living by continuing to research and sell new editions of the book - and the worldwide database of Sun resellers and integrators that I had researched along the way.

Customers of these information services included Sun themselves - who used it in every sales US sales office to support customer questions about 3rd party hardware. At the time I would have preferred it if all customers bought their own books. Some did. (The bigger ones.) But most alas didn't.

It was difficult making money from directly marketing a printed book worldwide. And I kept it up to date - producing new editions at every print run.

Selling SPARC mailing lists helped to cross subsidize my book - but it was the web which changed everything.

In 1996 I set up a web site at www.sparcproductdirectory.com - initially with the idea of promoting the book.

Sun and SPARC International had kindly helped me promote the book - and they suggested I change the name to the SPARC Product Directory - because SPARC systems were now supporting PCI as well as SBus. And half the content was about servers.

Within a few weeks of setting up the new web site in the summer of 1996 it became clear to me that what customers really wanted was the directory online for free and I would have to teach myself how to sell web advertising.

And web advertising (selling ads in my own publications) has been the way I've earned my living ever since.

Today (in 2011) the SSD market - which I write about in StorageSearch.com is just as exciting as the SPARC compatible market seemed back in 1991 when I started this publishing phase of my career.

See also:- SPARC market history


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directory of SPARC compatible cards, add-in modules & peripherals
This topic used to take up about 1/2 the content of the SPARC Product Directory. The links below are for historic illustration only and no longer represent the current state of the market.
1553 adapters

Analog to Digital Converters

AppleTalk Interfaces

ARINC Interfaces

ATM Interfaces

Audio Interfaces

Bus Analysers

Cables - Fibre channel

Cables - InfiniBand

Cables - Sun compatible video extension

Cables - SCSI

Counter-Timers

Digital to Analog Converters

DR11-W Interfaces

DSP cards

Encryption accelerators

ESCON interfaces

Ethernet NICs

Ethernet Switches

Extender Boards

FDDI Interfaces

Fibre Channel Interfaces

GBICs & SFPs

Firewire (IEEE 1394) Storage

Graphics Adapters - LCD

Graphics Adapters & Video cards

Hard disk drives

HIPPI network Interfaces

IEEE-488 Interfaces

InfiniBand Interfaces

iSCSI

ISDN Interfaces

KVM Switches
Memory

Modems - (Internal PCI cards)

Monitors - LCD

Myrinet Interfaces

Network Switches

NTDS Interfaces

Parallel Printer Interfaces

Parallel Interfaces (high speed)

PCI Expansion Boxes

PCMCIA Interfaces

Prototype Boards

Q-bus Interfaces

RAID controllers

SATA

SBus Expansion Boxes

Scanner Interfaces

SCI Interfaces

SCSI adapter cards

Serial Attached SCSI

Serial Interfaces SBus & PCI

Storage

Terminal Servers

Token Ring Comms Interfaces

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

USB storage

USB to Sun Keyboard Adapters

Video adapter cables

VME-bus to PCI Interfaces

VME-bus to SBus Interfaces

Watchdog cards and modules

SBus, PCI, USB etc... a user's introduction to the busses used in SPARC based computers what they do, market trends and 3rd party support.

Historically the main expansion busses used for adding in cards and modules in SPARC based systems were (in order of introduction)

Expansion Bus

First appearance in a SPARC system

First production model in which used

VMEbus

1987

Sun Microsystems Sun-4 deskside server.

SCSI-bus

1987

Sun Microsystems Sun-4 deskside server.

SBus

1989

Sun Microsystems SPARCstation 1 desktop workstation.

MBus

1991

Sun Microsystems SPARCserver 600MP deskside and datacenter server.

PCMCIA

1994

Sun Microsystems Voyager transportable.

PCI

1996

Sun Microelectronics - SPARCengine Ultra AX oem motherboard.

Compact PCI

1997

FORCE COMPUTERS CPCI-522G card

USB

2001

Sun Microsystems - Sun Blade 100 workstation

InfiniBand

2002

Themis Computer, slot expansion for rugged enterprise servers
Serial Attached SCSI 2005 Sun Microsystems - Sun Fire X4100
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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.