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Sun Microsystems

Million Dollar Reviews: Sun E10K/4500/450 Servers 277

redir writes "There is an interesting article on Reviewboard.com about Sun's bigboy E10k million dollar servers. They also have one on the E4500 and the E450.. It's a good read and breaks down the rational behind the architecture designs." I might prefer an IBM S/390 for my own den, but it's interesting for those of us at present lacking a computer budget like these demand to read about what makes them so pricey. Maxing out at 16 multi-CPU system boards and 64 gigs of RAM makes a nice start.
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Million Dollar Reviews: Sun E10K/4500/450 Servers

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  • here is a quote from the current article online:

    The E10k frame is capable of holding up to 16 system boards, with a minimum of 4 boards. Each system board can hold four CPUs (480mhz), 4GB RAM (4 banks of 1GB), and either 4 SBUS devices, or 2 PCI devices. (Note: in the future, this *may* support faster CPUs, 2x higher memory density, and 3 PCI devices per system board, specs are as of 03/29/2000)

    when i read the article earlier today, the date read 12/29/2000. i wish i could prove it, but i swear it's true. anyone else remember the old date, or have a cached version with the old date? it seems that reviewboard has changed their date to match their "it's been up since march" story. that plus the 480 mhz cpus and the quotes from epinions in the e4500 story (sorry, redir, there's just too much evidence) makes me think that this really is a case of plaigarism. i hope epinions does something about it.
  • Ok this has gotten so childish I've actually resorted to this statement. Enough. I disagree with you, available now is probably just something he did because he knew the article would be read in the future, who knows, I don't care enough anymore to give a shit, I was just emailed the logs, and database dump of the whole thing from the editor who now feels like he has to prove something. I am more than satisfied and they will be contacting epinions to let them know they need to take down their versions of reviewboard's articles and delete the fraudulant user. Kind regards I told you so.
  • Yes. The ones running 400mhz have a 100mhz backside bus. Otherwise, it is 83mhz.
  • Now you're just lying to support someone else's story? Comon dude... you are him aren't you? Tell the truth. You're the guy that stole the article from Reviewboard and posted it on epinions right? You're mad because your account is gonna get deleted? hahaha jeez you are low man.
  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @05:32PM (#532937)
    I want to thank you, Firebus, for the final proof. All the sudden, the dates change in the article from 12/29/00 to 3/29/00. (Which didn't REDIR say the date from "the editor" that the original article was published was 3/21/00?). I have a copy saved to disk, but of course, since it is from me, it is not reliable. I'd love to see several third parties with it.

    BTW, the 480mhz processors for the E10k aren't even available now. See the Sun specification site for details. [sun.com]. Also funny how he knew about Sun's 2x higher memory densitry (which also is not yet supported on the E10k) in March, long before it was available for the lower-end servers.

  • another paragraph is stolen from a different [epinions.com] eopinions review of the e10k, posted in august. ha!
  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @05:46PM (#532939)
    Please see my earlier thread on this article. The article has been alterend since its original submission to Slashdot. Here's the clinching proof:

    he E10k frame is capable of holding up to 16 system boards, with a minimum of 4 boards. Each system board can hold four CPUs (480mhz), 4GB RAM (4 banks of 1GB), and either 4 SBUS devices, or 2 PCI devices. (Note: in the future, this *may* support faster CPUs, 2x higher memory density, and 3 PCI devices per system board, specs are as of 03/29/2000)

    For starters, 480mhz processors aren't even available NOW for the E10k, and only the E450. See this Sun Specifications for the E10k [sun.com]page for verification.

    Now, go read my view at Epinions [epinions.com] about the Sun Enterprise 10000.

    At this point, it should be pretty clear which is the original article and which is the changed one. BTW, if the people at Slashdot save a copy of the web pages before they post it, then check their original copy. You'll find that the date was really "12/29/00" at the review site, and not the "3/29/00" that it is now.

    It doesn't make sense that a site would say that 480mhz processors are available in March when they aren't even available now. Not to mention the 2x density RAM that wasn't even announced for the lower-end servers at that point.

    This story is a plagairism of my original work, and I am COMPLETELY DISGUSTED at the theft of my work.

  • Dude, you need to tell this to the people who wrote the article, you might get more clues out of them. There's little point in ranting here about it and asking us to do your digging.

    Selecta
  • The Ultra Enterprise 10k is one of the best computers ever developed. Dynamic reconfiguration adds extremely to the reliablility of the system. I especially like their idea of having a "spinner" system board that just gets dynamically added when a particular domain is under heavy load. Can you imagine what its successor (running the US3) will have... :-)



  • I would definitely take a E10k if I could, even with the PCI DR/AP limitations (can't run 80/160MBps SCSI on them with DR/AP support).. IIRC some components of the backplane were SPOF as well (though rare failures :p).. I can't wait until the USIII upgrades and Serengeti come along, so some of these puppies start appearing in the refurb/off-lease lists ;)

    BTW, isn't DSD support for all enterprise multi-CPU getting incorporated into Solaris soon?


    Your Working Boy,
  • > i have an e4500 with 8 cpus, 2 gigs of ram,
    > and tons of disk space, it is DOG SLOW

    Want to hire me to set it up properly for you?
  • You know, people like you should be banned from the gene pool.
  • Seems that the facts are mixed here...

    The S/390 port was started by volunteers which, indeed, did it on their spare time..

    At the same time, few engineers from IBM heard about the idea and started to port Linux to S/390 without telling anyone outside IBM and THAT's the port that everyone knows about (it includes a proprietary network driver).

    If I'm not mistaken, there is a story about it in Salon's archives.
  • Actually, I heard that Linuxcare Australia are working on porting Linux to Ex000 machines.

    Not sure though...
  • nope, i'm not. but as with all good conspiracy theories (and here we have two competing) there's no way for me to prove that, although if you suggest something reasonable i'll go along with it. why are you so sure that reviewboards is right, redir? what's your connection? and what's this editor's email address that everyone seems to have access to? i sent mail to the contact address on the reviewboards site, but /i/ didn't receive a reply. maybe i just didn't dig deep enough on the site to find a personal email address.

    here are the facts: parts of two different epinions posts are identical to a review on reviewboards.

    parts of another review on reviewboards (by the same author) are identical to yet a third post on epinions.

    some people on slashdot claim the editor told them the piece had been up since march and therefore the epinions piece is plagiarism.

    a date for specs in the article on reviewboards changed from 12/29/00 to 03/29/00.

    12/29/00 is a correct date for the specs in the article on reviewboards. 03/29/00 is an incorrect date for the article on review boards (this is the smoking gun really).

    yes, it is possible that there's a psychotic guy on slashdot with multiple accounts, who also has multiple accounts on epinions, who has been plagiarizing (since august - that's when the earliest epinions post about the e10k is dated) bits and pieces of a reviewboards review (that he archived in march, since it was offline in august, remeber redir?) there are people on the internet odd enough to do such a thing.

    but it seems much more likely to me that chris chabot's posts on reviewboard are plagiarized from various epinion posts.

    as far as redir's, fuckface's, and ataridatacenter's "quotes" from the "editor". whatever. redit has "logs". fuckface was told the article was up in march, redir was told it was up for "almost a year". whatever. totally unprovable in any case, and irrelevant in coming to the pretty clear conclusion that the reviewboard article copied the epinions articles, not the other way around.

    and again, the question is, what's your connection to reviewboards, redir?
  • Why would I want to run Linux on a E10000?

    Any problems that you had with the machine would be blamed on Linux, just the time saved from arguing with tech support would be worth running solaris.

    Sun has a great os with widespread support, so Solaris isn't going anywhere. Companies like SGI need to dump IRIX because they cannot afford to maintain it anymore, not because they love linux.

  • Been "emailing" things to yourself lately, dear?
  • Um... excuse me, but it seems that you have resorted to insults instead of valid arguments to refute this guy's statements. He has just provided evidence on a third party's site that at least part of the article was completely ripped off. And I'm inclined to believe that the rest was too.

    Also, it is awfully strange that someone who just happened to see a cool article on some site would be so zealous in defending the authenticity of the article if they didn't have a vested interest in the article being credible. I sure hope you have good lawyers, because it looks like you're going to be a defendant in a lawsuit pretty soon...

  • Completely false statment about Amazon. They have hundreds if not thousands of Unix systems in production.
  • The "spinner" concept is unique to our site. And as mentioned by another user, their stole a paragraph that another Epinions user wrote in August. Here's an email from their "editor":



    I bet, however this review has been on our site for over 2 months. You have
    a lot of sand to come to us and say you wrote this. Our review was posted
    10/25/2000 at 1:57p.m. We moved it to the front cover of the site for a
    promotion we are doing on our server section.



    I'd love to meet the "so-called author" of this article. All that E10k hands-on experience and a LOT of details.. And when pressed, the editor says the original date is "conveniently" made two months ago. Riiiiigggghtttt.



    The style of writing is my own. The unique concept my own. And I *will* go the extra mile to prove this. This is an INSULT to me.

  • by TBone ( 5692 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @03:45PM (#532955) Homepage

    Sparc is a lousy processor. 400 megahertz? And software support and development problems are also bad.

    That 400 megahertz processor operates on about 4 times more CPU instructions per clock cycle than your X86 chip. You're comparing apples and oranges. And I have bad software support problems on my IBM Aptiva running Windows that crashes every 5-7 days. What problems do SPARC chips have that x86 chips don't?

    standard Linux tools like Gimp

    What exactly is standard about needing a massive image editing package with your server? Dumb statement

    How will we ever be taught about the high level programs the end user deals with or the websites, when we don't even have a graphics tool comparable to Microsoft Paint.

    How will you ever get a job in the real world when you equate Microsoft Paint with Oracle in the same sentence. I'm a sys admin and haven't touched a graphics program for work in over 5 years.

    Sun computers are expensive, unreliable, slow, of a bad design, and are falling more behind each day.

    Expensive? Yep, but they run better than your x86 boxes, even running Linux, sorry. Unreliable? Maybe when you let the developers have root access and tune things to their heart's content. We ran E10 domains that were up for months, and only went down because we installed some new software on a test domain (hence test), or we were installing upgrades and brought it down. Bad design? Maybe if you want it to look like an Intel or Apple, but for what it does, it does it as well as anything out there. And what's with falling behind more every day. Get your head out of your Megahertz, the days when X+25 is faster than X have been gone since the Pentium Pro and a second motherboard chipset.

    Amazon is now on Linux.

    Because Amazon hasn't made a dollar in over 3 years of operation. They can't afford Sun.

    selling, hosting static pages, sharing information, databases

    Selling? What's that got to do with computers? E-Commerce you mean? It's all in the software. Of course, if your computers can't handle the load, then you've got a problem. Hosting static pages? Yay, whooee, big load on your computer there. Static pages aren't where the web is going anyway. Sharing information? That's what Email is for. And Databases? On Win2K? Maybe if you're talking about your contact manager database with your friend's names and phone numbers, but for that matter, you could have used a CSV Spreadsheet from Excel for Windows and a little DOS batch file to break it out.

    Sun Bigot? No, but kiddies who convinced their parents that they needed to have that 1GHz Athlon because it's 1000KHz and so it's the fastest, and have no concept of system architecture irritate me.

  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @12:52PM (#532958) Homepage Journal
    I used one of those E10K for an Oracle data warehouse at MasterCard. It's a big fat sucker with tons of ram. Some moron accidentally tripped over the power wire and it took 2 hours to bring it back up one day. I can't tell you how fast Oracle ran on that puppy, but I was impressed. I was only able to write one PL/SQL script that "overworked" the server.
  • Gee, here's some further evidence. You are the one who submitted the article to Slashdot in the first place. And now, all the sudden, you're defending the authenticity of the article? That strikes me as a little odd.

    redir writes "There is an interesting article on Reviewboard.com about Sun's bigboy E10k million dollar servers.

    And you seem to have some really inside knowledge about the site. RIGHT. It appears obvious to me that you work for the site that hosted the article and are now trying to cover some tracks. CONGRATULATIONS. YOU'VE BEEN CAUGHT.

  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @04:05PM (#532965)
    Here's the editor's latest reply. It is completely laugable.

    The author works for Novadigm and is currently working with over 100 of these machines in an ongoing project for the U.S. Government. He holds a PH.D. in computer science and is a well known individual in good standing. You sir are a fraud.

    100s of E10ks? 100s!??!!? **NO** site has 100s of them. The largest customer, as far as I am aware, is AT&T. The second largest company that uses E10ks is the company that I work for, and "dozens" may be stretching it quite a ways.

    Not even AT&T has hundreds of these machines. Your latest statement is further evidence of the fraud going on here.

  • 00s of E10ks? 100s!??!!? **NO** site has 100s of them

    I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA had 100's of them. I would be surprised if someone who worked there ever told anyone about it.


  • Then someone else(*1) should submit the abuse complaint to epinions. One way or another, epinions should take a look at it.

    I'm not wasting my time on it though. Well, other than these two posts :)

    (*1) Such as yourself or one of the other people who are railing against him.

  • An accreddited site, by who? Kind of like the guy who who the article who is at a site with 100's of E10ks? Please.
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @06:10PM (#532973) Homepage
    Having read AD Epinions article, read the Reivewboard article, and read the other two articles that Chris Chabot has written for that site, I tentatively believe that AD may be telling the truth.

    At the moment, I would not categorically say that I fully believe him, but until I hear further or learn more, I would not dismiss AD's claim just yet. Here's why:

    • the style of the article is very first person and based on personal opinion. There is a lot of 'I' and 'personally' in the article. Magazine articles tend to be written in an objective tense, while 'hobby journals' like epinions or everything2.com are more in a 'this is my personal opinion' style.

    • if you read the other two articles by Chris Chabot (also about Sun servers), you will find that they are both written in an objective style with no personal opinion. While not impossible, I find it suspicious that Chris' writting style changed between articles about similar topics. It may be that he is more familiar with the E10k than the other servers and hence the change in style ...

    • Finally, what possible benefit does AD have in raising this as an issue? If AD was trying to hide the fact that he plagarised most people would have kept quiet and waited for the whole thing to blow over - to my way of thinking it goes completely against logic to draw attention to the fact that you may have plagarised as redir suggested in an earlier post.
    What makes me suspicious about AD story however, is that he posted the story on Dec 29th 2000. It is entirely possible that the explanation that the editor gave is legit (ie the article has been on their site for some time and was brought forward for a promotion) although I believe AD had a possible explanation why this was not feasable - the CPU speed mentioned in the article was not available at the time the editor said they received the article.

    Anyway, as I said before, I would not place money either way ... but I wouldn't discount AD story just yet either.

    Hey AD, if you are pursuing reviewboard for plagarism, how about updating Slashdot on the results?

  • by dubl-u ( 51156 ) <{ot.atop} {ta} {2107893252}> on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @09:32PM (#532974)
    Those of you crusing at >1 should check out this post [slashdot.org].

    This is a brilliant bit of research, proving that the guy who submitted the article to Slashdot is the same guy who runs the site, although he now is trying to hide the connection. And he's the only guy who's arguing vociferously that the plagiarism claims are bunk. Very curious!

    If I could give this poster some of my karma, I would. But I can't. Could a moderator please throw him a bone?
  • by tmoertel ( 38456 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @09:43PM (#532980) Homepage Journal

    If you go to Google and search on phrases from the ReviewBoard article that are likely to be unique to the article, e.g. "E10k frame is capable of holding", how many hits do you get? Zero. This suggests that the article is too new to have been indexed by Google.

    However, redir asserts that he has reliable information [slashdot.org] that the ReviewBoard article was written in way back in March and therefore couldn't have been copied from AD's epinions piece from a few days ago, as AD claims.

    If the RB article is actually nine months old, why hasn't Google indexed it yet? Certainly, Google combs RB more frequently than once every nine months. For example, here [reviewboard.com] is a RB article posted in March, and it's in Google: Search on "sprint pcs makes me think" [google.com], taken from the article's opening line. Google returns the article as the first hit. (Following hits come from rb.chabotc.com.)

    In summary:

    • Redir claims that the article is nine months old.
    • Google indexes RB more frequently than once every nine months.
    • The article hasn't been indexed by Google.

    This evidence is highly suggestive that AD is correct and redir is not.

  • My e250 has TWO independent power supplies and power cords.

    Guy'd have to trip over BOTH cords to take down my system (but PG&E can still do it quite nicely - no UPS - it's a test system anyway, nuthin mission critical going on here.)

    It's a really nice system, but for $20k, you'd think I'd get a frikkin floppy drive. What is this, the biggest iMac ever made? Wait, it's headless, that can't be an iMac.
  • There's often a lot of salesguy handholding. The sales cycles for new customers often exceed 12 months for the e10k. (e10k ships with Veritas - free).
  • Fine. Point to a SINGLE search engine that has this article. RIGHT NOW. Go ahead. I dare you.
  • by chabotc ( 22496 ) <chabotc@g m a i l .com> on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @09:51PM (#532992) Homepage
    I just woke up to see our articles being linked by slashdot, and seeing tons of emails and message threads here on slashdot about an obvious mistake. These articles (the E10k and E4500) were send to me (by email) as a user submission, and i imediatly submitted them to our site. However looking back in hindsight (which is always 20/20) i gues i could've done some more research to make sure they were unique content, and not a rip-off as they now apear to be (from the epionion.com site).

    As a result, i've imediatly have taken the articles down and we will attempt to contact the user in question and have some harsh words for him.

    As far as redir's comments on slashdot go, he's a good friend of mine who's known me for a long time, and felt it was imposible that i would do such a thing, thus tried to defend my name to the bitter end. The real situation wasnt clear to him then either.

    New articles on the Sun servers, are being written as we speak, based on the real specs, and based on our own experiances with the E4500 and E10k (i have worked with one such a beast for one of my customers).

    My, and our, apologies for the situation, we will try to be more vigilant in the future to avoid such situations. However they can never be fully avoided, even epinions.com reguarly gets faulty and non-unique user submissions. The only action you can take on this is remove the article in question as soon as posible.

    Now first some coffee.. its way to early for such a headache..

    -- Chris Chabot
    "I dont suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it!"
  • But for anyone who questions if redir is indeed associated with ReviewBoard.com look here [slashdot.org] and search for "redir".

    You'll notice that user's site info is given as "www.reviewboard.com" and the user's email is "philip@ferreira.net" which happens to be the same as the admin contact for reviewboard.com.

    Come clean. Make real apologies. And we can all move on.
  • by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @04:18PM (#533000) Journal

    Then what you have to do is very very simple.

    Remember when you first joined epinions? Remember the big form they asked you to read and sign? Remember the bits in it authorizing them to take legal action against any site that uses your review without approval? Remember the bits asking you to inform them if you ever discover someone ripping off your review?

    Excellent! Go here [epinions.com] and report these violations, then sit back and let epinions' lawyers whip their asses.

    Admit it, occasionally lawyers are good for something :)

  • For whatever it is worth:

    From dollardude@cwicweb.com Wed Jan 3 18:21:20 2001
    Return-Path: (dollardude@cwicweb.com)
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    Message-Id: (5.0.2.1.2.20010103191124.00acf1f0@mail.reviewboar d.com)
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    Date: Wed, 03 Jan 2001 19:19:50 -0500
    To: Josh McCormick (jmccorm@galaxy.galstar.com)
    From: Dollar Dude
    Subject: Re: MY WORK WAS PLAGIARIZED BY "CHRIS CHABOT"
    In-Reply-To: Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
    Status: ORr

    I bet, however this review has been on our site for over 2 months. You have a lot of sand to come to us and say you wrote this. Our review was posted 10/25/2000 at 1:57p.m. We moved it to the front cover of the site for a promotion we are doing on our server section.

    At 05:57 PM 1/3/01 -0600, you wrote:

    >RBMAG:
    >
    >I'm writing to you because it appears that a review that I wrote about the
    >Sun Ultra Enterprise 10000 was completely plagiarized and placed on your
    >site. Please visit the following URL:
    >
    >http://www.epinions.com/enth-review-41-2D0E2BF6-3 A 4C813E-prod2
    >
    >Now visit the review on your site:
    >
    >http://www.reviewboard.com/Section/Cover/E10k
    >
    >Look just a little bit TOO FAMILIAR? I should know. I wrote the thing in
    >the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep.
    >
    >I couldn't be MORE UPSET.

  • Go ahead. Show me some of the trails of this so-called "well known" author on the web. I'd love to see some of this other articles. But I'm curious what a guy with a PHD in computer science would be doing as a lowly UNIX Admin. Yet he's very well known! Your story just doesn't hold water. I think I'm going to search the originating site for other plagairism at this point.
  • Oh please you can't possibly believe that this guy's review was stolen. It's absurd. His review was a theft and he posted a stolen review on epinions... then he yelled bloody murder becuase he was afraid that epinions would find out :p
  • So redir, the registered admin for the site, was lying about all those communications with the editor, which by your description above would be you? (You're the one who wrote the announcement of reviewboard's opening, and approve the submissions). He made up dozens of factual mis-statements? Another editor at Reviewboard (I'm not sure who works on it besides you and redir) changed the content of the article in response to allegations here? What about the fact that the article on the 10K clearly states that you're the author? I quote, "Sun Enterprise 10000 By Chris Chabot".
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @10:34PM (#533016) Homepage
    that all of redir's posts about talking to the editor via email was all made up. Or, if redir is telling the truth, then the people at reviewboard.com are a bunch of lying cowards.

    Either way, this whole thread has shown two things:

    • For someone who didn't know the whole story and was arguing based on assumptions, redir whole attitude and language show him to be an uncouth barbarian - I hate making personal attacks on people but redir, if you're going to bad mouth people, try and do it when you know the facts.

    • the credibility of reviewboard.com is questionable. The article was credited to Chris Chabot - if it was a user submission, why wasn't the user credited? And if you don't check your articles when they are submitted, how do you know the authenticity of the information? And to damn the whole site, the editors went to the effort of adjusting the date mentioned within the article to cover-up their theft. So how much would anyone trust their reviews now? Where is their credibility? And if redir was telling the truth and did speak with the editors, then the editors are a bunch of lying snivelling cowards for making up stories about submission dates. While editors making up stories about submission dates seems far fetched, let us not forget that they adjusted the date within the article to coverup the whole mess. Either way, I wouldn't touch reviewboard.com with a 10 foot barge pole.
  • I'm surprised you didn't say nice touch, lewser.

    Plugging my site? This looks like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Let's review what you have done, since you say that I have plugged my site - and compare.

    1. You plug an article on ReviewBoard.com. redir writes "There is an interesting article on Reviewboard.com about Sun's bigboy E10k million dollar servers.
    2. It turns out that the article is a plagiarism of AtariDataCenter's work.
    3. You insult AtariDataCenter publicly and repeatedly
    4. L. Ron McKenzie points out that Whois lists the administrative contact for ReviewBoard as Philip Ferreira and that a certain redir (philip@ferreira.net) used to post to Slashdot.

      Whois info:
      Administrative Contact, Technical Contact,
      Billing Contact:
      Ferreira, Philip (PF2861) philip@GWI.NET
      Reviewboard Magazine
      913 Elm Street, Suite 500
      Manchester, NH 03101
      603-625-1564

      Google search for "philip ferreira" +slashdot turns up:
      Slashdot:3D LCD Screen without Glasses ... I believe this was on slashdot alittle while ago... The technique involves ... Accurate (Score:1) by redir (philip@ferreira.net) on Wednesday April 21, @12 ...

    So, yes, I put in a little plug for my site at the bottom of my post - with a little smiley face acknowledging that yes, this is a plug. The evidence points to you also making a plug for a site you are affiliated with (a site for which you are the administrative contact). But, look at the difference! And let's review your "apology":

    Redir: But yeah... I was wrong, an apology? No I am not sorry for having an opinion
    Redir: Err... wait a minute... poor ataristickuphisass(sorry but I'm working out my anger guy) his article was ganked!!
  • Our current content engine doesnt allow for user submissions. This has been and will be explained to anyone who submits content to us. Thus when i log in and post an article, it will always show up under my own name. As far as the 'benefit of the doubt' goes, this is not something i sought to obtain. This situation has shaken us up badly as well, and i wanted to apologies to the original author of the article, and make sure everyone knew he was in his right to claim he was, in fact, the author. The only thing i can do is take the false article offline, and state that we are sorry for the events that occured.

    -- Chris Chabot
    "I dont suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it!"
  • Well, Redir... oops, I mean, "anonymous coward", let's say the article was updated at the date of republishing (a day or two ago?). Isn't funny how it was "updated" to a processor that hasn't been released for the E10k? It looks like a person who knows nothing about Sun products took the 480mhz information off of the Epinions E450 review and thought it also applied to the E10k.



    Anyone who knows Sun equipment knows that the E10k is the last to receive the latest and greatest. It is always released first for the lower-end servers.

  • redir seems to finally have made a real attempt to do better, but for some reason he posted as an
    anonymous coward [slashdot.org]. [...]


    Ooh! If that is really redir (and it looks like it is), that's an excellent catch. Thanks for noticing it!

    This is where the web is a little scary. I hope this doesn't permanently hurt either of them. Do I
    trust ReviewBoard.com? Not at all. But I am not sure that should equal a lifetime ban on employment for those two.


    For me, the hiring decision would have a lot to do on whether or not they came clean in public. I don't mind hiring people who have made mistakes; failure teaches some lessons that success never does. But people who can't admit their errors are dangerous, and likely to repeat them over and over.

    If the post you found was really from Phillip Ferreira, I hope he comes back and posts it again with his handle and his proper email address.

    Chris Chabot and reviewboard.com still have a lot to answer for, of course. Even if redir's subsequent defense was a understandable youthful mistake, the original articles and Chabot's disingenuous spin control does a lot to suggest that the rot at reviewboard.com goes much deeper than an overdefensive sysadmin.
  • Assuming redir is (one of) the editors of reviewboard.com and the AC who posted the final explanation then .....

    This whole thread really has highlighted how objectiveness, respect, and honesty are essential qualities in life and especially in running a business.

    It is admirable that redir will stand up in a public forum and try to defend his friends and he is obviously passionate and cares about his work (based on the intensity of his replies). These are all good qualities. I personally believe that redir/editor made a couple of silly mistakes at the start and from then on slid down a very slippery slope.

    But that reinforces the lesson. Once you get on that slope, it's very difficult (and much more embarrassing) to get off. Redir/editor had a chance right from the start to fully disclose his relation with reviewboard.com. He had a chance to give Ataridatacenter respect and investigate AD's claim. If reviewboard.com had pulled the article from the start and maybe provided a link to epinions, I would have had the highest respect for reviewboard since they would have acted ethically.

    Unfortunately, we know this is not what happened. And by trying to defend his friend, but not being polite, redir caused a lot of people to be upset with him. Worse and ironically, he has damaged the very reputation of reviewboard.com that he was trying to protect.

    I know I probably sound a bit pompous in this post with a 'holier than thou' attitude and I apologise for this. However, situation/mistakes like this one are one of my pet peeves. Why? Because one of my team members was fired for doing something similar to redir. In my case, we support the national telco and his actions caused a major outage. As team leader, I tried to stop him getting him fired, but management and the client kept highlighting how he was deceitful, pig headed, did not confirm facts and was not willing to acknowledge that he had made a mistake (sound familiar to this situation?).

    I honestly hope that redir learns from this experience and doesn't end up in a situation like my ex-team member.

  • Are you kidding? The Sun 4500 article was ganked from epinions too! You just replaced that after the scam came to light this morning! And what are you talking about Philip [i.e., you] only owned the domain name, his name is all over the site on the grand opening announcement archived on Google. I don't know if you're doing this as a joke at this point, like a weird performance art piece, or if you're just a compulsive liar.
  • Well, since the Xeon processors don't suffer from the cache problems [computerworld.com] that the Sun processors do, I would imagine that the uptime is pretty good.

    How's the scalability on the E450 past 4 processors? Non-existent you say? You mean I'd have to spend $223,000.00 [sun.com] on a Sun to even begin to think about something beyond quad-processors? I could spend a 1/5 of that for an 8-processor Compaq/Dell/HP and get better tpc-c performance than the E4500.

    The million dollar bet was bullshit and anybody with some sense knew it. Sun's best posted tpc-c score for a non-clustered server is ~150,000 for a 64-way E10k running Sybase for a cost of about $7,000,000. Compaq's best submitted performance for a 4-way server is ~35,000 with Win2k and SQL2k for around $500,000. So basically I get 1/4 the performance for 1/14 the price. Suns cluster really well, you say? The tpc-c number one position right now belongs to a clustered Compaq running Win2k and SQL2k.

    Despite these numbers, I agree with you, but not on the basis of performance. When I let my own personal preferences and emotions come into play I like unix a whole lot better than I like Windows anything. As a matter of fact I despise Microsoft Server products, but that doesn't mean that they aren't faster and that they don't get good uptime. Most people's concepts of uptime are based on client systems and sub-optimal configurations that tend to go down. Microsoft server products can be optimized to be stable.

    The fact remains that Sun is dropping the ball. Their most impressive hardware just isn't that impressive anymore. The USIII is way way late and not really very impressive. It is an incremental improvement over the USII. Fortunately, it does actually get more done per clock cycle than an Intel P3, but only slightly more. Hopefully they can get the clock speed up.

    In the end, if I cared about cost, performance, and reliability I'd be more apt to run FreeBSD. If I were forced to run Oracle, I'd definitely consider Linux on Intel. If I needed to scale really well I'd probably use an HP9000 or an RS6000.

    I still haven't seen anybody support an argument for why one would use a Sun Box for a particular application over Win2k on Intel. I can certainly think of a few, but that's me.
  • Those are maximum ratings. Maybe a full A1000 is rated at 7A, but this one only had four drives installed. Both E4500s had an empty slot, and one only had the default 2 CPUs, but was full of dual 9GB drive modules (the other had 8CPUs). And since this was in an office building, maybe the plug was on a 20A circuit. However, this particular plug was hidden behind a piece of cubicle wall in a lab room, and difficult to reach, so I didn't feel too worried about lusers plugging coffee cup warmers into it. And they're really only for configuration compatibility testing (!), so it's not like there's anything mission critical running on these two boxen.

    Since the operative phrase here is "in your own den", that implies a different level of power reliability being required. The point is that you can do it without hiring an electrician, as opposed to, say, a VAX 11/780, which I've heard requires 3-phase power. You don't even need to rack mount them; the two I worked with came shipped in a standalone configuration which worked quite well sitting on the wooden shipping pallets.

  • Jesus potzer. When executives make comments like this, they are using business logic rather than regular math. Your computer costs so much to run every minute; however this is offset by making money back merely by operating. It is holding an ethereal value of sorts. When you cause it not to operate you send the cost of operation shooting way above the amount of money you make (during normal operation). Since you're no longer inputting money your costs are not offset by an input of money. The imbalance causes your costs to soar and you start losing money like mad. There is a really nice calculus for this sort of mechanism but I can't remember it right now. Does anyone know the one I'm talking about? Anyways you don't need to make a million dollars a minute in order to lose a million dollars per minute.
  • Lots of people are probably wondering how this is relevant to the rest of us who can't afford this big iron. Here's why: just because you can't afford one today doesn't mean you shouldn't keep up on the architecture, since what's expensive today will be cheap tomorrow, and the architecture will keep marching on, building upon past models when forging tomorrow's. I know those years I spent in my forties playing with a CP/M prepared me for today's NT machines twenty years later, and both will help me when the next big thing comes down the pipeline.
  • Unlike some people on slashdot who seem all to eager to throw phone numbers, residential addresses and real names out, i prefer to handle this within the confines of the company. This person will be contacted, and we will address these issues. However this does not warent a witch hunt by the community at large. And as i am the person who submited the article to the site, i am not gonna try to dodge the bullets and shout that people should flame some one else.

    -- Chris Chabot
    "I dont suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it!"
  • Hi. Can I just cut in among all the beowulf cluster comments and ask a question please? I once read an interview with Linus Torvalds in which he said that running Linux on massive supercomputers was 'just plain silly' (the article may have been a bit old;). What I would like to know is, how does the free software community work on making Linux work on big expensive machines like this? I mean, its mostly a network of volunteers, and presumably they can't all have a supercomputer each to work on, so how do they do it? Is most of the work on Linux at this level done by big companies that can afford it like IBM, or is there a place for the smaller Linux developer and enthusiast?

    I would be really interested in knowing. Thank you!

  • But the correct URL is follows (easy to find since it is the only E4500 review):

    Epinions Review [epinions.com] vs Reviewboard Review [reviewboard.com]. The "CIO/CTO" paragraph was a good example.

    BTW, has anyone else noticed how redir, the person who originally submitted the article, is so vigirous in defending the authenticity of the reviews? Amazing for someone who just found a really interesting article and then submitted it.

  • by L. Ron McKenzie ( 7095 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @07:39PM (#533062)
    c'mon, connection is easy to find.

    do a whois on reviewboard.com.

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact:
    Ferreira, Philip (PF2861) philip@GWI.NET
    Reviewboard Magazine
    913 Elm Street, Suite 500
    Manchester, NH 03101
    603-625-1564

    Then do a google search on Philip Ferreira. Or, better yet, on both Philip Ferreira and slashdot. Seems like our buddy redir used to post to slashdot using both his username and email address...
    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22philip+ferreira% 22+%2Bslashdot&hl=en&lr=&safe=off [google.com]

  • They person who tripped over the line must've been running full force. We can yank on our cords quite hard and never pull them out.
  • Come on. You'd have us believe that a "software engineer" would have the amount of experience necessary to write a review of the E10k like that? I hate to inform you, but a software engineer doesn't have a thing to do with the administration of a Sun Enterprise 10000. Yet another lie that's been caught. Gratz and thanks.

    You've got a special line to this editor? He doesn't leave me nearly as many eamil as he did you, a random user of his site who happened to submit the articles to Slashdot in the first place.

  • I am not discounting the fact that sites get advance hardware and I will agree that your explanation is possible. However, AMD giving out $500 processors is very different to $1 million servers being handed out.

    As I am saying before, I would not say that AD is telling the truth, however, nor would I say that he is lying. There is enough evidence both ways to say that either could be telling the truth.

    In which case, one should keep an open mind and see where AD's enquiries lead him.

  • Good question. Unfortunately, I'm legally prevented from telling you. (In addition, I don't have the slightest clue.)

    If I recall correctly, Oracle and other database companies have something in their EULA that prohibits you from benchmarking their database. Supposedly, the point of this is to prevent Oracle's competitors (which are... who?) from running 'crooked' tests (not optimizing Oracle, or whatever). But it still makes me nervous when a company puts something in the EULA preventing you from benchmarking it...

  • Let's see. Would it be more likely that the "editor" or an unknown magazile would steal an article and try to get it published on Slashdot to make a great deal of money on advertisement revenues, or someone would bring up the connection to a view that they created on a view site in order to protect less than $1 in revenue? You tell me.
  • March? [slashdot.org] But yet you say that it was taken offline [slashdot.org] until December. Then all the sudden it is made a front page article? But it mentioned 480mhz processors which weren't available or even discussed in March?



    Please come up with another story to explain this. I'm waiting for a good laugh about the 480mhz processors available in March of 2000... especially since I can't even get them for the E10k (only the E450) right now.

  • Try that with Windows...

    Sure, why not? [unisys.com]

  • ... but AtariDatacenter may be right. I'm posting only because I have an established history on Slashdot and absolutely zero connection to AtariDatacenter or redir.

    Consider this a neutral third party observation to document something before it can be changed.

    From http://www.reviewboard.com/Section/Cover/E4500 [reviewboard.com], paragraph two:

    The Sun E4500 is not a cheap machine, base configuration usually comes in at around $75k and when configured to suit its usual purpose (enterprise class transaction servers) the bill sometimes tops $100k.

    From http://www.epinions.com/enth-review-5999-27A4508B- 39906C31-prod5 [epinions.com], paragraph 1:

    The Sun E4500 is not a cheap machine, base configuration usually comes in at around $75k and when configured to suit its usual purpose (enterprise class transaction servers) the bill sometimes tops $100k.

    The Epinions date is listed as Aug 8 2000. No date was available for the reviewboard article. The Epinions author (nightfall) is not the same author as the disputed E10000 article [epinions.com] (jmccorm).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Need to add more CPUs and memory to a system? You can do it while its running. Need to remove a system board to add some more memory? If you've done you're configuration correctly, you can remove a system board... yes, with the operating system still running, add the memory to the board, and place it back into the domain. This does wonders for the system's uptime, not even having to bring it down for hardware upgrades. This is a must-have feature for any computer that wants to serve big data and transaction centers like NASDAQ, where every minute of downtime can cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

    Try that with Windows...

  • Yes, it takes hours. (Score:1)
    by redir (philip@ferreira.net) on Saturday April 24, @07:56AM EDT
    (User Info) http://www.reviewboard.com

    This is too funny. Thanks for the good research! Nice how redir posted some messages with his address for the redir alias as the administrative contact of Reviewboard Magazine! If this doesn't clinch things, what does?

  • by MAXOMENOS ( 9802 ) <maxomai@nospAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @01:06PM (#533080) Homepage
    It's a big fat sucker with tons of ram. Some moron accidentally tripped over the power wire and it took 2 hours to bring it back up one day.

    Two hours? I'm not surprised...the memory check on 64GB would take fricking forever.

    Not to mention running fsck on the disk....

    (Mandatory for any hardware thread) Imagine a Beowulf of these.....

    ObJectBridge [sourceforge.net] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's a pretty nice, very fast machine... however, it is BIG, COMPLEX, and EXPENSIVE. Any company looking at this should think a LOOONG hard time. They should evaluate:

    Are they willing to pay for the extra training AND for experience time before the system goes live? Think at least 5 man-weeks per operator minimum.

    Do they realize that you lose MANY of the coolest features (Dynamic re-configuration) with many of the most common setups? (clusters, fiber-channel fabrics)

    Do they understand that part of the issue is the storage, and that the amount of storage complexity to fully utilize one of these beasts can be quite large? An E10K will often be set up with Veritas, or sam-fs, or brocade switches. This is a BIG change from a few linux boxes with SCSI raid arrays. Make sure your people can handle it.

    They should REALLY wonder if they wouldn't be better off with one of the smaller (450, 4500 etc) SUN boxes instead.

    In other words, do you REALLY need this much power, because that much power not only costs in up front dollars, it costs alot to actually keep it running and to take advantage of that much power.

    -Anonymous for a reason
  • by Tim Randolph ( 10300 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @08:19PM (#533095)
    This is one of the funnest threads I've followed in /. for a long time. Doing a Google search on AtariDatacenter's real email string comes up with enough postings on geek topics that it seems highly credile that the owner of that email could have written the review. The best data point is this resume [galstar.com].

    Doing the same thing for "Chris Chabot", the supposed author of the Review Board article does turn up a couple of semi-sophisticated computer related hits (needs help compiling a kernel [tux.org]), but in these cases Chris has a Review Board email address! ---> chabotc@reviewboard.com

    I very much doubt that the review board is running a Sun E10K.

    It seems pretty damn certain that the Review Board plagarized these articles. Since "redir" was also the original submitter and a strident attacker of AD, I would give fat odds, that he is "Chris Chabot" or at least a buddy of his.

    But you got to hand it to the guy. Redir is a great handle for someone who redirects content from one site to another.
  • by Argy ( 95352 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @08:20PM (#533098)
    From Google, looking up info on Chris Chabot, I found a reference to a site on "rb.chabotc.com". If you go there, you'll find a slightly older copy of Reviewboard. It has a link to the E10K article at http://rb.chabotc.com/Section/Cover/E10k [chabotc.com]. And on that article, you'll find that it lists the date of the configuration availability as "12/29/00".

    One of the points of contention in this discussion has been that someone said they thought it originally said 12/29/00, then changed to 3/29/00. The discrepency between rb.chabotc.com's and reviewboard.com's article is further proof of ReviewBoard's lie and coverup. I hope other people will post verification of what I'm saying before the copy on rb.chabotc.com is changed again. Meta date tag I'm looking at says 2001-01-02 17:58:27. That date is not dynamically updated as another newbie pointed out, as you can see from looking at other reviews on RB.

    You'll also find Chris Chabot, the allegedly reported admin of hundreds of Sun 10Ks, to have written reviews of laptops for Reviewboard, and even the article announcing the grand opening of Reviewboard! Sorry Chris, can't change that one, it's archived on Google [google.com].

    Chris also used to post on occasion on Slashdot, under user chabotc, and has posted help requests to a linux-kernal mailing list.
  • Take a look at the TPC web page.

    These benchmarks are conducted under a very strict set of rules and are a very good indication of comparitive performance.

    The standard test scenarios are a little simplistic so do not be surprised when a system rated at 10000 transactions per minute strugles to do 1000 tpm in the real world!

    http://www.tpc.org/new_result/tpcc_perf_results. as p

    Also note the total lack of SUN hardware in the top ten!

  • /home/oracle> uname -a
    SunOS [hostname obliterated] 5.6 Generic_105181-20 sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-Enterprise-10000

    I work on both HP and Suns, and I must say, they are both nice machines. However, this uptime/hot swap thing is a bunch of crap. The most telling thing was when I started at this job, and wondered why the Sun DBA's hadn't installed the normal startup scripts. Turns out they had some incidents where hardware work was done, and the domain kept rebooting before Oracle could even finish coming up. This is not good for Oracle, to make an award winning understatement. Now, that can happen on any machine, but it had the effect of making those DBA's paranoid about automatic startups. So whenever anything has to be done (like, remember Y2K?), a DBA has to be onsite to manually bring the db up or down. Sheesh. I had a CPU go out on an HP over Christmas, and nobody even noticed since no one was actually doing anything (except the sysadmins noticed, of course).

    So it's fine for a data warehouse. But since I'm working on real production systems, I'm waiting for a V class HP (I was hoping for a cluster of N classes, but oh well). I've worked on those before, and they crank.

    What good are benchmarks if the puter crashes? For that matter, what good are benchmarks at all? The biggest computer can have users tapping their fingers with some apps.
  • well I'm sure that sun will open up several to the community for development. The same day porcine beings self-aviate and a certain mythological place experiences a cold snap... ;^)

    Seriously, this is where the proprietary unix companies make tens or hundreds of thousands on OS licenses for their bigboy hardware. Tell me again why they'd want linux running there for free?


    --
  • by dustpuppy ( 5260 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @08:53PM (#533116) Homepage
    Damn Tim, you beat me to the post - I too did a search on Chris Chabot's name and came to the same conclusion.

    In addition to your statement, the following circumstantial evidence has been mentioned in the mess of posts in this thread. These include:

    • the fact that the administrative contact of the reviewboard.com domain is likely to be redir (by L McKenzie).
    • a date in the article mysteriously changed from 12/29/2000 to 03/29/2000 (Tim confirmed change after viewing cached copy).
    • my observation that the writing styles are different between the three Sun server articles despite the fact that the 'author' is the same.
    • the fact that the author had access to a E10000 server many many months before it became available. Sure, some sites get advance equipment for review, but I find it highly unlikely that reviewboard would get a $1 million server to review.
    • redir rather strident defence of an article that he casually wandered across and submitted to Slashdot. This in itself could be ignored except if you remember that redir is the administrative contact of the reviewboard.com domain ....
    Sure, none of it is definitive evidence, but the amount of circumstantial evidence sure is beginning to lend credibility to Ataridatacenters claim ... and conversely starts raising questions about redirs credibility ....

  • My company spent $100,000 and all I got was 16 cpu boards, 64Gb RAM, and this lousy t-shirt.
  • What about quake? If QuakeForge [quakeforge.net] doesn't build and or run on your box, let us know, it's a bug (our Solaris developers disappeared a few months ago :( )

    Bill - aka taniwha
    --

  • On some of these systems (I'm thinking of the S/390 with VM) it is not running just one image of Linux on the hardware, but hundreds of Linux images.

    Picture it in terms of how many people run Linux today in a large environment. They may have a couple of boxes dedicated to running databases, a couple of boxes hooked up to the internet and handing out web pages, a few firewall systems, etc.

    Now take that mental picture and move it into one physical box, but with the same independant pieces. Even the "network" between the pieces looks the same TCP/IP stack to TCP/IP stack (just think of "virtual wires" between the "boxes" within the big box).

    So you really don't have one Linux system running on this huge piece of iron, but many. Admittedly you will not get the raw performance of the native iron. But for the most part unless you are doing raw number crunching you should not see alot of degradation.

    As far as the develper community support, keep writting the tools and applications that use standard interfaces and don't dip down into the machine code level in your code. If the code is written say in C and one doesn't get two tricky with byte orders then there shouldn't be a problem with the code being ported (a simple recompile is all that would be needed).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Simple. I was pissed and I wanted to be right. I had no clue what really happened as I couldn't get ahold of Chris, so I manipulated our system with a few 'update mytable set date where id =''s and swore up and down it was false. Why? Because I've known Chris for ten years and absolutely knew he'd never do something like that. I was wrong to do it, but I wanted to drive home the fact that he didn't steal an article. When people started emailing me with solid information I thought "I shouldn't have done what I just did" but it was too late at that point. Bottom line is I was wrong to back Chris up in that matter, I couldn't get ahold of him and I tried to cover his ass. For the record, Philip Ferreira does not own Reviewboard.com a lot of you info posting trolls have issues reading anything except the article in question. I'm the admin/tech/billing contact for the domain because I'm the editor. The domain itself is actually registered to the previous owner of the site, and the site is held by a corporation now (Reviewboard.com, LLC) which I am not a stockholder or owner of. Another thing you should know, is while I may be in charge here, I'm 24 years old, and I don't have all of the correct answers when it comes to doing things. I handled this very poorly, and chances are at some future date I might mishandle something else. However from this point on, all I can do is try to handle it with class, and attempt to find out all the details instead of being so defensive about something like this. I still don't agree with the posting of information (however dated it might be (as we aren't even in that state anymore)), I especially don't agree with moderators mod'ing personal information up (shows lack of character in my opinion). But I'll let it slide because perhaps this time I deserve it due to my roll in this. In summeray and For the record: I had no idea or clue prior to the emails I got from /. community that this article was a copy of another article. 2) There were enough differences in the article to make any reasonable person doubt an email from an outside organization, claiming the contrary. 3)I did make the wrong decision and attempt to cover Chris's butt. When I found out that it was indeed true, I actually called Chris up at 4:30am his time and screamed, then he told me that it was a user submission and things began to fall into place. 4) When I did find out for sure that it was not Chris's article we took the article down. I set Chris on writing our own version of the article, for two reasons. 1) Because we had the content there, and I didn't want to not have it and have to definalize the section again for lack of content. 2) I wanted to show people that we could review this system with equal intensity (As you can plainly see in Chris's original Review of the E450 [reviewboard.com]. I hope this clears this matter up for good. Ataridatacenter is owed our most sincere appology, which I want to take this opportunity to give him (I'm very sorry AD, I really didn't believe that this could happen given who was involved). -Kind Regards
  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @09:15PM (#533129)
    I was written an email that encouraged me to summarize what has just happened in a single message so everything is clear. The evidence that I am the original author should be overwhelming at this point. Here goes.

    L. Ron McKenzie points out [slashdot.org] that the person who submitted the story (rdir) and defended its authenticity would seem to be the administrative and technical contact of the site which has the review.

    There are also the posts (#1 [slashdot.org], #2 [slashdot.org], and #3 [slashdot.org]) which point to the date being changed from 12/29/00 to 3/29/00 in the published article... after the authenticity of the article was questioned. Of course, the story doesn't make any sense at all with the date and the CPU speeds changed.

    Dustpuppy correctly points out [slashdot.org] the difference in writing styles between the reviews. A nice non-technical investigation of the situation. Thanks.

    And there are numerous posts, such as this [slashdot.org], which point out strange similarites between the reviews on Reviewboard and those written by people on Epinions. And a credibility check [slashdot.org] betweem the alleged author and myself. This recently posted thread [slashdot.org] seems to be pretty damning, too.

    I think at this point, the plantiff rests his case. And I'm going to be. 'Night, Slashdot. And thanks for those who were looking for the truth who helped me prove my case. I appreciate it.

  • by Zwack ( 27039 )
    What about the Sun 420R?

    We do not reccommend the 450 for use in our Data center as they are physically large. The 420R provides basically similar hardware levels and comes in a nice small rackmount case (4U). As we use Fibre Channel connected EMC frames for storage the lack of internal drive bays is not a problem.

  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @01:33PM (#533134) Homepage Journal
    What I would like to know is, how does the free software community work on making Linux work on big expensive machines like this? I mean, its mostly a network of volunteers, and presumably they can't all have a supercomputer each to work on, so how do they do it? Is most of the work on Linux at this level done by big companies that can afford it like IBM, or is there a place for the smaller Linux developer and enthusiast?

    Considering the fact that it is very unlikely that there are several hackers (heck, even one) who can afford to buy a $100,000 to $1,000,000 piece of hardware and invalidate the warranty simply to test the viability of porting Linux, I doubt that anyone outside of commercial developers are working on Linux on mainframes.

    A quick search on Google [google.com] for "supercomputer" & "linux" pulls up the IBM machines and a bunch of Beowulf style clusters and not much else. Interestingly most of the IBM links are to Los Lobos [zdnet.com], IBM's clustered supercomputer.

    Oops, I just did a search for "linux" & "mainframe" [google.com] and found better links which look like they may point to some enthusiast sites after all, such as ROAM [acude.org]. There are also links to Suse's [suse.com] and IBM's [ibm.com] mainframe linux products to be found.

    Grabel's Law
  • You certainly do NOT lose Dynamic Reconfiguration. Infact the E10k was the first Sun shipped machine to have DR. As for Cluster you can cluster multiple E10k systems together and you can of course still use fiberchannel. For many people the E10k is not about top notch power infact it is not Sun's fastest machine in terms of raw CPU power, what it provides is flexibility and scaling. Given the number of sites worldwide that have these many people do need them - and before you ask Sun sales people will advise you to by an E450 or E4500 (or any other Sun hardware) if that better fits your needs.
  • The ports are largely done by Linux companies and other companies interested in Linux.
    e.g. the S/390 port was mostly done (and is mostly being done, it's quite stable, but not 100% ready for prime time) by IBM, Red Hat, Millennux (a Red Hat partner), and SuSE.

    Except for the kernel and gcc, the code base is nearly the same as Linux on other architectures - therefore, having many contributors on this specific arch is not as important as having them on Linux in general.
    (Example: Making KDE 2.0 run on S/390 required just 4 lines of changes).
  • by spiro_killglance ( 121572 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @01:41PM (#533147) Homepage
    What is Dog slow. The OS, the GUI, Serving web pages? I think you'll find solaris a very well tuned and optimised OS, the've had decades working with unix to get it right.

    We run two E450s filling loaded with 4CPUs (300MHz UltraSparc III in one and 480MHz U3 in the other), 4Gig Ram, 100Gig Plus in in multiple drives arranges as RAID 0+1. And they run very fast indeed

    Of course for a single threaded application that runs inside L1 cache, a PIII or Athlon box will beat the SUN. But for with multithread or bandwidth constrained tasks the E450s are worths every penny.

    I also really like the design of the casing plastic and ironmorgery of the E450s. Built in cabinet for 20 scsi hot swappable Hard drives. 3 Hot swappable power supply boxes. Everything pops apart easier for hardware mainantance. Lovely box.

    The downside for the price you can get ten Athlon 1200 1Gig DDR boxes and still have money left over to rack mount then and buy the rack and cabinet.

  • Didn't Alpha finally go the brainiac route with the latest model? I'm pretty sure it is an out-of-order processor.
  • Two hours? I'm not surprised...the memory check on 64GB would take fricking forever

    OK>setenv selftest-#megs 1

    problem solved. Now all Solaris needs is a background fsck (or jfs) so that part doesn't take forever.
  • In the 1st paragraph of the conclusion, it says:

    A Sun sales rep will tell you that the E10k is a scalable flexible near infinitely configurable enterprise solution. He'd be right on everything except the word enterprise...

    Then in the next paragraph, it says:

    We rank this product with 3 stars, but only for high-end enterprise situations.

    Doh.

  • You forget to mention that your "good friend" redir has already been proven to be [slashdot.org] Philip Ferreira, your coworker at reviewboard.com. And you also forgot to mention that his "defense" of you included blatant falsification of dates, facts, and numerous email exchanges with an "editor" who was probably himself.

    You also don't account for the fact that during the controversy, the date in the story at reviewboard was changed from [slashdot.org] 12/29/00 to 3/29/00. Did your "user in question" also break into your site and change that, just to make you look bad? You also fail to explain how that even though you only heard about the problem this morning, that someone took down a piece of evidence at http://rb.chabotc.com/Section/Cover/E10k [chabotc.com], a domain that sure appears to be yours.

    Sure, it's convenient to explain this as some "user in question". The appearance, though, is that you and your buds got caught plagiarizing and then tried to cover it up. Does anybody really believe that you take user reviews without giving them the tiniest bit of credit and put them under your byline without checking for quality?

    The only question in my mind is whether your site is mainly stolen from Epinions or if this was an unusual occurence. You might as well own up and claim it was a one-time mistake; you and your site might escape with at least a little credibility.

    The lesson for the rest of us, of course, is that whenever Phillip Ferreira or Chris Chabot go to get a job in the future, a quick search on their names will show this whole sordid tale. Would you hire them? It's an interesting thing to think about...
  • . .

    Both the Sun E 10000 [unixreview.com] (no doubt the attraction of the piece) and the E 4500 [unixreview.com] have been around a while now, as these slightly longer reviews from 1999 remind me. I expect there will have been numerous updates to shipping variations since launch, nonetheless, which I won't check with Sun's docs right now.

    Neither yet support the Ultra Sparc 3 [slashdot.org], which is the chip and associated ( potentially) massively (1024) SMP platform [earthweb.com] probably of most interest to anyone evaluating entreprise scale systems right now. Whether Sun have yet fixed the memory / cache problems which apparently still persist, despite numerous fixes, for the USII I can't tell. But if anyone can post a quick summary comparison of cache design between the two chips, and whether there might be a replay of the well publicised memory problems, that'd be darn nifty. US3 has yet to ship in volume with servers, so there may not be any occasional user reports out there for a while.

    Personally, I would rather see a story on Ask /. trying to find someone who could write even a short review (particularly of the E 10000) from production environment experience. The story links did not do much for me. I would not be surpised however if Sun has NDAs preventing real world reviews as part of mandatory support contracts for their big iron.

    Oh, and for those of you interested in clusters, here's a related snippet [theregister.co.uk] :)

  • like NASDAQ

    Now all NASDAQ needs to do is figure out how to *cool* a datacenter. Last time I was in their MD facility it was like 80 degrees. Of course that was a couple of years ago and I'm sure the fixed it by now...
  • Hmmm... Let me see...

    We have a few hundred machines here, and which have the most problems...

    Um, well, we have some E6500 machines which have never worked properly... (They hang at random points, Sun are STILL trying to fix them almost three months after they first delivered them)...

    Excluding that... We have NEVER had a problem with the memory riser boards on our 420Rs... We occasionally lose CPUs or Memory due to hardware failures, across all machines. We lose disks every now and again (the oldest ones go first) but as they're almost all mirrored this isn't a big problem... Can you say Hot Swappable?

    In your case it sounds like something is jarring those memory riser boards loose... I'd check into your environment...
  • I might prefer an IBM S/390 for my own den, but it's interesting for those of us at present lacking a computer budget like these demand to read about what makes them so pricey.

    Well, save up your pennies, because you can run a well loaded E4500 system (including a nice 21" display) from a single 15A 117 VAC wall plug. I've done it. Two E4500's, a 21" monitor, and a 4-disk A1000 disk unit, to be exact.

    Although 220 VAC is preferred to give you higher wattage with less amps, it is definitely not required.

  • Well... sort of.

    The inter-connectivity of local procs (like in a NUMA arch) makes a big difference if they need to talk together. I don't know of a quick way for the typical Beowulf system to communicate inter-proc near as fast. Beowulf's biggest draw back is the network connection (as in your 16 node iMac cluster). This drawback is not as near apparant for tasks that are normally used on NOW (networks of workstations), such as rendering, because the processors do not need to talk together.
    Other tasks, such as the odd/even sort (which allows sorting in logN if you have N procs).

    So... a Beowulf of these is possible... if you really need all of that power... and it would look different than the typical grouping that you would see these machines in.
  • You're smoking crack. Solaris is only free for <= 8 cpu. After that you pay through the nose. Then add the cost of the support contract, which is mandatory.


    --
  • Still hanging there pretty well though, I must say. For some features (particularly the dynamic reconfiguartion stuff), some of Sun's major competitors are only just starting to catchup/surpass. Bit late though - Sun's next gen replacement is coming soon: more CPUs, more and faster memory, better scalability, more flexibility, better uptime, more features in general and massive scalability - their new top-end clustering stuff apparantly maxes out at something like 18,000 CPUs (about 200 boxes) using the nice little 1TByte/s+ fiber optic link.... Wish they'd hurry up and announce it soon so we can see the full details, *sigh*

  • Here in the Netherlands the largest labour union had their own OS/390 a couple of years ago. I don't know why they got it, probably because they had IBM before and they figured they needed BIG metal again. After a while somebody figured out that they never, ever exceeded 10 percent load at any time. Only then somebody realized they had to go a notch down. :-))

  • Let me put it bluntly: _WRONG_

    Beowulf is a shared-nothing cluster.

    The E10k can be configured as a single-image 64 proc SMP machine, or 16 4 proc SMP machines, or several variations inbetween.

    Linux is crap for single-image computing with lots of processors. Even Win2k is better (and win2k datacenter runs on the Unisys ES7000, 32 proc Win2k machine!)

    Incidentally, the E10000 is a crap architecture for SMP computing - its basically a big ass backplane for 2-or-4-cpu boards and lcoal ram to plug into. But at the heart of things, its a bus connecting crossbar node cards. Not very scalable, because eventually you just have too much bus contention.. A 64-way crossbar would be practically impossible, and having 64 procs on the same cpu/memory bus doesn't work at all. So the E10k is a hybrid : 2 or 4 proc node cards with local ram using essentially the standard sun4u crossbar. Then each of these boards plugs into the "gigaplane" backplane. Non-local memory requests go out over the backplane.

    The SGI O2k and 3800 are done right, comparatively. Thats why SGI can ship a 512proc single-image machine. No one else comes close.

    There are problems with the SGI approach though, NUMA can be tricky to tune and some argue that if you've got to tune at all you might as well go straight MPP via MPI or PVM - i.e. beowulf, and get more or less infinite scalability, but little/no support from the OS for shared resources.
  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Wednesday January 03, 2001 @02:52PM (#533200)
    This was an opinion I wrote on Epinions in the middle of the night. In fact, it was my first review for the site. You can read my review HERE. [epinions.com]. Now read THEIR ARTICLE [reviewboard.com]. Their nearly 100% identical. Paragraphs have been outright stolen.

    All the sudden, this ends up as a review with a different author at another web site? What the HELL is going on? If you have questions, please EMAIL ME. jmccorm@galstar.com [mailto]

    This REALLY PISSES ME OFF! MY article pre-dates theirs. Hell, I should know. I wrote it in the middle of the night. And I don't see any date on their publication. I'm assuming it was published today or yesterday. I demand credit for my work. Hell, this is worth an article.

  • I suspect that the real thing to consider here, is the person who is buying the E10k.
    I have installed a number of these for Sun customers, and yes, it is normally one person behind the project from the customer's end.
    So what do you go through before you buy an E10k, and decide how to configure it?
    Well, you're not working on a trivial project, so first you decide how to configure your machine, and THEN you decide on the platform which can provide to your needs.
    So you would look at the application first, then the hardware.
    You don't spend this kind of money for the sake of it; your project has to warrant it. So you decide what you need, how important it is, and then you can start talking megabucks if the service the machine will be providing is important enough (and your company has enough dough!)
    Since it's established that the project is so important, it must be constantly available, fully supported, not go wrong in the first place, but be able to cope with everything from a disk failure to your power supplier's plant going tits-up without losing the service (remember, the data service here is critical, or you'd not be talking in this megabuck league in the first place).
    If I'm going to buy an E10k, plus, let's say, an Oracle database, plus a Terabyte or two storage to go with it, plus the backup solution, plus the disaster-recovery solution, then the cost of support and software is getting trivial. Don't bother me with figures under $50,000. That's administrivia.
    So, at this stage, of having decided on Oracle, Sun E10k, a few Terabytes of storage, L700 backups, off-site disaster recovery solution, and quite possibly getting two or more of these to cluster them, someone suggests I think hard about which OS to choose.
    On the one hand, I've got my Sun support, with its 2hr callout for anything, 24/7, wherever I am (pretty much), damn' fine OS, and a Sun project manager looking after me who could quite possibly get the sack if things go badly wrong for me.
    On the other hand, I've got Linux, which is another great OS, gives me load-sharing cluster, but not highly-available databases; and I can get a support contract from various companies, but none of whom have the power to give kernel updates in the case of a major failure, none of whom I could sue for the millions of $$$ I could lose by the project going bad before or even after signoff, but instead, I can trust loads of people who aren't bothered about my company, but are bothered about their OS looking good, to give me support.
    Oh, but none of these people helping me now with my OS (and therefore with my database SW too), can get their hands on an E10k, certainly not on one built just like mine, to test things out before giving them to me.
    Remember, that I have already spent millions of $$$ ... not because I want the kit, but because MY job's on the line if the system doesn't deliver.

    It just doesn't seem worth it for Linux to aim at this kind of market without all the infrastructure already in place.
    Because you need access to huge hardware as test boxes, hordes of people with experience in building them, from a hardware and software point of view, and the proof that you've done it lots of times before, and can guarantee to take it all away at no extra cost if things don't work out, even Microsoft can't get into the datacenter; what chance Linux?

    Don't get me wrong; I *love* Linux for low-end machines (relative to E10k ... laptop, webserver, etc, etc.) But the OS is a very small piece in the jigsaw when you are dealing with this kind of system. You take on entirely different values from "my fave [X] does function [Y] better than your fave [X]". Instead, the business who is buying the system looks at, "Will it work?", with a knife to your throat -and that knife will stay there until the system's obsolete. They like that knife; they *need* it. Without their system, they lose out to their competitors. It has to be there, and they have to know, before they buy any kit, that it will always be there. Until it can be proven that they will never have to use the knife, there is no place for small fry like Microsoft or even Linux at the big boy's data party, however appealing the concept may seem.
    Steve.
  • The editor said they got it early? So, you're saying that the editor of a relatively unknown review magazine (that even reviews furniture) got 480mhz processors almost a year in advance? I'm laughing my pants off right now.

    Of course, I'm wondering why the editor got it, and not the author of the article. Further, I'm wondering why the author of the article says they're available "now", when he wrote it in March of 2000.

    How many more holes do I have to blow through this story before you give up?

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