How Many SPARC Processors Deployed in Servers? - 1987-2003
|March 2004||article by Zsolt Kerekes|
the Fastest SSDs
|I was asked recently if
I had any idea how many SPARC processors have been deployed in servers and
workstations since the market started back in 1987.
The simple answer was - no...
Sure, I did calculate the size of the SPARC market back in 1992 when I first published the SPARC Product Directory, and from time to time updated those estimates. More recently quarterly and annual SPARC computer shipments and revenue data have appeared in these news pages from time to time.
So I realised that although I didn't have a good grasp of the numbers any more, I had most of the information I needed to make a stab at some estimates.
Post Millenium - Jan 2000 to Dec 2003
Over 5 million SPARC CPUs
In estimating the above figure - I had used the following estimates. The average server used 3 CPUs. The average workstation used 1.5 CPUs. I realise that lots of you may have dozens of SPARC processors in your biggest servers, but that's outweighed by the larger number of servers with upto 4 CPUs.
Pre Millenium - 1987 to 1999
Approximately 3 million SPARC CPUs.
Interestingly there were 5 main manufacturers of SPARC chips during this early period and over 50 manufacturers of SPARC systems.
How Many SPARC Processors 1987-2003?
From all the data I've seen I think a floor level of 8 million SPARC CPUs is a conservative estimate. The true number is more likely to be higher than lower.
Please bear in mind these are estimates based on computer shipments. If a manufacturer uses a SPARC CPU in a dumb terminal, printer or photocopier that's not something which gives a useful idea of the size of the historic SPARC computing base market, and is not counted.
If someone from Sun marketing would like to cast more light on this, they should feel free to contact me with the relevant supporting data.
The data I used came from a variety of sources including financial data from various SPARC manufacturers. In particular, data from market research companies Gartner and IDC which appeared in press releases in the SPARC Product Directory were very helpful covering the period 2000 onwards. Any errors in facts or interpretation of trends are my fault alone.
|...Later:- in Sun
President and COO Jonathan Schwartz's
blog - February 19, 2005 - the statistics for the number of Solaris 10
licenses downloaded since first commercial ship were revealed as follows:-
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