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AMD

Sun To Use AMD Mobile Processor In Blade Servers 250

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like AMD is finally making some headway into supplying 1st tier business computer makers which the announcement that Sun will use their chips in upcoming blade servers. Apparently CNET can't help but speculate what this means for AMD's 64 bit Hammer."
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Sun To Use AMD Mobile Processor In Blade Servers

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  • ...or is it just AMD?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:48AM (#5376597)
      Is it hot in here or is it just AMD?

      Nope, Its the smell of your Karma burning.

      • by Derkec ( 463377 )
        Actually it's not that hot. They chose AMD's Mobile processor for their Blade systems because the mobile gave of relatively little heat. I believe the number was around 30 watts. Granted, the blades will also be offered using Sun's own Ultra Sparcs which give off only 18 watts, but compared to other AMD and Intel offerings, the Atholon-Ms are pretty reasonable.
    • by Milican ( 58140 )
      Unfortunately, the stupid slashcode would not allow me to post a legit comment regarding processor thermal power. So I have put it in my journal. You can find it here [slashdot.org]. Sorry for the inconvenience. I spent over an hour compiling this information to see this comment from slashcode "Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 14.7)". Fsck you slashcode!

      JOhn
  • Also on Ars Technica (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hyperbolix ( 214002 ) <hyperbolix@gmSTRAWail.com minus berry> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:33AM (#5376512) Homepage Journal
    This was on Ars Technica today. Check it out:
    http://arstechnica.com/archive/news/1046147898.htm l
    A somewhat different interpretation of the meaning?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:33AM (#5376513)
    Wow -- Sun is boosting Linux in a BIG way now. Although they have not said so, they are probably preparing for the day when Solaris will be phased out. It will be a gradual process of course, much like the way IBM is slowly depreciating AIX.

    This is VERY interesting news since at this moment Sun is holding their Chip Conference where the future of Sparc is being discussed.

    • by Geekboy(Wizard) ( 87906 ) <spambox@@@theapt...org> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:19AM (#5376743) Homepage Journal
      No they are not. Sun still wants you to run Solaris. I am trying to buy a Sun machine (to run OpenBSD on), and they won't return my calls.

      Fine. Don't take my money. Don't save on the lack of support calls you'll get. Save money on my lack of downloading your service packs. Sun is retarded for ignoring those who just want hardware.
      • BSD is DEAD (Score:5, Funny)

        by Idou ( 572394 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:28AM (#5376774) Journal
        Honestly, I don't even know why that is funny here. I really don't think BSD is dead, and I have nothing against it . . . Slashdot is just really starting to effect me in strange ways.

        For instance, the other day I was making a little presentation to my boss and suddenly used the:

        1.
        2. . . .
        3. Profit!!

        Step list . . .

        slashdot is going to get me unemployed and single.
        • by oingoboingo ( 179159 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:30AM (#5377013)
          For instance, the other day I was making a little presentation to my boss and suddenly used the:

          1.
          2. . . .
          3. Profit!!

          Step list . . .


          That's from South Park (the 'Underpants Gnome' episode). It's not a Slashdot thing (although being unemployed and single probably is).

      • by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <.moc.cirtceleknom. .ta. .todhsals.> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @03:27AM (#5377189)
        I used to work for a university, and made $100k+ purchases from sun from time to time ... However most frequently we were buying computers in small lots as we could afford to replace them (5 - 10k at a time), and lemme tell you, their sales reps have a *serious* attitude problem. I once had to call the regional manager because our assigned rep *wouldn't take our calls*. However, when we trotted out a 100k purchase they were all over us. I can't wait to see these bastards go out of business.

        If you can get assigned a rep, the best thing to do is call 1-800-iforgetsunsphonenumber and get a quote, their tracking system will automatically notify your rep that you got a quote and usually they'll call you to try to get a comission on an easy sale.

        However, have you considered ebay or one of the MANY sun resellers?

        • Strange. I've made orders as small as single LVD SCSI boards, and as large as 2 E6500s and 4 E4500s, loaded out, and never had any problems with Sun reps.

          The main issue I had was with the occasional SE that was just a f***ing moron and tried to push an obviously incorrect over massively overpriced solution.
      • I am trying to buy a Sun machine (to run OpenBSD on), and they won't return my calls.

        All new Sun hardware comes by default with a Solaris right-to-use license. If you don't want that, the simplest thing for you to do is buy second-hand. There are tons of pretty darn inexpensive Sun equipment out there (Ultra 60s under $1,000, E10K around $50,000, etc.). Many vendors will even offer good warranties if you ask.
    • Why not? (Score:2, Interesting)

      > ... they are probably preparing for the day when Solaris will be phased out.

      They are in business, not gambling, so yes, they need to think about what if, but Solaris is still the core of Sun (like Solaris is the core of N1).

      > Wow -- Sun is boosting Linux in a BIG way now.

      Why not? Though they were cutting work force dramatically, they are still one of the biggest players in server market and if you look back for the last 10 years, they have achieved quite a lot. 10 years ago, they were nowhere. They were pretty interesting 5 years ago, and now they are competing with players like IBM with head to head, toe to toe. They don't have a big share in low end server market, so they push Linux. Since they built their business around Solaris (Unix), their engineers can easily shift to Linux; training cost is insignificant. So why not?

      The negative shift from dot com bubble was so dramatic that, many seem to believe that Sun is turning around the direction that they are going, but I (and probably many other) don't think so. They are in server business, and they are investing a lot there. They established themselves as one of the biggest players in high end server market, so now they are targeting low end as well. While they pursue the whole server market, they push, what they call, N1.

      The point is "What's so surprising? What's so unpredictable?"
    • I don't think Solaris is going away anytime soon - after all, there was a big push to get Sun to release Solaris 9 (SunOS 5.9) for the x86.

      I've run Linux and Solaris on x86 boxes - Linux has a lot of neat bells and whistles, but Solaris seems to be a bit better thought out (have yet to try a BSD on x86). My biggest complaints with Solaris are the lack of an "smbmount" facility. and limited HW support My biggest complaint with Linux is that the desktops lack the refinement of CDE - CDE was designed, KDE and Gnome evolved.

      Remember that Linux is just the kernel - a good portion of what you find in a typical distro can easily be ported to Solaris.

    • by LarryRiedel ( 141315 ) <Larry@Riedel.org> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:06AM (#5376925)

      they are probably preparing for the day when Solaris will be phased out. It will be a gradual process of course, much like the way IBM is slowly depreciating AIX.

      I see no reason for them to plan to phase Solaris out. It is arguably (and often measurably) better than Linux for the things where it wants to be better (dedicated servers), and I see no indication that is going to change. Linux has a lot of hardware drivers, and is great with system call overhead and other things which are nice to have on a single-user single CPU desktop system or small server, but I do not think Solaris has been worried about that kind of use for several years.

      If Linux gets to a point where it is better than Solaris at the things Solaris is supposed to be good at, then I think Sun might think about using it instead, but I see no indication of things going in that direction. Not to mention that Solaris is extremely well documented.

      Larry

      • When you say "arguably better" I would have to agree. Look how good this one is. Without Solaris, there could be no argument. :-)

        More seriously, I just downloaded Solaris 9 for x86 and am looking forward to using it. I am interested in opinions of where Solaris shines (sorry, once thought, had to say it). I have previously been told that its latency/multithreading support is superior. I will be looking at that.

        I fear that simply experimenting with it on PC hardware will not really expose some of its strong points for the larger servers.

      • If Linux gets to a point where it is better than Solaris at the things Solaris is supposed to be good at, then I think Sun might think about using it instead, but I see no indication of things going in that direction. Not to mention that Solaris is extremely well documented.

        Every new version of the Linux kernel shows more and more promise. 2.6 (probably next year) will have a really robust/optimised posix threading system, Better I/O and scale to far more CPU's in an smp configuration while still doing simple things simply fast. Solaris does scale better and contain other features that Linux does not have but Linux is catching up very fast without sacrificing performance on "smaller" machines. I am sure Sun is aware of these developments and Sun's top management is probably wondering how to shift their bussines model so that Linux will help them sell products and not the reverse.

  • Great (Score:4, Funny)

    by invisi ( 531162 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:34AM (#5376517)
    Now we can wait another 5 years for the new blade servers.
  • The weird part... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:37AM (#5376531)
    Look at the stock listings after today's announcement...

    Sun Microsystems | SUNW | 3.42 | 0.01
    Advanced Micro D | AMD | 5.31 | -0.08
  • would have been more pun-worthy to have hammer/sickle than hammer/blade.

    my bad. mod me down.
  • by Chris_Stankowitz ( 612232 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:38AM (#5376547)
    After years of touting its own UltraSparc processors as sufficient for all manner of computing, Sun last year bowed to market realities and accepted general-purpose Intel-compatible computers into its server line.

    I *think* I know how the market will respond to this as far as AMD is conccernd, I'll be keeping an eye on what this does/means for sun.
  • by stewartj ( 525869 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:39AM (#5376553) Homepage
    Cringely [pbs.org] seems to think that Sun won't last long though, so will there be long-term benefit to AMD?
    • Cringely doesn't make much sense. His arguments imply that IBM and HP will be going out of business too. He seems to think the future server market will be dominated by Intel and AMD running Linux, which seems a little silly to me.
      • I don't know that it is so unreasonable to imagine the future of servers based on Intel and AMD running linux. Just look at how much ground theyve covered recently. What is silly is the notion that that doesn't leave room for folks like IBM, and maybe Sun. After all, there is a lot more to a server than just a processor and a free O/S kernel. Personally, I'm kind of taken with the way that (big bad) IBM has been pushing x86 and linux on the small to medium (and growing) end server.

        True, linux on x86 is not big iron... yet... but do you relly mean to discount the possibility that it could become a cheaper solution to big iron? For one example, look at Oracle RAC on x86 blades. It's not exactly one megalythic server... it's really more like a beowulf cluster, actually... but what works works.

        Anyway... it'll be intersting to see how this all plays out.
        • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @03:26AM (#5377180)
          If you think that Sunfire's and Z series machines are going to disapear from datacenter's during the tenure of anyone reading this you are flying in the face of history. Big dedicated machines that do NOT crash and which have features Intel and AMD servers will still be lusting after in 20 years will probably always have a purpose and a place. This is especially true for the Z series where the people who implement them don't care about the fastest a machine can pump operations out, they care about the slowest something will get done. Trust me your bank wants to know that as long as they have everything setup right that the complex of Z series machines WILL finish computing interest and doing balance transfers before the end of the day. These people would go apeshit if their jobs reacted like an overloaded webserver!
    • by Amiga Trombone ( 592952 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:48AM (#5376603)
      Well, Cringely is entitled to his opinion, but I doubt Sun will be going anywhere for quite some time. I can see them getting replaced with x86 on the low end, but somehow I don't think x86 boxes will be replacing machines like the E10K or the E15K any time soon. But I can see where Sun will end up a smaller, humbler company as a result.

      Truthfully, I don't think this will do much for AMD one or the other. Sun is just marketing these things to prevent current customers from looking elsewhere. You can be pretty sure the main emphasis will still be on Sparc.
    • A guy I work with thinks that Sun is going out of business too. He's been followint their stock and their financials.

      He keeps telling that I should plan on porting my applications and web site to NT boxes and teach myself .net. Java will die, bla bla bla.

      Sometimes he seems to make sense. Other times, he sounds like a Redmond Fanatic.

      I dunno. What I don't tell him is that I've had contingency plans to go to diffferent OS's and platforms for years. I like to hear him go on and on about how Mcneally is an idiot and how he's running through Sun's cash, and how Bill and co. are just waiting for Sun to squeeze the last bit of juice out of their orange.

      "One day Bill's going to have a glass of OJ. From that day forward he'll never have to think about Java again".

      Yeah, we come up with some weird stuff when we're supposed to be coding. :-)
    • Yeah, they've been almost as good at dying in the last 5 years as Apple and BSD.
  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:40AM (#5376557) Homepage Journal
    ...they are also making an UltraSPARC server blade.

    - A.P.
  • by bartash ( 93498 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:45AM (#5376580)
    Sun wants 64 bit capability to be a differentiator for Solaris. So they will not rush to use AMD's 64 bit offerings.

    OTOH who is going to try to make a go of AMD/64? For sure not any of the system vendors who have commited to IA64. That means no Dell, no IBM, no HP. So there is an opportunity for Sun.
    • OTOH who is going to try to make a go of AMD/64? For sure not any of the system vendors who have commited to IA64. That means no Dell, no IBM, no HP.

      Don't you just mean HP? I was under the impression that IBM has dropped Itanium, and Dell has decided to just wait and see if it ever amounts to anything.

      I could be wrong though :)
    • by BrotherPope ( 8102 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:47AM (#5376844)
      OTOH who is going to try to make a go of AMD/64? For sure not any of the system vendors who have commited to IA64. That means no Dell, no IBM, no HP. So there is an opportunity for Sun.

      While there are no announcements out of Dell yet, Infoworld published this article [itworld.com] back in November, saying:
      A high ranking executive at a Dell partner has said, on condition of anonymity, that Dell will likely ship an Opteron-based server manufactured by Newisys Inc. Both Newisys and Dell are based in Austin, Texas.

      The Register published their take [theregister.co.uk] on the situation. It may never come to pass, but I'd be surprised if Dell wasn't at least looking at such a plan.
    • This might have been Sun's selling point a while ago, but I think that this plan is starting to fall apart with just about every server processor moving quickly to 64-bits with the exception of Intel's Xeon line.

      As for who will use AMD's x86-64 Opteron processors, I'd say that it actually makes most sense for Dell. Dell is now the only major server vendor that doesn't have their own processor. Sun has their Sparcs, IBM has their Power line, Fujitsu has their Sparc64 line, while HP essentially has the Itanium as their own processor.

      Sure, Dell can buy Itanium's from Intel, but they end up with a the same processor that HP uses but lower quality chipsets and supporting architecture, and all 6+ months after HP gets their stuff. Any company selling Itanium based servers is going to be competing against HP at a serious disadvantage unless that company also puts the research and development money into developing their own chipsets and motherboards. IBM has made some motions in this direction, but research and development is definitaly NOT Dell's cup of tea.

      Dell's strong point is slapping together systems that others have done almost all of the R&D for and most of the testing as well. Their strong point in servers is the Xeon market, and this is first and foremost where the Opteron is going to compete. What's more, a company called Newisys has made quite a bit of noise recently about their Opteron system designs. What this company proposes is to do all of the R&D work and most of the testing work in setting up Opteron servers and than selling these to big OEMs. The OEMs would than just need to slap all the parts together and sell them, ie right up Dell's alley.

      Now, as for Sun, they're a bit of an odd case here. They're still kind of finding their feet in the x86 server world, so it's kind of tough to decide just where they're likely to go in the future. However, I would definitely guess that Opteron based x86-64 servers could offer them a reasonable solution for what they're after.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:48AM (#5376596)
    Sun still talks out of both sides of it's mouth. In one breath they make claims that the UltraSPARC cpu is the most competitive CPU known to mankind, and in the next breath they're releasing non SPARC based systems, LX50 (Intel XEON) and AMD based blades.

    Sun CPU engineers are way behind their competition. They're so far behind that their competition is litteraly lapping them in terms of price and performance.

    Try and find any decent Sun server benchmarks that prove that their gear is competitive.

    You can actually find benchmarks that one can make the direct comparison of an 8 way UltraSPARC 3 to a 4 way Intel Xeon MP! And the Intel based solution is faster and costs 50% or less.

    Sun by virtue of their ego is becoming a boutique server/workstation vendor. Think SGI, this is likely Sun's future or worse if they don't start laying more staff off.

    Businesses are realizing this, and this is why Sun is taking such a beating.
    • So, Sun is lagging behind in terms of technology, but can catch up by firing their staff?

    • Try and find any decent Sun server benchmarks that prove that their gear is competitive.

      Then why does Sun have so many press releases about all the transaction throughput world records they break?

      The SPEC cpu benchmarks are pretty damn useless when comparing general-purpose systems, which Sun systems most definitely are. If you wan't in-cache programs to run their best, perhaps Intel is better, but that alone is not sufficient basis for your argument.
    • Maybe you should read this [com.com] for some hints as to what might be in store for UltraSPARC in the future. Suddenly it doesn't look as bleak as the nay-sayers would have us believe.
  • by falconed ( 645790 )
    looks like sun is going for the underdog in both the os and chip markets with a linux/amd combo. could this be in response to some beliefs that sun is fading [slashdot.org]? obviously this is good for amd and linux, but what if sun really does go away? will people blame amd hw and/or linux sw?
  • Press (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fished ( 574624 ) <amphigory@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:51AM (#5376620)
    Is it just me, or is 64-bit computing, the hammer, and AMD getting a lot of press for the past few days? I wonder if this is the start of a big media blitz.
  • Now we just need... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by etcshadow ( 579275 )
    Now we just need for linux to get good support for the 64-bit addressable memory (read: more than 4 gigs).
    • ... that's as long as I've been using it. I don't know the actual time frame when 64-bit support appeared in Linux kernel, but I have read that Linux was the first OS to run on UltraSPARC in 64 bit mode, putting Sun to shame.
  • Lower cost overall....or at least one would hope. We all know that Sun's OS can outperform Linux in many respects. But Sun knows that they cannot compete with the open source crowd (Compete directly that is. I know that Sun contributes to open source, but they are hampered by McNealy who feels the need to keep calling Linux "just a tool", and does not commit to it more), as Linux tends to make huge leaps and bounds in a short time while Sun usually just tweaks a few interest points at a time. This should be expected, since heart felt developers and programmers on the "take" improve Linux daily, and these improvements are widespread since the interests of the many Linux developers vary. On the low end Sun servers cost $250,000 (unless you cut a deal), while IBM Linux servers that can accomplish much of the same tasks as the Sun equivalent run you roughly $4,000 (unless again, you cut a deal). This leaves alot of money left over for support and contracts, including software customization fees.

    In any event, the Sun blades aren't in direct competition with commercial Linux offerings (yet), so I don't see how much this will help them. The inclusion of AMD CPUs will only marginally improve costs on the Blades.

    Well, many researchers foretold Sun slowly to move to AMD as they enter the x86 market. You would expect that their next move will be low cost (low for Sun) Linux offerings with AMD chips to compete with IBM's $4,000 offerings.

    • Linux tends to make huge leaps and bounds in a short time while Sun usually just tweaks a few interest points at a time.

      This might be because Solaris is ahead of Linux in a lot of places (scalability and storage management are two areas that come to mind right away).

      There are diminishing returns as an OS matures -- refinement becomes the goal rather than feature addition.

      Watch MacOS X to see the same phenomenon in action...

    • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:34AM (#5377027) Homepage
      On the low end Sun servers cost $250,000 (unless you cut a deal), while IBM Linux servers that can accomplish much of the same tasks as the Sun equivalent run you roughly $4,000 (unless again, you cut a deal)

      Whaa? I recently bought a SunFire 480 (definitely the "low end") for work, came out to about $23K, just for shits and giggles I just went over to dell.com and priced out a similarly configured (more or less the same, the processors probably have a bit more horse power to them) PowerEdge 6650, which came out to $22,780.

      Oh sure, I could've gotten a 2650 with considerably faster CPUs and 50% more RAM dirt cheap (and in fact, we just purchased a couple of those as well), but for some reason if I need it to be expandable beyond 2 processors and six gigs of RAM it's just nowhere as thrifty all of a sudden. Not to mention that with the 26XX's the thinking is pretty much: "If it breaks - we chuck it and get a new one." and you can't really afford that for all applications.

      as Linux tends to make huge leaps and bounds in a short time while Sun usually just tweaks a few interest points at a time

      You do realize that you've just made the case for Sun (hands down) for anyone who is actually in a position to make purchasing decisions for a company? Explain to me the difference between "improves daily" and "has a long way to go".

      Mind you, I love Linux and use it extensively (at work and at home), but that is no reason to just make things up about Sun's software or hardware.

      • Now, The Comparison with Dell as it appears is an outright lie. The base PE6650 costs around 7k. Add almost all the periperals and still could be under 15 k.Try it yourselves here [dell.com]
        Can the original contributor explain?
        • Try it yourself - dual 2.0GHz CPUs, 4 Gigs of ram, dual fibre HBAs (optic), 3 years silver support, RH AS with support, and other junk you'd want/need (2 36GB 15K drives, rails, etc.)

          It goes over $20K very quickly. I did just notice that they add a 24-port switch in there, which no one asked them to, so that's a couple hundred bucks.

        • Sorry, it's not an outright lie. You will never pay retail price for a Sun server. You need to compare "actual Sun price" quote from a reseller in order to see what you're really getting.

          Also, according to the Dell web page when I add 4 Xeon processors which only have 2MB cache, and 4 GB of RAM, the price is now over $25k.

          The V480 uses 1.2Ghz UltraSparc III processors with a massive 8MB of onboard cache. I'm sorry, but your wimpy little Xeon will not keep up with these processors.

          Also, keep in mind a major selling point of Sun servers: ECC across all data paths. Don't expect Dell to ever give you that. You might have ECC memory, but what about the memory bus that connects to that memory? No ECC error checking/correction. This is a major differentiator between Sun and Intel systems, and one that unfortunately the Slashdot crowd doesn't understand at all.
          • "I'm sorry, but your wimpy little Xeon will not keep up with these processors"

            um, bzzzt, wrong answer.

            obviously it depends on workload characteristics, but we find that 1.0 GHz P3's are equivalent to 900MHz US-III's (Yes, I have a Fire V480 to try this on). Those 2+ GHz P4's beat the pants off everything Sun makes. Don't believe me? Check SPEC [spec.org], our workload correlates nicely to SPECint results.

            If you don't want to click-through, the Sun 1.015GHz US-III benchmarks at SPECint = 516 and a Dell 6650 (w/ 2.0 GHz Xeon) runs 816. Don't even try it with a reasonably current (i.e. 2.8GHz, 533 FSB) Xeon (SPECint = 1017), the Sun will just turn into a black hole.

            Of course, the reason we have a V480 is because it is 64-bit -- it's for our largest-footprint computational tasks. But it costs a sh*tload, and is dog-slow. I think we can normally buy 5 dual-proc 2650's for the price of one V480. And these are fully tricked out 2650's. Just do the math and realize how screwed Sun is.

            Bring on the freaking Itanium/Opteron solutions!! now!!

    • On the low end Sun servers cost $250,000 (unless you cut a deal), while IBM Linux servers that can accomplish much of the same tasks as the Sun equivalent run you roughly $4,000 (unless again, you cut a deal).

      1) This comparison is pretty damn rediculous. At $250,000, that's the price of the entry-level Sun "midframes". These cater to the market segment where downtime is much more expensive than the added cost of very reliable hardware.

      2) Thus, you must compare to IBM's "midframes"--the RS/6000 lineup or perhaps their genuine mainframes. Oh, they are just as expensive.

      3) For $4,000, you get a rack-mount PC. A rack-mount PC you get.

      4) To think otherwise is delusional.
  • Sun supports the Linux operating system on its Intel-compatible products, but argues that customers who want less-expensive Intel-based servers will prefer to use a version of Solaris instead.

    Am I the only one that fails to see the logic here? Since when has solaris been less expensive? On hardware terms too, I would have thought linux is more suited to run on the lower-end boxes. Is this desperation from Sun we're seeing?

  • What of AMD? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:01AM (#5376666) Homepage Journal
    The stories I've been reading all day on news.google.com (PC-Whirled, InfoWhirled, etc.) have all quoted some Sun rep. stating this is purely a pragmatic move, due to the requirements and the Athlon meeting it. No further commitments, though MP may show up in duals. Opteron isn't even on their RADAR as far as they're concerned and they may use Intel as a supplier if the feel Intel makes a more suitable part down the road.

    After reading it, I felt a bit let-down, but then it's really no coup for AMD and no defeat for Intel, it's practically non-news.

    As the cops say, nothing to see here, move along.

    • Re:What of AMD? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
      The stories I've been reading all day on news.google.com (PC-Whirled, InfoWhirled, etc.) have all quoted some Sun rep. stating this is purely a pragmatic move, due to the requirements and the Athlon meeting it.
      ...
      After reading it, I felt a bit let-down, but then it's really no coup for AMD and no defeat for Intel, it's practically non-news.

      Sun is using an AMD chip when they have traditionally used their chip, or intel's, for its low power use and ostensibly heat dissipation when the athlon in general has a bad name for power consumption, and this is non-news?

  • by zsazsa ( 141679 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:06AM (#5376684) Homepage
    It seems like the writer needed to increase his word count, so he put in a lot of "no comment" responses:

    "However, Holman said Sun's decision to use AMD in the forthcoming blade server doesn't rule out Intel for future products. 'We're not completely wedded to either vendor,' she said."

    "Asked if Sun planned to use AMD's 64-bit extensions, Holman said, 'There are no long-term implications based on this decision'""

    "AMD declined to comment on Sun's move."

    Now that's hard-hitting journalism!!
  • This makes sense, except man the heat out of those blade servers should be pretty phenomenal. Well they are smart cookies and I'm sure they can figure out the thermodynamics of it all, after all thats what Sun workstations are good at!

    I just pieced together an AMD system for myself, an XP2400+, an Asus A7N8X Deluxe, 1Gb DDR333, and a 120Gb HDD. I'd like to see any current Sun workstation beat this combo considering I have OpenGL/Linux well in hand.

    If you can't beat 'em... buy their shit and sell it as your own!

    I've been watching Ebay for deals on Sun equipment and have never seen something that seems like a good deal. Like I might consider paying $100 for an Ultra10, but thats about it. If they go more mainstream and were to make some kick-ass motherboards for AMD systems they could probably go a long ways. Sun motherboards have mega-bandwidth which is exactly what AMD processors could use. Sun is also noted for scalability; i.e. add a second processor and your system will be nearly twice as fast.

    This should be really interesting...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      XP2400+, an Asus A7N8X Deluxe, 1Gb DDR333, and a 120Gb HDD. I'd like to see any current Sun workstation beat this combo

      I guess it all depends on what your terms are. Three years ago at work I was working with a simulation that took about 5GB of ram to run (1 process). All of the 2 year old Sun workstations we have now could run this. Sun had equipment, what, 7 or 8 years ago that could. Your PC still can't.

      Your PC could no doubt render a beautify, a kick-ass Quake 3 scene. But it would probably suck wind trying to do certain types of CAD displays. It can be very different 3D work from what a PC graphics card is good at (textures & shading). Of course, for what its worth, Sun's new XVR-4000 graphics card can take up to 1GB of memory!

      Your PC will be a lot cheaper, and kick-butt. However there are some things a Sun could do that it just couldn't, or would do poorly.

      I've been watching Ebay for deals on Sun equipment and have never seen something that seems like a good deal.

      It all depends what you are looking for.

  • Funny dat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pitr256 ( 201315 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:10AM (#5376701) Homepage
    I was just configuring Debian on a E450 dev box to bring our servers more in line with our production servers.

    What does this mean for Sun? No one knows for sure. Is it the beginning of the end or a stop gap measure until their new processors come out in 2004. The ones all the analysts are so hyper over, not the USIV or USV but the Afara procs.

    But what does this mean for AMD? Now every enterprise can ask the question, why not go with AMD? Sun uses their procs... why shouldn't we use them also.

    This is just good news for AMD and may be a kick in the groin for Intel to wake up to the 64 bit to the desktop question.
  • Sun announced today that they will alter their long standing slogan "THE NETWORK IS THE COMPUTER tm"...

    To: "The TREK NOW is the CUT ME PRO tm"

    ~ that is all...move along.
  • > Sun last year bowed to market realities and accepted general-purpose Intel-compatible computers into its server line. Its first model, the LX50, uses Intel processors.

    What about their Cobalt [sun.com] line of RaQ servers. Seems to me they "bowed to market realities" when they acquired Cobalt Systems back in 2000. The LX50 [sun.com] is just a Cobalt RaQ with a faster processor [sun.com].

    I think Cobalt servers make great low-end web servers, and they even run Sun's Brand of Linux (as does the LX50), which I believe is based on RedHat 7.2 (which they also acquired from Cobalt Systems).

  • Sun should buy AMD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puppetluva ( 46903 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:38AM (#5376815)
    I've had a number of discussions with folks about this over the last few years.

    1) Sun can still afford it.
    2) They gain instant credibility in the x86 market.
    3) AMD gains credibility in the enterprise (luring really big enterprise customers with real service)
    4) Sun gets 2 of the leading 64-bit processor platforms, plus some control over the Windows hardware platform.
    5) Sun gets to own their chip manufacturer (rather than rely on stinky TI and Fujitsu for the Sparc line).
    6) Sun can control the cost of its Linux platform.

    Do, it Sun. . . you know you want to. . . buy them.
    • by asv108 ( 141455 ) <alex@phata[ ]o.org ['udi' in gap]> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:19AM (#5376975) Homepage Journal
      Because I doubt M$ would honor the 64 bit windows deal if Sun purchased AMD or maybe Sun could use that to pursue more legal manuvering.
      • by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:49AM (#5377075) Homepage
        As you might know there will be no support for x86-64 in the upcoming Windows Server 2003. This was made public [theinquirer.net] here a few days ago.

        I find this real hard to understand from a strategic viewpoint. (Maybe they are just late and do not want to hold up 2003). If indeed they have been strongarm'ed (bad joke) or something by Intel. It seems to me they are forcing a Linux / Opteron attack precisely where they want to go themselves. The middle tier server market.

        With no immediate support from Windows what other choice is there for AMD than to embrace the only credible OS for their chip, Linux. They want to position Opteron against Xeon but the volume is not there initially so what else can they do than make special deals for Linux based servers. Now, this will hurt Dell as a Intel only supplier. Dell can not afford to loose momentum so either they have to get huge discounts from Intel, or embrace AMD. Either way it's bad long term for both Intel and Microsoft.

        Once the middle tier market is gone to linux, they can kiss .Net goodbye. Just look at the Webserver market. No "innovations" from MS, since forever. Why?, because of Apache. They can't find traction for an embrace and extend strategy with 26% share. Same for .Net once the middle tier market is gone.

        Not supporting AMD's x86-64 is like trying to corner an amimal thinking it wil not strike back. Strange.

        • But if you read your article, you'd find a link to the amd-ia64 debugging tools for the next version of windows...which REQUIRES "AMD x86-64 Windows® Server 2003" - therefore - something is at least bouncing around over in redmond.
    • 7) ??? 8) PROFIT!!!
    • by not_cub ( 133206 ) <slashdot-replies.edparcell@com> on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @03:59AM (#5377289) Homepage
      Yes, it could work out very happily and be great for everyone involved.

      Alternative scenario:

      Having joined themselves together like some sort of financial Siamese twins, one of them gets struck down by competitors. Maybe Intel releases a good 64-bit processor; maybe they just market a 32-bit Pentium V really hard. Maybe linux continues to eat Sun's lunch from the low-end up, and destroys their core business. Maybe some other random thing happens, but the point is that it's certainly not clear that both Sun and AMD have rosy futures forever.

      Now one of your Siamese twins is limping around attached to a corpse. And that's not going to do it any good.

      Not saying that's what's going to happen, but "we'll both break into new ground" is precisely the reasoning behind the AOL-TW merger, and look how well that's worked. AOL is, to some extent, sinking, and TW will not be able to carry them forever.

      I think I'd prefer them to stay seperate, and sink or swim on their own merits, because as it is, despite the synergy they might or might not have, if they did join, then the risk that either of them faces becomes a risk for both of them. And any one of those risks could drive them both straight into the ground.

      not_cub

  • by fz00 ( 466988 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:40AM (#5376820) Homepage
    They'd use AMDs to compete aggressively with IA64 offerings. As far as I'm concerned, this is Sun's only pathway to survival. Linux is killing their lowend Unix business. They should embrace Hammers and push the crap out of Linux boxes. I personally think they should put out Windows boxes as well but that's uncool to say here.
  • by xenophrak ( 457095 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @02:35AM (#5377032)

    Sun has used AMD CPU's before, although not in the primetime in their servers. They did use them in the SunPCi cards for workstations. I still have one.

    The reason that Sun used AMD (the K6-2, I believe) instead of a Pentium, like they did with the SunPCi 2, is that at the time it made more sense price-wise. I see no difference here.
  • by no reason to be here ( 218628 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @03:14AM (#5377131) Homepage
    that will produce enough heat to be worthy of its namesake.
  • Bothered to read? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FullCircle ( 643323 )
    Look at all the non-reading fools posting...

    These are the notebook AMD XP-M CPU's.

    That means low power and heat.
    It also means no 64bit support.
  • I'm looking into buying a server for running an EJB container. What options do I have?
    1) Sun SPARC. Buy a Fire 280R for 7999$
    2) IBM x86. Netfinity XSERIES 305 for about 1500$ with 2.67GHz P4.
    Ok, the IBM one don't have Fibre Channel hard disks, but so what? I don't need them. For running Java, x86 is THE choice. Sun will still be the choice for running Oracle, but for how long?
  • 1) commoditize your hardware! (Intel/AMD x86 chips)
    2) commoditize your software! (Linux, free software)
    3) $$$!!!!
  • Moderate this thread or comment on it....hmmmm

    I had to comment because I saw quite a few posts on the ability of Sun's slaes staff to reduce you too feeling like a non-human, loser who isn't worthy of their products because you are only spending 25, 50 or 75K worth of gear.

    I work for an MSP and we do a lot of business with Sun (although we have sold more Dell/Linux solutions that Sun Solaris at the 3:1 ratio in the last 9 months). I am really tired of dealing with them. I even get attitude fromt heir teir 1 support! When a tier 1 peon asks me if I am sure that the drive is broken 3 times, and then tells me to get someone else to check it I get very angry and feel like cramming that drive down his stupid throat!

    I mean really....I was supporting this stuff since before he was even a twinkle in his father's eyes. Am I not a repeat and well paying customer? Did we not spend several million dollars with Sun in the past? Do they not want to continue this relationship? I ask my sales rep these questions everytime I call....and he promptly hangs up on me.....BASTARDS!

  • it's a Flametongue!

"Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit!" -- Looney Tunes, "What's Opera Doc?" (1957, Chuck Jones)

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