Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
IBM

IBM takes aim at Sun 122

Posted by Hemos
from the fire-in-the-hold dept.
Sensei@bonsaipotato.com points us over to the latest move by IBM. IBM is rolling out their RS/6000 S80 and is aiming to beat Sun at all sides in the Unix universe, both with this roll-out, and their pending purchase of Sequent.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM takes aim at Sun

Comments Filter:
  • Its interesting to me that IBM, at the peak of the Microsoft Era, was considered corporate, stodgy, stuck-up, and backward. Now, they are moving very, very fast, reacting to the industry. They are innovating, even. Perhaps all the "old blood" cashed out and the new kids are running the show; any insights as to why IBM is suddenly seeming hip?
  • Rather than learn to live with people who are different from us, and learn to tolerae their failings, it's better to just turn on the computer, so that the only people you interact with are the ones that are just like you.

    I don't see any problems with that. There are many more people than I could ever hope to interact with. I have to make choices as to which people I choose to interact with. You think that my choice should be guided by some random or semi-random (tenants in an apt building) process -- why? I feel neither need nor obligation to learn to live with a women two doors down who thinks that Jerry Springer show is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    People naturally congregate in groups according to their interests and worldview (Slashdot is an example). I don't see that as bad, or, as a matter of fact, avoidable.

    We talk alot here about the evils of censorship, but have you ever stopped to think about the evils of the usenet kill file?

    There was a big discussion on that subject some time ago on Slashdot. You might want to consider two observations:

    (1) Your right to talk does not imply my obligation to listen

    (2) Killfile is a personal choice made by me as to whom I am willing to listen to. Censorship is an external choice made by someone else as to what I should be able to hear.

    Do you read all Usenet every day?

    Kaa
  • ...they fail to get the point across that you'd be forced to run AIX.

    *shiver*


    (Sorry, I'm an ex-AIX guy, current Solaris guy, you would not believe my requirements for going back)
    --
    Gonzo Granzeau
  • by tweek (18111)
    It may be evil but SMIT kicks ass all over the commercial unix market. Says alot for me since I'm such an HPUX whore.
  • Where do you get the crazy idea that Linux, in this day and age, is "mainly PC based?" Have you ever run Linux on an Alpha? A PowerPC? Linux runs native, fast, and clean on a variety of architectures, with great device support to match. There's absolutely no reason to fork the Linux kernel to port it to a new architecture; just get GCC working through a supported architecture, create a new directory in linux/arch/, and start plugging away.

    --
  • There's no chance that the 24 CPU box will run Linux. IBM is not interested in porting it to the big iron. They would like to keep Linux on the small scale where people expect to see it.

    Last I heard, the kernel isn't even capable of running on 24 cpu's.

    There is too much specialized hardware in a S80 to ever expect that Linux would run on it. The OS has to be aware of the service processor, memory faults, and really complex connection system to the IO drawers. Not to mention the fact that people expect to be able to plug SSA drives into the system, which aren't even close to being supported.

    That's why it will never happen.

  • Sheesh, first you say:

    I'll believe it when it shows up on the top of this list [ideasinternational.com], for example.

    and then when someone points out that's a very real possibility, seeing as the second one on that list [ideasinternational.com] is a predecessor of this new IBM machine that is purported as being 2.5 times slower.

    Then, what do you do? You change lists. Now, it seems, the real proof of greatness is how well you do it non-clustered.

    Could it be that Sun doesn't have these good clustered benchmarks because Sun Clusters don't offer scaleable performance as do clusters from IBM and Compaq?

    What I think you're really saying is that you're only impressed if it shows up on this comparison [sun.com].

  • The 6X00 from Sun is absolutely no match for an S80. Those 4 512 bit memory paths really make the transactions fly.
  • Try 14 processors, on ultraSPARC. And 4 on x86.


    Read the fucking Linux Kernel Mailing List FAQ [tux.org] before shooting your mouth off. And if you're going to dispute it, benchmark it in a reasonable context and prove your claim.

  • The press release is here [yellowdoglinux.com]. I guess this thing will run linux. I would like to see it in action.
  • Umm... Did I miss something or are you wrong?
  • IBM and Cisco team up to become more competitive in the networking arena.
    IBM releases "Shark" to become more competitive in the enterprise storage arena.
    IBM releases another RS6000 to be competitive in the big honkin' server of death arena.

    Do I sense a trend here with big blue?
  • Actually, the next generation Starfire will have a COMA architecture. (might have ccNUMA too though... not sure yet). See Project Serengheti, though products won't be out for at least another year.
  • Actually, SGI isn't getting rid of IRIX on the big iron either. They're just dumping the NT shit for a real small-box OS.

    Porting to a huge SMP box like the S80 would be a lot easier than porting to a ccNUMA box like the O2000. Either port would cost incredible amounts of money, and in the end result in having just another UNIX running on the box.

    It is certainly physically possible, but there is no business case to even try.

    The AIX/Linux box is a nice, simple uniprocessor PPC box. No one is going to provide a $1M computer to Linus to play with just so Linux can steal some enterprise server OS licenses.
  • one could scan enough product announcements and buzzwords and come up with a DaDa [zikzak.net] engine script to crank 'em out.

    Chuck
    Slashdot discussion contributor
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sun's already getting their asses beat by IBM in the unix arena so badly, it's almost sad to watch Sun's faltering and pathetic attempts to so much as *touch* IBM.

    This claim is so heavy on spin that it ignores reality and it ignores the article that this discussion is based on. Here's some counter spin, based on fact: Sun Expands Revenues and Shipments in All Server Categories [sun.com]. Here's a prominent quote:

    Sun maintained a prominent position in the UNIX server market, capturing first place worldwide, with a 28% market share in factory revenue and 30% share in shipments. While competitors IBM and HP lost a share of the market in both factory revenues and shipments...

    The RS/6000 SP2... dots the `Top 500 Supercomputers` list all over... not a single retail Sun is found on that list.

    Ignore the fact that the list is filled with those SP2 killer E10000s.

    The rest of your message (os verions and "stability" claims without proof, better "web servers" without proof, and the ultimate in midrange and mainframe technology -- without proof) I'll leave as an exercise for the reader to figure out.

  • IIRC, Linux can't support 24 processors. Linux has problems running more than two or four processors. SMP support in Linux right now is greatly behind even that of NT's. This is one of the main areas of development in the Linux kernel.
  • I thought RS/6000 was a 64-bit MIPS architecture.
  • Lock contention with 4 processors is down to 2% (saw the number somewhere, done with SGI benchmarking for the kernel), and is expected
    to go down further.
  • Never seen an AIX vs. SunOS 4.1.3 religious war before. Go, go, go!

    :)
  • A Sun E10000, the company's hot-selling high-end computer, with 64 chips and equivalent amounts of computer memory, costs about 50 percent more than an RS/6000 with 24 microprocessors, IBM said.

    Does this comparison make sense? The E10K has 166% more processors, yet only costs 50% more. What a bargain!!. Not to mention the fact that an E10K can run up to 8 instances of an OS at the same time in electrically isolated domains and this is not an apples to apples comparison.

    A better comparison would be to the Sun E6X00 series. Currently, the E6500 can have up to 30 400MHz 8MB cache processors, and 30GB of RAM. I guess that wouldn't make a good press release.

  • This isn't a token mention of Linux. IBM has been supporting Linux for quite some time now. Going back to August 11, Lotus (a subsidiary of IBM) jumped on the Linux bandwagon by making Notes run on Linux, on August 10, IBM joined the effort to make sure that Linux runs on Intel's Merced processor, on July 30 IBM released a new version of its DB2 database software for Linux at the same time as for other operating systems, and on July 23, IBM added Linux technical support for their server line.

    Obviously, this is not a new decision on the part of IBM. They committed fairly early in the game to supporting Linux and are doing what they can to promote it on their server line and with their industrial strength solutions.

    Some companies actually back up what they're saying with their actions, and IBM doesn't just name drop for the sake of a press release. They've been working to promote the Linux operating system as much as they've been working to promote their sever solutions.
  • They are of course PowerPC's

    From IBM's website:

    The advanced copper technology of the S80's 450MHz RS64 III microprocessors allows for speedier data movement while reducing heat generation.

    Also:
    128 KB data/128 KB instruction Level 1 Cache
    8 MB ECC Level 2 cache per processor

  • No they are PowerPC across the RS/6000 line.
    --
  • They're claiming their 24xPower3 box is faster than Sun's 64xUltraSparc. I don't know if it's true or not, but it is possible. It's also only costs 1/2 as much.

    Size!=Speed
  • "...they fail to get the point across that you'd be forced to run AIX.

    *shiver*"


    Seconded. I worked with AIX for years until we replaced all of our IBM boxes with Sun's. I won't be going back either without a major compensation boost! ;)

  • There's no chance that the 24 CPU box will run Linux. IBM is not interested in porting it to the big iron. They would like to keep Linux on the small scale where people expect to see it.

    Hmmm. Look at SGI. They were in the same situation, stuck choosing between their own Unix and Linux. In many surveys Irix seems to rank as more popular with admins than AIX. Can IBM afford to develop, build on and support AIX at the same rate as the Linux is developed by the community?

    There is too much specialized hardware in a S80 to ever expect that Linux would run on it.

    Remember, the work needs doing whether you are getting AIX or Linux running on the machine.

    That's why it will never happen.

    Never say never! ;-)
  • Yeah, but try getting those virtual neighbors to babysit for you! Do yourself a favor - think long term and invite those whiny neighbors over the next time you barbecue.
  • IBM info here. [ibm.com] I found this bit interesting

    "The B50 is a space-saving server with the performance, capacity, reliability, and flexibility to run your most demanding Web-based applications. Featuring the PowerPC 604e 375MHz processor with with 1MB of L2 cache and up to 1GB of memory capacity, the B50 also has an internal storage capacity of up to 36.4GB, an integrated Ethernet 10/100 port, two PCI expansion slots, and standard 32X SCSI CD-ROM and diskette drives."

    Sounds like it would make a good final death gasp in the Apple 9500 line. But it's probably based on a better motherboard so who knows? Somebody please tell me I'm wrong and explain why because otherwise this is pretty drab.

  • OK, time for Buzz Word City

    For the type of applications Sun and IBM are targetting, raw processor speed becomes a marginal parameter in the design space. Instead, the smart cookies focus on the I/O-memory subsystems which becomes the performance bottleneck and cooling system which determines the overall reliability.

    The StartFire is based on cross-bar switch technology spun off from Cray when it was purchased by SGI. As such it is analogous to a shared bus where processors (ie passengers) find it relatively easy to communicate between each other inside but the maximum capacity is somewhat fixed in that it costs the same whether a few passengers or fully populated. However, it has the advantage of being easy to migrate.

    The original IBM SP series from which their current distributed memory design is derived can be compared with a truck convoy using CB radio (switched memory backplane). More flexibility in adding capacity means better efficiencies in matching load to task and thus better pricing (though at these lofty levels, the profit margins are MUCH heftier than PCs so there is a lot of gap for undercutting the competition).

    The SGI ccNUMA (cache-coherent non-uniform memory access) can be compared with an articulated truck with multi-channel CDMA wireless giving a hypercube topology for fast node-node communications. Specifically designed for scalability and balanced I/O throughput, it commands a premium for its complexity and sophistication.

    On a sliding spectrum of shared-distributed, the order would be Sun-SGI-IBM, but as processors speeds increase, both Sun and IBM are adopting ccNUMA techniques. Now a diversified transport system would require a judicious blend of each computer, matching the capabilities to each machine's strengths. Any claims of superiority are marketing delusions as you would not use a bus where a truck is needed. That is what supposedly CIOs get paid 6 figure incomes for deciding and service arms like IBM get fat consulting fees (any reader comments on their effectiveness?).

    Note that raw technical considerations can be distorted to some extent by legacy concerns and availability of drivers (sys-admins). Personally I see the high-end server space get more competitive and cut-throat as souped up cars attempt to claim a slice of the action. However, some companies will need to hit with a clue-bat as the planned technological obsolescence of consumer items do not sit well with business (there are good reasons why you'd stick with old-style mainframes based on the principle if it ain't broke, don't meddle with it as more fixes are likely to add more bugs).

    LL
  • Now let's get nice and dirty. Solaris is up to what, 2.7? After being SunOS 4.1.13. (Not sure on version number here, feel free to correct.)

    Sure, no problem, always happy to correct. SunOS is up to 5.7, that being the OS component of The Operating Environment Almost Known As Solaris 2.7 (the marketoons apparently decided that, as they were probably not going to rev the major version number any time soon, to turn the minor version number into a major version number); the highest version that the 4.x releases went up to was 4.1.4 (not 4.1.14, or 4.1.13).

    And still has bugs. Just recently IBM released OS/390 Version 2, Release 8. A followup to Version 2, Release 7.

    ...and probably still has bugs, although it may well have fewer than Solaris.

    What exactly does a comparison of version numbers prove, especially given that OS/3xx has had more than 2 versions - remember, it dates back to the early '60's, although, by now, it may be like the old axe that's had its head replaced three times, and its handle replaced twice, but it's still "the same axe", i.e. I don't know how much code from the first release of OS/360 remains in OS/390 Version 2, Release 8 (probably only a small portion, if any)? (Note that there's probably been a lot of code replaced in SunOS, too - the step from 4.x to 5.x involved tossing out the old code base and switching to SVR4.0, and then changing a lot of stuff in the SVR4.0 code base; I don't know how much SunOS 5.0 code remains.)

    And, in any case, OS/390 isn't AIX and doesn't run on an RS/6000, and OS/400 isn't AIX, either, and also doesn't run on an RS/6000, so the merits of those OSes only indirectly reflects on the merits of IBM (which may well be large enough that the fact that product A might be Really Nifty doesn't necessarily imply that product B is also Really Nifty).

    IBM *invented* the mainframe

    Define "mainframe". Are you asserting that IBM sold computers before, say, Univac did (if so, could I see references, please?), or that the first computer worthy of the name "mainframe" was an IBM?

  • Read their marketing brochures. Check out their website. Then read _Earth_, by David Brin. IBM's workin' fast and furious for the 30-50-year payoff, IMHO. Lorenzo
  • As far as the OS/390, heh, Unix-like OS? As long has you don't mind submitting your "Unix" command, wait 2 days for it to reach the begining of the batch queue, then going to the datacenter to pick out the print job for your "ls" command.

    OS/390 got its UNIX 95 certification [opengroup.org] before Solaris 2.6/SPARC got its UNIX 95 certification [opengroup.org].

    This may or may not actually mean anything more than "few people didn't think Solaris was UNIX, but people tended not to think of OS/3xx as UNIX, given that using its Time Sharing Option was, once upon a time, likened by one UNIXer to 'kicking a dead whale down the beach', so IBM had more incentive to get OS/390 through certification."

    But, yes, it does have a UNIX-compatible environment [ibm.com], although it's not compatible at the character-set level [ibm.com] (i.e., it uses EBCDIC, not ASCII...).

    Of course, there are options being contemplated [linas.org] that would presumably use ASCII ("Well, the radio's exploded, what's on the mainframe then?" "Looks like a penguin...." The kernel "usually boots to the point of mounting the boot ramdisk, and trying to start /bin/sh", but "bombs because umm, diferent reason every time"; a glibc port has also been started. I wonder what hardware they're using....).

  • I'm actually getting a bit frustrated with Solaris compared with AIX.

    >Sun - UFS (have to buy VxFS)
    >AIX - JFS

    >Sun - Disk Suite (or pay for VxVM)
    >AIX - LVM included

    >Sun - Sun Enterprise Cluster where Sun wants to have you pay for an engineer to come out and set everything up for you.
    >IBM - HA/CMP. You can do it yourself or have IBM do it.

    That's not even touching on the fact that Sun's technical support isn't always the greatest not to mention the fact that our IBM marketing rep kicks ass. We have a problem with IBM, it doesn't stay a problem for long.

    PLUS our IBM CE's that normally work on our account are some pretty bright guys. So rather than saying why WOULD you go with IBM, I sometimes wonder, why wouldn't you?
  • So, it's a processor in the Power/PowerPC line but not the same used in Macs and so on. It's a 64 bit processor and not especially good and raw floating point/integer performance. The machine it targeted at LARGE Database operations. So even if the processor is slower than an ordinary Pentium III/Athlon/G4/whatever the system is built for shuffling data. I think I remember bandwith of 5.3 Gb/s in the system bus (maybe higher now). The cpu conects to the bus at the same speed as the processor runs (or maybe half) instead of 100 Mhz as a Pentium II. It's designed for good TPC score instead of good spec-marks. It's got 56 PCI slots, Gigabit ethernet and so on.

    It's not for playing quake.

    I work at Bull and we sell the same machine basically only relabled (with additional software). Specs on the older (IBM S70) machine called Escala RL are at http://www-frec.bull.com/docs/escalar l470.htm [bull.com]

    Linux missionaries saying "I can build a beowulf cluster using celerons that is ceaper and faster" will be solidly *clonked* in the head !

  • From the article:

    "The RS/6000 B50 and a companion Intel chip-based Netfinity server are compact and designed for managing tasks like Web hosting, messaging, Internet security, directory services and electronic commerce. It runs on IBM's UNIX system, called AIX, or a low-cost, open source alternative that is popular with Web site managers, the Linux operating system.

    ``We expect these to be a favorite among those who demand Linux as their server operating system,'' said Kai Staats, chief executive of Terra Soft Solutions, an IBM partner."

    It's nice to see that no-one is skimping on dropping the Linux name into this sort of press release - and they haven't even messed up the context!
  • An argument that has been rolling around in my circle recently has been the future of computers and the extent that they will affect our lives. I, being the optimist that i am, am hoping that they will continue to become more and more part of our everyday lives. Infiltrating our appliances, homes, and everything in between.

    Now, i also am of the mindset that it would be beneficial in the end effect to have large supercomputers running each and every apartment building, and in each home having dummy terminals. Now, is this a viable alternative to the PC, or is noone willing to take the chance that some privacy will be comprimised.

    I like the idea. I'm sure that there are others out there that have the same view. Thoughts? Comments?

    (This is not really THAT off-topic, IBM.. SUN, they build mainframes that would most likely be used as the servers for the dummy terminals. see?)
  • I quote:
    The UNIX software operating system is used to run computers that control a variety of key business operations, like telephone networks, stock exchanges and office data centers. It is the main alternative to Microsoft's Windows NT.

    Right! And my Ferrari is the main alternative to a Nissan Micra! When you reach the 16 or more processors, M$ Windows NT is not an alternative. I doubt it is ever one, in fact.

    M$Windows users have RSI, Unix users have AWK

  • Pizzazz, or the B50,
    will be sold with related new data storage systems.


    does anyone know what they mean by that? a new kind of harddrive, or something completely different from hard drives...

    hmm...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    IBM is trying to pull four fast ones. o) that they have perfect scalability for machins o) that Sun is not a moving target o) that AIX or Linux is suitable for this usage o) that anyone would want to switch from Solaris Solaris and Sun hardware scales so goddamn well that I can't see why *anyone* would want to have IBM systems right now. Just don't see it. And UltraSPARC III will be out any day now.
  • The RS/6000 B50 and a companion Intel chip-based Netfinity server are compact and designed for managing tasks like Web hosting, messaging, Internet security, directory services and electronic commerce. It runs on IBM's UNIX system, called AIX, or a low-cost, open source alternative that is popular with Web site managers, the Linux operating system.

    Apparently these new servers run on AIX or linux - emulating high-end hardware can't be the most efficient approach, surely?
  • A few weeks ago there was a comment about the new playstation beating all pc-hardware in calculating triangles per second. Everybody was talking about how playstation would take over the market. Someone mentioned that by the time the playstation II will be released, PC hardware will be at least as fast. This article looks a lot like that; it's comparing IBM's latest product to a Sun product that is a lot older. When Sun comes up with a new system the press will be telling us it is going to take over IBM's position, and so on...
  • ...in Germany: Today, there was a 10-page 4-color A3-size flyer in "DIE WELT", one of Germany's biggest newspapers, advertising the RS 6000. That must have been insanely expensive.
  • That recent red hat interview here made it clear that if 90% of people have MS OS's and 10% have UNIXes, then it makes sense to compete with the 90 rather than people in your smaller 10%. Which was the reason for red hat not competing aggressively with other distributions.

    Following the red hat strategy, they should stop trying to compete with sun, and they'll have a larger market to compete for.
  • Anyone have any info on the processors they are using? I know they are copper, but the model eludes me. Perhaps the POWER3? It's the most likely candidate. That is a kick ass processor with Awesome FPU power.
    --
  • Anybody know if the 24 CPU box was going to support Linux?

    IBM would have to throw some kernel hackers at the RS/6000 kernel in order to get it to tick. But nowadays that wouldn't be unheard of.
  • by Sun Tzu (41522) on Monday September 13, 1999 @12:14AM (#1686469) Homepage Journal
    I'll believe it when it shows up on the top of this list [ideasinternational.com], for example. It's cheap to claim you have the fastest computer -- much more impressive to prove it in an open forum.

    Does anyone know what they are basing their claims on?

  • Now, i also am of the mindset that it would be beneficial in the end effect to have large supercomputers running each and every apartment building, and in each home having dummy terminals. Now, is this a viable alternative to the PC, or is noone willing to take the chance that some privacy will be comprimised.

    I like the idea. I'm sure that there are others out there that have the same view. Thoughts? Comments?


    I think you're absolutely right. It would be nice if it was like that. People don't need expensive PCs to do regular stuff like surf the web, answer emails and write documents.
    A large server in every apartment building would be a good idea, as it would reduce the individual costs.

    .. but I see other possibilities. Apartment building intranets. Creating a cybercommunity to complement the physical relationships. Apartment building newsgroups. A homepage for each apartment.

    This would be a Good[tm] idea, and it would hopefully strengthen the relationships between the tenents, and they could also (possibly) have a larger influence on the decision that affect them.
  • Reportedly there was a time unlike now when a reporter would set down the facts, that is report, without adding his/her own uninformed 2-bit comment. Such as, "The UNIX software operating system is ... the main alternative to Microsoft's Windows NT." See it everywhere nowadays, mediocre journalism. Of course on /., knee-jerking libertarianism compounded with smug reporting makes it even more interesting.

    Essentially, it's reporting/FUD for PHBs which finds its way into a techie forum.
  • by Foz (17040) on Monday September 13, 1999 @01:42AM (#1686472)
    Now let's get nice and dirty. Solaris is up to what, 2.7? After being SunOS 4.1.13. (Not sure on version number here, feel free to correct.) And still has bugs. Just recently IBM released OS/390 Version 2, Release 8. A followup to Version 2, Release 7

    First off, Solaris 8 is approaching (or in) early access (it rocks, btw). Second off, surely you're not claiming that just because AIX (ugh... it hurts just to type those letters) has a higher version number that it's better?

    "This one goes all the way to 11, it's one louder".

    I really don't know what you've been smoking, but the concept that AIX has been "whipping Sun's ass" is ludicrous. Sun has the number one position in Unix server market share, is the platform of choice for scalability, and is FAR more palatable to just about every sysadmin I know than that evil bastardization AIX.

    You're also forgetting that E-Business is where it's at right now. Sun is dominating the E business scene and the Netscape/AOL/Sun alliance just makes it that much more deadly. Why do you think Sun's a target? Because they're at the top, you yoyo.

    IBM may have "invented" the mainframe, but they got their clocks cleaned by people willing to move faster, work harder, and play smarter. They lost the burgeoning PC market to Microsoft, and the high-end server market to Sun and HP.

    Personally, I'd be much more afraid of HP than of IBM, if I were in charge of Sun.
  • I would also like to add this additional thought:

    How many of you that live in you apartment actually know the person that lives next door..down the hall. I am willing to bet my shorts that 75% of you do not.

    Imagine how much easier it would be to interact with virtual neighbors than with real, whiny ones.
  • To quote the article,
    "There is likely to be a lot of pressure on Sun for the next several months," he said. "I don't expect a dramatic shift, but the IBM share of the UNIX server market will increase. It's a significant step forward for IBM."
    I think TechWeb were aware that this announcement does not mean the imminent death of Sun. :)
  • Um, the model before the one in this article (the S75) is second on the list, as this machine is about 2.5 times faster i think it may have a chance.
  • err, the link at DH Brown [dhbrown.com] says that AIX is tops in sysadmin satisfaction:
    AIX 4.3 retains a wide lead in system management

    Original claim re: sysadmin satisfaction made on this thread:

    [AIX] consistently rates below NT in sys admin satisfaction surveys.

    Just to make things clear, in case they weren't. I initially thought Spacelord was defending the original assertion that sysadmins like NT more than AIX. (I know of no NT admins who *love* NT, which is not to say there aren't any)

  • 90% of people have Microsoft OSs on their desktop machines. IBM and Sun are competing for the server market, where there is a more even split between NT and Unices.
  • I suspect they are talking about their new SAN (storage area network) technologies. Try here [ibm.com] for the usual IBM marketing-speak (with some technical info).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I agree with the necessity of filtering out the number of people you interact with. But I think one group of people that you should not filter out are your physical neighbors. Join all the tightly focused communities you want but not at the exclusion of the humans living 50 feet away from you. Beyond any feel good intangibles, it really is good practical sense to _not_ live with a bunch of strangers if at all possible. I moved out of an apt. complex and into a urban neighborhood for primarily this reason. You would be amazed at how much nicer it is to come home and hang out with people who just happen to live on the same block I do. Mind you, I'm still a part of 4-5 newsgroups and I don't plan on quiting the net anytime soon ;) There, that was about two cents worth.
  • NT is an alternative for departamental servers and such ..
    Quite nice alternative at that ( it is changing now with Linux on the horizont )
  • You said This may be a slick new RS/6000, but it still runs AIX. This o/s consistently rates below NT in sys admin satisfaction surveys. The truth is it consistently get better ratings than NT. Administration is very simple through SMIT or via a webinterface (written in Java and thus quite slow but nice).

    If it's "better" that Sun is a matter of personal preferences, and I'll refrain from quoting any anecdotal stories about my experiences with Sun-machines as this would get me (and rightly so) labeled as a Troll.


  • I'm not. The LPD stuff on NT can be a real bitch.
  • The AS/400s are all RS6000s inside now. Every one, with only the microcode different.

    The PowerPC AS/400s do, indeed, have POWER-family architecture processors, just as RS/6000's do - but if having a POWER-family architecture processor is sufficient to make an AS/400 "an RS/6000 inside now", it's also sufficient to make an AS/400 a Power Macintosh inside now....

    However, the PowerPC processors in those AS/400s have, according to Frank Soltis' Inside the AS/400, some stuff not in all PowerPC processors, e.g. a tagged mode wherein pointers and non-pointers are tagged differently. I think I've heard a claim that the RS64 PowerPC processor is the same processor as one of the AS/400 processors, but run with tagged mode turned off; however.

    Is all the other stuff in the AS/400's, e.g. support chips, I/O subsystem, etc. the same as on the RS/6000's?

  • "I, being the optimist that i am, am hoping that they will continue to become more and more part of our everyday lives. Infiltrating our appliances, homes, and everything in between. "

    You scare me. Cars are good, but having them involved at every point in our lives leads to isolation, obesity, increased child mortality and pollution to name just a few.

    Increased use of computers will lead to increased eye/finger/voice strain, loss of privacy, homogonization of expression, and so on.

    Sure, there are benefits that computers bring, but plenty of downsides, and the bad _will_ outweigh the good at some point.

  • Yeah, that one got me, too!

    UNIX and NT are considered alternatives only to those without a clue - and without experience working with both.

    I bought a laser printer last week. It took me over an hour to get NT configured to use it. It took less than 2 minutes to configure Linux (RH6) to do the same.

    But NT is so much easier to administer! Yeah, right.

    This may be a slick new RS/6000, but it still runs AIX. This o/s consistently rates below NT in sys admin satisfaction surveys.

    I'll stick with Sun for high end systems, thank you.

  • by Jon Peterson (1443) <jon&snowdrift,org> on Monday September 13, 1999 @12:37AM (#1686502) Homepage
    And you think that's good?

    Rather than learn to live with people who are different from us, and learn to tolerae their failings, it's better to just turn on the computer, so that the only people you interact with are the ones that are just like you.

    What a fun society _that_ will lead to :-(

    This is the problem with the internet. It results in groups of people who can only talk to those that agree with them. Note the way any kind of discussion bewteen people who disagree on an important matter disintegrates into flames.

    We talk alot here about the evils of censorship, but have you ever stopped to think about the evils of the usenet kill file?

    'Hmmm - this guy said something I disagree with, and he said it in a kind of annoying way, and I've got a sore head this morning, so I'll press this one little button and make sure I never listen to anything he has to say again.'

    Sure, you can un-kill them - but if you never hear from them, chances are you won't know if they've anything good to say.

    Nasty stuff...
  • by ChrisRijk (1818) on Monday September 13, 1999 @12:39AM (#1686503)
    "Project Sun Screen" is IBMs name for their plan. For commercial unix, Sun have been pretty much stealing the show for quite a while now. I think HP are the only other large company to have better than a small increase in revenue recently in commercial Unix. HP have also been targeting Sun more recently, as are others - if you are the market leader, then you get targeted the most.

    I don't know how IBM are comparing their performance to Sun's Starfire. Pretty meaningless without giving any details. btw the Starfire is over 2 years old now. I don't think Sun are yet officially supporting their 450Mhz UltraSparc-II in volume on Starfire yet, even though it's been out for a while. (btw, you can get US-II 450's with 8MByte of 2nd level cache - clocked at 450Mhz!) Also, Sun's UltraSparc-III will be shipping in volume this December, starting at 600Mhz, and from early SPEC 95 benchmarks I've heard of it's about 10% faster (in fp) than an 600Mhz EV67 (Alpha 21264A) and they haven't even finished optimising it yet. SPEC int should be very good too.

    Latest SPEC results here [spec.org] - 600Mhz Athlon has SPEC int/fp of 27.2/21.6. 667Mhz EV67 (Alpha 21264A) has SPEC int/fp of 37.5/65.5. The more competition, the better! (that includes competition between OS's) .

  • by RISCy Business (27981) on Monday September 13, 1999 @12:45AM (#1686504) Homepage
    From your resident RS/6000 guru...

    Reality check time once again! Woohoo!

    Sun's already getting their asses beat by IBM in the unix arena so badly, it's almost sad to watch Sun's faltering and pathetic attempts to so much as *touch* IBM.

    For those of you who remain clueless, let me issue you the official reality check of RS/6000 supporters the world over.

    The RS/6000 SP2 in it's many retail versions, including basic 16 node configurations, dots the 'Top 500 Supercomputers' list all over, probably comprising somewhere around 20% of it. Not a single retail Sun is found on that list. The SP2, even with nodes, is cheaper than a Sun 'HPC' setup that would come anywhere near it's performance.

    Now let's get nice and dirty. Solaris is up to what, 2.7? After being SunOS 4.1.13. (Not sure on version number here, feel free to correct.) And still has bugs. Just recently IBM released OS/390 Version 2, Release 8. A followup to Version 2, Release 7. The S/390 is reguarded as one of the most powerful parallel computing systems available today, and OS/390 is without a doubt the most robust, reliable, and flexible unix-like operating system on the market.

    Now we can get into what Sun wants to do, websites and such. Sorry, IBM's got it plenty under control with the RS/6000 C20, F40, F50, H50, R50, H70, and S70. They'll gleefully outserve any Sun you put them up against. And they run Apache, too. Then there's the ultimate in complete connectivity, the AS/400 series, which can handle more networking than Sun, comes with Domino, which while being commercial, follows standards and handles your webserving, email, LDAP, ad infinitum. And will smoke Netscape Suite-Spot. Domino gleefully handles slashdot effect! Whereas www.sun.com is almost as slow as www.cisco.com. I've never had a problem with www.austin.ibm.com, www.direct.ibm.com, or any of IBM's websites.

    Face it; IBM's *BEEN* better since day ONE. IBM *invented* the mainframe and the midrange. They have YEARS of experience on Sun. And they know how to use it. So, take this reality check, cash it, trade in your Suns, and get some RS/6000's to do the job better.

    -RISCy Business | Rabid unix guy, networking guru
  • While i must agree that the internet has lead to some disagreeable behavior, as a whole it has also allowed many people that would otherwise be lonely and outcast to put in their lot with everyone else and learn what it is to become part of a community. What you are talking about is the immature behavior of the minority (flaming, et al).
  • Piece of junk print spoolers on AIX. Always hanging. SunOS 4.1.3 no problem, was ticking aways for years without having to be restarted.
  • Actually, I believe they're using the newer Power4 processors. I don't know the specs of them, though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 1999 @01:57AM (#1686508)
    Now we can get into what Sun wants to do, websites and such. Sorry, IBM's got it plenty under control with the RS/6000 C20, F40, F50, H50, R50, H70, and S70. They'll gleefully outserve any Sun you put them up against. And they run Apache, too.

    OKdoo, now you are really talking crap. The C20 is a) 5 years old and b) Hideously outperformed by ANY UltraSparc machine. The F40 is no longer a model and was outperformed by the Ultra 2 never mind the newer US machines. The F50 is out performed by the E450 quite easily. The R50 is and always will be an over priced piece of underperforming rubbish. The S70 is the first machine where IBM managed to exceed Sun by any way, and the E10000 will still top it performance wise, and there is a fair chance that the E6500 will too.

    I will allow that the newer machines will beat the equivalent Sun, but that has not always been the case. The PPC601 and 603/604(e) machines were always quite a bit behind the equivalent Sparc systems. The P2SC is a great little processor and seems to be what they have based the POWER4 on.

    As goes AIX vs. Solaris, I have had more problems with AIX on production systems (v3.2 up to 4.3) than I ever had with Solaris or SunOS before it.

    IBM and Sun both make great hardware. I prefer the Sun stuff as IBMs always take my fingers to pieces when I try and install peripherals (5 MicroChannel SSA RAID controllers in an R50 - Ouch), but they are both pretty cool.

    If only they would both cross license and come up with a unified server platform in the Intel and RISC markets and then concentrate on kicking MS in the BackOfficeServer.

  • Cars are wonderful. Bikes are better. Feet are best. Each has it's own use and I derive pleasure from using each.

    Please do not misunderstand me. Computers are a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. They can be used to ease the anxieties that people feel when attempting to communicate with others, and they can be used to do great harm.

    A car is used by *choice*. If you become fat and unweildy because you can't figure out that it's OK to walk somewhere.. that's your problem.
  • I think it's a matter of computers being such a mainstream thing now, people like to banter about buzz words...breeding a lot of mis-information for newbies. But hey... it's easy and fun to do. Here's my verion of a buzz-word review of the article:


    The new IBM strategy promises to open the world of high end computing by integrating the enterprise with a high end scalable server. The server holds great promise for thin-clients over the internet. People who use e-mail and AOL will benefit greatly. I felt it could have touched on the great benefits of middleware and Java with respects to Linux and chat-rooms, as well as Instant Messaging. SMP servers will now be able to offer enhanced unified messaging whith wireless critcal telephony technologies. Protocols such as TCP/IP and voice over IP will be a good example of enhanced modular services that should emerge from this object oriented technology. Perl is another example. The long term benefits will enhance the World Wide Web know as www or .com and should help web pages everywhere, also Windows NT and Y2K will see growth as a result. My only complaint was the glaring abscence of the Amiga and the G4 and SCSI drives with a MHZ and IDE.
  • the logical volume manager built into AIX is very slick!! it has supported native striping and mirroring since AIX 4.1 without buying costly OS add-ons. Veritas, while not free, is also very slick (seems to borrow a lot of terminology and concepts from AIX lvm) and is also fairly easy to use--even has a nice GUI with colors for all the braindead NT admin-types.

    ironically enough, however, the CLI for AIX lvm is much more intuitive than the GUI for Veritas (IMHO)

  • Um, not exactly. The model second on the list is actually five different computers in a cluster running (at least) five different instances of Oracle. The Sun at the top of the list is a single computer running a single instance of Oracle. This list [ideasinternational.com] is the top non-cluster configurations and no RS/6000's are in the top ten.
  • They put jazz music in their commercials. Much hipper than their previous jingle, a recording of a daisywheel printer typing "We are the future" IIRC.
  • "Why has the time come for them to load Linux onto their systems? "

    Because linux was viewed as an experimental low end platform until recently. media attention and industry momentum have cast it into the big league. And now it's viewed as stable and mature enough for high-end boxes.

    "Then you listed reasons why they wouldn't want to. "

    I didn't say that. I said if a high-end vendor starts loading linux, they may be tempted to modify it for their own purposes, and thus fork from everyone else.

    L.

  • Any speculation on how IBM is going to position Sequent's (once the merger is completed.) against their RS/6000 line ?? Seams like the same market ?
  • >This may be a slick new RS/6000, but it still >runs AIX. This o/s consistently rates below NT >in sys admin satisfaction surveys.

    Hmm ... can you back up that claim with a link? I find this comment very strange because IMHO AIX is both rock solid and extremely easy to administer. SMIT and Logican Volume Manager are really useful tools for an admin, much better (read: straight forward, not confusing) than NT's "Control Panel" or Disk Administrator, but of course it doesn't have all those fancy colors =)

    About Sun on the high end: I can't really compare, because I don't have much experience with Sun hardware. Just wondering: does it have things like SP2?

    AFAIK Sun doesn't have a centralized system management tool though, or am I mistaken?
  • Sun isn't packaged with a LVM type utility like AIX is. But, Veritas has a very nice (so I hear) volume manager out for Solaris that gives Solaris similar functionality to AIX's LVM (so I hear). I've never used Veritas volume manager before, so I have no idea how it works.
  • Well, I do have a link to back up my claims (about system management anyway)

    http://www.dhbrown.com/dhbrown/OSrevu.htm#sysman

    I think you all remember that study from a couple of months ago, don't you? Now I know that D.H. Brown aren't exactly best friends with Slashdot readers , but at least they had a clue here I think.
  • It seems the time has come for high-end vendors to start loading linux on their boxes. The question is -

    Since Linux is mainly PC based, won't a vendor or two be tempted to throw their own engineers to fork the kernel to make a dedicated OS for their particular machine/architecture? This way, they can claim it runs 25% faster or whatever.

    The present 28 or so Linux distros all have the same linux inside, since they mainly target the same market. But if a big vendor steps in for a specialized niche market (say, mega servers, or GFX rendering), they might very well be tempted to diverge from the rest, since:

    a) their market is different

    b) they don't care about a backlash since they are so powerful

    How likely is this? And is history going to repeat itself? Is there any incentive to prevent splintering?


    L.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson

Working...