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Sun Microsystems AMD

Sun May Use Opteron Chips 237

Runnin_Rob writes "CNET Nets.com is reporting that Sun is likely (not definite, but likely) to start using AMD's Opteron in the near future. The article also discusses how Linux is pushing for greater acceptability of Solaris x86 because 'All of the sudden it is OK to (put) something other than Windows.'"
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Sun May Use Opteron Chips

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  • opteron form factor (Score:4, Informative)

    by E. T. Alveron ( 617765 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:57PM (#5690263)
    Has anyone heard of commodity motherboards for this chip/chipset?
    It's great that Sun and AMD are together on this, but I'm itching to build a box myself :)
    • Could this be the begining of the end for SPARC? Will Sun start to adopt a strategy that HP/Compaq has with Itanium and Alpha, and just keep SPARC around for current users.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Could this be the begining of the end for SPARC? Will Sun start to adopt a strategy that HP/Compaq has with Itanium and Alpha, and just keep SPARC around for current users.

        Tune in next week to find out. Same Bat time. Same Bat channel!
      • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2003 @12:14AM (#5691077) Homepage
        No. It's a smart move to replace the relatively expensive Intel CPU's in Sun's low-end cobalt servers and the like with cheaper and better-performing (but hot, which is a bitch for Sun and their amazing RAS -- reliability, accessibility, and serviceability requirements) AMD CPU's.

        They don't care about these low-end boxes very much -- the profits are low. But, it helps to have a nice full range of machines available to keep their customers from going the commodity-server (read: crap) route just to get a wimpy box to run their intranet or some non-critical app.
        • by 10Ghz ( 453478 )
          It's a smart move to replace the relatively expensive Intel CPU's in Sun's low-end cobalt servers and the like with cheaper and better-performing (but hot, which is a bitch for Sun and their amazing RAS -- reliability, accessibility, and serviceability requirements) AMD CPU's.


          Intel-chips aren't really any cooler than AMD-chips.
        • by boaworm ( 180781 ) <boaworm@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 09, 2003 @04:45AM (#5691947) Homepage Journal
          I think you are missing one important product, even though you might be right about lowend servers. I attended a Sun marketing meeting a week back, where they showed off all products to come in within a year or so, and I remember the Opterons. Although they did not mention them in lowend servers but rather in blade tech. 12 dual opteron blade servers in a 3U "rack-in-a-rack", perfect for fast calculations.


          So, expect AMD CPUs in blade configurations but not in servers, the SPARC arch is still going strong in SUNs business model (dont remember any AMD cpu's in any server models actually).

    • by domninus.DDR ( 582538 ) <domninus@hotmail.com> on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:07PM (#5690312) Homepage
      Yes but the first ones wont ship with an agp slot :( I know arima and MSI have retail boards (soon?) availible. look here, about halfway down [hardocp.com]
    • The desktop version won't come out until September, the Opteron is mainly for servers and workstations.

    • Tyan, MSI, and others have commited to these boards. Another poster has already provided you a good link.

      Also, again already said, that the inital boards will be released without an AGP. But your server won't care really. In fact, that's just less code to worry about.

      The 8-way Opteron boards will not be available until Q4.
    • Personally, I intend to wait for clawhammer to come out before I buy sledgehammer. It should drive down prices of 2 processor sledgehammer boards, and sledgehammer processors...
  • by JoeLinux ( 20366 ) <.joelinux. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @09:59PM (#5690273) Homepage
    As my best friend put it: Solaris would be Microsoft if they could. They have certainly pulled monopolistic wannabe stuff in the past, but have had to back off of it because of their lack of market share.

    I have always had the mind that if I had to choose between the two, I'd rather have a monopoly that was Unix-based.
  • Sun has already said they will be using Xeon's for their higher CPU count x86 boxes so I kind of doubt they will be using the Opteron. As much as I would love to see it I doubt the people that would buy a 4 or 8 way server from Sun will want an AMD processor.
  • Typo. (Score:2, Funny)

    by xYoni69x ( 652510 )
    CNET Nets.com?
  • by justins ( 80659 )
    Menlo Park, Calif.-based Sun has been testing the forthcoming Opteron chip for servers in its labs, and has found interest for the chip among customers, said John Loiacono, vice president of Sun's operating platforms group. Although he couldn't commit to any definite product plans, Loiacono said the chip, which comes out April 22, would probably end up in a Sun product in the future.

    Another way of saying that interest in the SPARC architecture is waning.
  • by questamor ( 653018 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:08PM (#5690321)
    After reading the previous article about gas clouds, space, and all kinds of astronomy stuff, I misinterpreted this title to mean someone had discovered good old Sol up there was powered by AMD Opterons.

    Took half a second for me to realise they don't quite run THAT hot.
  • by toddhunter ( 659837 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:09PM (#5690329)
    Sun is *likely* (*not definite*, *but likely*) to *start* using AMD's Opteron in the *near future* Did an accountant write this?
    • Re:sounds concrete (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jahf ( 21968 )
      FWIW, Sun has a long-standing behavior of taking extra time to test new hardware, losing the cutting edge in favor of higher stability. "Near future" in this case probably means a year or so away.

      The upcoming round of x86 servers that John Loiacano alludes to, which by the definition of "near future" are coming out in the "extremely near future", are definitely not going to be based on the Opteron. It has already been leaked that the servers will be Intel Xeon processors running at least 2.8Ghz speeds.

      Jus
      • FWIW, Sun has a long-standing behavior of taking extra time to test new hardware, losing the cutting edge in favor of higher stability.

        This appears to be true. For example, their UltraSPARC IIIi "just around the corner" press release was dated October, 2001.

        It seems that the "less enlightened" folks out there stomp all over Sun for doing this and, then, take for granted that their server room seems to never cry for attention. Their hardware tends to be unusually durable, too, as I still see SPARCstatio
  • by stevens ( 84346 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:12PM (#5690347) Homepage

    Not at my workplace. We're mostly a Solaris shop, but it's not buying us much. We have to load new boxen chock full of GNU software to make them comfortable to work on.

    Much of our software is Java, C or Perl-based. The Solaris JavaVM sucks donkey dicks (it's no better than linux, anyway), we use GCC (not Forte), and our Perl is portable to linux with a single scp.

    Solaris buys us performance on machines with more than 16 CPUs. But we don't have any! Anything that needs serious cycles goes on the S/390 or AS/400s.

    When the leases come up, it will be interesting to see how many Solaris boxes go out, and linux boxes come in.

    • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:37PM (#5690487) Homepage
      Anything that needs serious cycles goes on the S/390 or AS/400s.

      Either the apps you've deployed on those machines are more I/O hungry than CPU hungry, or you've wasted dollars on mismatched architecture. S/390 and zSeries (no comment on AS/400 since I don't really know that one) are great machines if you need absolute up time and fantastic I/O throughput. But for CPU power, while those machine do have some, they are not giving you the bang for the buck you can get with a farm of P4s or AMDs. So maybe the reason you do have those machines is for something other than, or in addition to, CPU power needs. Does your S/390 serve web pages? Is it running a database? Does it have a PCICA?

    • by Anonymous Struct ( 660658 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @11:02PM (#5690666)
      We're in the same boat as you guys. We had a slew of Sun hardware that just didn't need to be Sun hardware. I like working with Sun, and I like working with Solaris, but I just can't recommend Sun for most things in our environment. The fact of the matter is that we get fantastic deals from Dell on x86 servers, and using linux, we can (and will) replace most Sun pieces in our infrastructure.

      Like I said, I've got nothing against Sun. I like working with their hardware. But when my boss asks me 'how much will it cost?', Sun leaves me in a real bad spot. Now they've realized how much they've priced themselves out of markets like ours, and they're working on putting out reasonably-priced systems these days with things like this amd deal or by using standard-registered dimms that you can buy from third parties on the cheap. But it's too late, I think. We started migrating away from Sun a while back, and we're not going to swap vendors again now.

      The bottom line is this: What is Sun going to offer me in the linux/x86 world that Dell (or insert your vendor here) isn't? Better support? Lower prices? Better hardware integration? Sorry, we've got all of that. Our core applications will continue to run on Sun hardware for the forseeable future, but the low/mid-range stuff is already long down the road of x86 and linux, and Sun was just way too late to the game.
      • Same situation, but we went with FreeBSD.

        The OS is cleaner, the speed better (especially when you push the system, using close to max RAM, because the FreeBSD swapping alg. is smarter than Linux), and the ports and upgrading systems make the systems much easier to maintain.

        Finally, FreeBSD has much better system documentation (manpages for EVERYTHING), and all of those 'linux only' applications can run (quite quickly) under emulation (even NVidia is finally catching up, with their binary drivers).

        (I gues
        • "(I guess I'm a new resident FreeBSD fanboy - so be it)"

          I'm afraid not, as you have done nothing to earn the title. Until you can come up with broad, unsubstantiated or entirely subjective claims for why FreeBSD is the best OS in history (and probably the future too), you can't possibly equal the awesome illogicality of a true Linux fanboy.

          Aside from that, various silly statements (such as Fr33B5D r0x0rz d00dz!!!) must be made in a timely fashion to counter intelligent and thoughtout analysis of its shor
    • ...we use GCC (not Forte)...

      Solaris buys us performance on machines with more than 16 CPUs. But we don't have any!

      Therein lies your problem. Forte, now Sun One Studio 7, is less than $1,000, and is a much better compiler for SPARC than GCC. It can target your specific type of CPU, if you want. IMO, using anything other than Sun's compiler on Sun's hardware is irresponsible. You can still use gmake and the other GNU tools (no lock-in required!), but just change those CC and CFLAGS variables to use c
    • You will be losing out quite a bit in the performance stakes by using gcc, forte provides much better performance on every machine where i`ve used it. True, a lot of open source software uses gcc extensions and thus wont compile with forte, but it would be better to produce in house software in portable C whenever possible, as this would give you the best flexibility if you do decide to replace the solaris boxes.
      As for the JVM, yes it sucks, the linux one sucks too... seeing how hard sun push java you`d exp
  • Dumb statement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by t0ny ( 590331 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:13PM (#5690351)
    'All of the sudden it is OK to (put) something other than Windows.'

    Ya, I guess all these guys that finally quit CompUSA and get real tech jobs are seeing a whole new world. Honestly, did they think the entire world was living with the same misconception?

    Im not going to go MS bashing, because quite honestly Im pro-MS, but really, thats a truly stupid statement to make, especially if you have worked in real data centers.

    • I think you've read this comment out of context. In the description posted for the article, it seems out of context as well.

      The point that the quote should be making is that it is possible to purchase servers on the x86 platform with an alternative OS installed, not a preinstalled Windows. That's what it seems like, I don't think it's an outright MS bashing, just the fact that Sun is part of the alternative x86 movement.

      • It's still dumb. You've been able to buy x86-based servers based on linux and freebsd from various companies for several years now. What's new is buying them from a major vendor.
    • ...because quite honestly Im pro-MS, but really, thats a truly stupid statement to make, especially if you have worked in real data centers.

      Just goes to show that context is everything, hunh?

      Soko
    • Ya, I guess all these guys that finally quit CompUSA and get real tech jobs are seeing a whole new world. Honestly, did they think the entire world was living with the same misconception?

      Im not going to go MS bashing, because quite honestly Im pro-MS, but really, thats a truly stupid statement to make, especially if you have worked in real data centers.

      Why do I read Slashdot? Why bother? What is the point? This gets +5?

      I don't even know what the hell that guy is saying.

      -B

  • by mao che minh ( 611166 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:14PM (#5690357) Journal
    Sun needs to start looking at implementing new techniques in regards to it's OS and hardware integration business. Everyone knows that Sun UNIX can perform admirably and is very powerful, but at the same time, IBM is showing that Linux can be substituted for UNIX in the low to mid-level range, and HP has proven that they can sell Linux servers in the absence of huge corporate support.

    Many pointy hairs are also awakening to the fact that Linux is evolving way faster then any previous OS in history. This realization is forcing many of them to position themselves in order to benefit from Linux. They are starting by replacing all of their low to medium-level extremely expensive UNIX solutions with Linux implementations, and waiting for Linux to overtake UNIX on the top tier. This saves them tons "in the meantime" and prepares them for the eventual replacement of their high-end solutions. Sun has to know that this scenario is inevitable and play along. Pride will only get you but so far.

    McNealy has been fighting Linux for far too long, calling it "just another tool". I got news for you, all OS's are tools. Only this tool here can save your ass a ton while doing everything that every other tool promises to do on the low and medium ends.

    Right now, Linux is "it" - and it shows no signs of slowing up. Microsoft makes their money off desktops and their office suite. UNIX makes money off stability and power. Stability and power is what the open source developers aim to improve. UNIX beware - evolve or perish, because you're next..

    • by SJ ( 13711 )
      McNealy has been fighting Linux for far too long, calling it "just another tool". I got news for you, all OS's are tools. Only this tool here can save your ass a ton while doing everything that every other tool promises to do on the low and medium ends.

      See thats the thing. Everything is just another tool to get the job done. Linux never has and never will be the best solution for everything. This is something Linux fanboys just don't get.

      Here is news for you. In some occasions, Windows is the best tool
      • The problem for sun (or any other linux competitor) might be that the space, where the advantage of their "tool" is suffiently better to justify shelling out extra bucks for it, is getting smaller and smaller. This might lead to the situation where the vendor of the "other" tool can't generate enough profits to hold his advantage in that area. Granted, I don't see Microsoft in that position for the forseeable future, but Sun is another story.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2003 @12:32AM (#5691166)
      You apparently intend your post as a warning to Sun that it should give up on its existing technologies (sparc,solaris) and join what you perceive as the "linux pack" of IBM, HP, etc. But if you look at your own arguments and reconsider them, the case is far from clear that what you suggest is in fact wise.

      Consider IBM. Sure, IBM is selling hardware with Linux loaded on it. But they haven't given up on their Power chips as you seem to imply that Sun should its Sparc series. Why aren't you wagging your tongue at IBM for that? And AIX? What of that? IBM certainly hasn't abandonded it, and I wouldn't expect it to any time soon. So all that IBM is really offering is yet another operating system choice, in this case Linux, and it meets your approval. It doesn't necessarily do anything unique there.

      And what of HP? You say that HP has proven that they can sell Linux servers in the absence of huge corporate support. What on earth are you talking about? HP is one of the largest computer companies on the planet. If they can't make a go of selling Linux boxes, who can? I will also point out that HP hasn't dumped RISC for X86, but instead went to expensive Itanium, and has a long roadmap for HP/UX. Sure they will sell you a Linux box, but they would prefer to sell you something else.

      You assert that Linux is evolving way faster then any previous OS in history. The only reason that is possible is because it has had so far to go to catch up. To catch up it has generally traveled trails blazed by others, and relied upon the kindness of volunteers and donations from kinfolk (JFS,XFS,etc.). Sure Linux is causing the traditional Unix vendors to react and jump a bit.... just like BSD did to AT&T Unix, GNU did to Unix, the various Unix groups and companies did to each other over time. But big unix companies are still here and adapting.

      Cost? I've got Sun equipment that cheaper than my Dells, and suits my particular needs better. Cost/performance? Depending upon the day and the metric you've got a better argument. But it doesn't matter how cheap it is, or what the price/performance is if it doesn't cut the mustard. PC and linux aren't even close to being a universal solution. Check back in 3 years after Opteron is well entrenched, Linux gets some more time in the rock polisher, and companies have figured out which direction Linux on X86 is heading: Intel vs AMD. Till then, confusion reigns.

      I also wouldn't count on Linux staying cheap. All of the major Linux commercial vendors are putting plans into place or releasing enterprise or professional releases that are both much more expensive, and have a much lower change rate. What else do you expect? Linux companies have been going broke left and right for years, and only a few now are starting to make a profit. There have to be profitable Linux vendors if linux is going to be a commercial success, and that means money, lots more money. And that money will come from their customers for license and support costs. I pay less for Sun support than what is in my budget for Red Hat support. It will be interesting to watch what happens to the Linux marketplace once that becomes more common.

      The change rate for commercial linux is starting to drop for the professional releases. This has to happen since if you need something reliable that you are going to bet your business on, you can't afford the overhead of the constant release churning that has marked the Linux world to date. Testing, certification, and quality assurance take time. I wonder how that will effect Linux in the marketplace?

      Its kind of ironic, but many of the things that you list as big advantages for Linux are really disadvantages to those with deep pockets. Rapid change is bad. Cheap is irrelevant. Almost as stable isn't stable. Those cost of the application, its implementation and maintenance is king. But the Linux commercial marketplace is heading toward those opportunities. I wonder what the outcome will be?

      Linux
    • They are starting by replacing all of their low to medium-level extremely expensive UNIX solutions with Linux implementations, and waiting for Linux to overtake UNIX on the top tier. This saves them tons "in the meantime" and prepares them for the eventual replacement of their high-end solutions.

      Jesus Tapdancing Christ. WHY do people keep insisting that Sun hardware is really that epxpensive???
      We got a Quad-processor 4x300Mhz 64 bit Ultra Sparc II machine, with 1 GB of ram, ethernet controller and scsi
      • To back up my own post, would you seriously not buy this [sun.com] for $3000? That's a freakin fast machine - 1Ghz Sun Ultra IIIi, 512MB Ram, 4 X gigabit ethernet ports, 64 bit PCI slot... damn.
        • Out of curiosity I just looked up a similar machine at IBM. I found the HS20 with a 2Ghz Xeon at $1,879.00, but without a drive.
          Going with a RedHat 7.3 and 36GB scsi makes that $2,577.00 USD.

          From the first look it might be that the sun is indeed a little bit cheaper (because of 64bit PCI and 4x GbEthernet and the proc), but it doesn't mean that the IBM hasn't a better price/performance ratio for many *applications* (because of the faster CPU and OS for this configuration). OTOH IBM isn't known as the cheap
    • mao che minh said:
      evolve or perish, because you're next..

      The chips are evolving, as described in the Marc Tremblay interview [aceshardware.com] at Ace's Hardware. [aceshardware.com]

      The part that makes me happy is the idea of running other threads when one blocks on a memory fetch: my own experiments (with Samba and smbclient) in a benchmark show 80% of the time I'm waiting for a cache update from main memory, 20% of the time I'm making progress.

      Being able to run a different thread until it blocks, then another and so on is a go

    • God damn fanboys. Spout off at the mouth without even knowing what they're talking about.

      > and HP has proven that
      > they can sell Linux servers in the absence of huge
      > corporate support.

      HP *is* a huge corporation. Besides, most companies I know of buy Linux servers from *Dell*.

      > Many pointy hairs are also awakening to the fact
      > that Linux is evolving way faster then any
      > previous OS in history.

      WTF?! Linux has been "evolving" since at least 1994, probably longer. And even then, 60-70% of
    • I saw Linux evolve really quickly, but haven't seen much of it lately. What is happening? Not much really.
  • Its shrouded in history now, but Sun was once a huge proponent and supporter of Itanium, with all the smartass "Itanium will rule everything" banter coming from Scott McWindBag.

    Now obviously Itanium has been a total disaster, so its understandable and nearly respectable that Sun would backpedal, nonetheless their ability to follow through on platform decisions like this is just another question mark for a company that has too many.

  • I thought Sun already had a 64-bit CPU. And I heard that CPU won't run Windows. Since Sun wants businesses to buy Solaris instead of Windows, that would seem like the thing to do, since that would narrow down the competition to basically just Linux. Do they think Microsoft isn't going to sell Windows for these CPUs?

    Personally I'd love to have a CPU architecture that fully departs from the x86 designs, whether it be 32 bit or 64 bit (or a hybrid). I'd just run Linux or BSD on it. Such CPUs exist now, b

    • Personally I'd love to have a CPU architecture that fully departs from the x86 designs, whether it be 32 bit or 64 bit

      Have you ever heard of these machines called...ahh...what was it...ummm... APPLE!? [apple.com]

      Seriously though, OSX is already a *nix, and from what I understand you can run a number of flavours of Linux ( Yellow Dog is one... [yellowdoglinux.com]) in/under/over/though OSX which means you can still do things like use the dvd reader/burner and use the firewire port etc, etc. If you're not with in Apple's price market, yo

    • I thought Sun already had a 64-bit CPU

      They do. It's called an UltraSPARC.

      And I heard that CPU won't run Windows

      Right again, but who cares about Windoze on a Sun box -- and where's this going?

      Since Sun wants businesses to buy Solaris instead of Windows, that would seem like the thing to do, since that would narrow down the competition to basically just Linux.

      Huh? Antecedent clarification please. Putting Windows on Sun boxen will help Sun, how? And they should do this by . . . stealing the
    • This is one of the most idiotic posts I've read in a while, except for the goatse.cx people.


      You thought that Sun already had a 64 bit CPU? Dude, its been out for years.
      And you heard that it won't run Windows? Why would you want to?
      Sun wants business to buy Solaris? They give it away for free, so that you buy their hardware.


      Next time, try and be at least a LITTLE informed about what you're posting, and the computing industry in general.

  • This would (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abhisarda ( 638576 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:21PM (#5690394) Journal
    mean that Sun would probably phase out Intel chips in the next 1-2 years in its lower end Linux systems. They will move entirely to AMD for their 32 bit lower end Linux and 64-32 bit mid level systems.
    Given that so many companies: Sun, IBM, Dell want to increase their 64 bit x86 offerings, Microsoft *will* have to work double time to speed up their version of 64 bit Windows.
    Already 5 varities of Linux, 3 BSD's, IBM's DB2, CA Ingres and Oracle have confirmed firm support for Opteron. Delaying Windows for this segment will mean that as Opteron becomes popular in the coming months, Linux will become the dominant operating system. This will mean a further boost to Linux.
    A few months back Sandia National labs signed up to put 10,000 Opteron's in a supercomputer named Red storm which is supposed to become operational in 2004.
    • Sun to move to linux, start their distro
      No, sun is against linux, no distros any more ? Linux is for weenies
      Sun going to intel/AMD on blades
      Maybe
      Sun to support Itanium
      No , not really, atleast not now
      Sun to use java as OS
      No, not yet.Not stable enuff
      Will someebody tell me after sun has made up their minds?
  • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @10:45PM (#5690547)
    You PeeCee guys don't know anything about the enterprise. Sun systems are worth every penny of their price. We have systems here that have been up and running 24x7 for over 7 years*. Speed isn't everything; these systems are rock solid and almost never fail**. As far as mission-critical transaction processing goes, these systems can't be beat at any price. They have the highest certified TPS of any system on the market***.

    *Not counting the times a careless sysadmin knocked the heatsink off of a CPU and fried the chip. We've been told that they are working on more foolproof mounting clips.

    **As long as you avoid the E25Ks with the Soyo Super 733FX3 mobos with the Via 8N933A eXtreeme chipsets. Those sux. Flakey as all shit. Oh, and make sure you only buy brand-name memory.

    ***The winning benchmarks were done using a system with custom aftermarket watercoolers running Opteron 4700++'s overclocked to 6974++. The transaction data was not completely free of corrupted bytes.

    • Actually for nonstop there are quite a few systems that beat Sun anything, they are IBM Z series (s/390 formerly) and two offerings from HP, anything with Vax or VMS in the name and the nonstop Himilaya series. IBM shops would sneer at a mere 7 years of uptime, as would most VMS shops. If you want to go big go all out or go home =) I believe there are others but these are the ones I have personal exposure to.
  • I wonder... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DragonWyatt ( 62035 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @11:09PM (#5690717) Homepage
    How are they going to build 106 cpu boxes [sun.com] with opterons?

    Maybe somebody more familiar with the architecture can chime in here...?
    • Dunno...but Cray seems to think they can do 16,000 CPU setups using Opterons.
      Mabye HyperTransport is just *that* good.
    • How are they going to build 106 cpu boxes with opterons?

      They're not. Sun will probably use Opterons in their x86 servers, but there's no way they'll drop SPARC.
    • Sun's chips only scale to 4-way SMP all on their own, beyond that it's all interconnect and, more imporantly, software.

      AMD's Opteron's scale to 8-way SPM on their own, and AMD's Hypertransport gives them a lot more interconnect bandwidth than Sun's FirePlane.

      That's not to say that anyone WILL build a system with 106 Opteron chips, but these chips could, theoretically, scale better than UltraSparc chips do. If someone where to design a system to get all of the chips working together and than get an operat
  • by Visaris ( 553352 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @11:30PM (#5690830) Journal
    I've been following the opteron's progress for quite a while now (3-4 months). Well, to be honest, I type "AMD" in the google news search and read anything that comes up everyday before I actually start doing any work. While SUN seems the be the largets potential supporter, Newisys, MSI, Appro International, smaller MB makers, and various vendors do seem to be giving good support. Even Microsoft has a working (I've seen some screen shots of a beta) version of windows for x86-64 called "Anvil" (Not yet released of course). Linux is up to speed, RedHat and SuSe and I don't know who all else has support. The chip isn't even out yet! I think things are going to work out for AMD and the Opteron/Athlon64. So far it seems like a good product, and I can say for meself at least that the delays only make me want one more.... If SUN jumps on the AMD wagon from the start as it looks like they're planning on, I think it may be what saves them.

    w00t for AMD!
  • by jeramybsmith ( 608791 ) on Tuesday April 08, 2003 @11:43PM (#5690914)
    So, I haven't really used Solaris much since the 2.5 days. I decided to give Solaris 9 a go on my Sun Ultra2 box. Guys, installing and setting up Solaris once will teach how far Linux has come. The fancy "webstart" install starts with an xterm with a text based disk partition tool. I haven't seen something like that since on Linux since 1999 (and the distro that did it was acknowledged pure crapola). Package selection during install was horrible. Not to mention it let me remove something that cuased kernel panics so I had to reinstall with a default package set. Once you get it installed, you got get it up to date. Of course, Sun's main update system is the "look around on our web site and pray what you download is for your version" like Windows and MacOS had 10 years ago. There is also a utility called patchpro with withh automagically download patches and apply them to your system. Of course, it comes in a tarball, requires you to alter your path, and finds weak excuses not to install patches thus requiring you to do a bunch of research to find out the reason. Installing patches on Solaris could only get better if they sent them to you on 9 track tape. Seriously, I was a big user of AIX, Solaris, and HPUX back in the mid nineties and I am sad to say that for Solaris not much has changed. I downloaded the Sun branded gnome2 for Solaris 9. Ich! Ximian really fleeced these guys. You get a clunky dual-toolbar desktop thats actually not much better than CDE. Someone sould have told Sun that gnome was all about the apps. In short, I still think of Linux sometimes as the distro I first installed by picking kernels with the correct CD driver to make boot floppies with back in 94. However, Linux has gotten to the point where its install and administration are superior to windows! However, the big Unixes are still behind the curve and wondering why they're losing market share.
    • Hey, no offense, but Solaris isn't designed for amateur install. It's not Linux. People that can afford a Sun box can afford a skilled sysadmin.

      It will let you install/remove anything you want. You're supposed to have a clue. Some people want/need to remove a critical component and replace it with their own flavor. Sorry it didn't work out for you, but it's really better for you that it didn't, apparently.

      The Sun gnome is still beta. Not supported, not tested, not done. Hang tight. Sun doesn't
      • Hey no offense, but crummy installs were cute in 1995. As someone who spent entirely too much of his life doing installs already, I do not care for long drawn out installs which require too much documentation. It isnt designed for amateur install. You are right. Of course, it isnt designed for professional install either. Saying their install is "designed" is attributing too much already.
        • by SN74S181 ( 581549 ) on Wednesday April 09, 2003 @02:52AM (#5691670)
          If he booted off the 'Install' CD and got mired in Webstart, he had already lost. That appears to be something the Sun engineers tricked up for marketing to keep them safe and out of the way. To install Solaris properly you boot off CD1, which is also bootable, and it gives you a regular unkludged Solaris install.

          Stuff like that is detailed in a valuable 'short cut' document from Sun, the wonderful Solaris 80/20 Guide [sun.com], officially 'Solaris OE Guide for New System Administrators: The 20% of Solaris knowledge that solves 80% of your needs'.

          If there is any chance of you ever wanting to explore Solaris, download and archive this document now . It's a real hassle, I just found out, to locate it on the docs.sun website, so bookmark this. It's one hell of a good cribsheet.
          • To install Solaris properly you boot off CD1, which is also bootable, and it gives you a regular unkludged Solaris install.

            That's fine except Solaris DVDs have everything on one disk - booting it leaves you stuck in Webstart. (That's after you update the DVD drive firmware to let you boot - an interesting, but not impossible, proposition with a new server and no OS installed to flash from...) I suspect there's a way around this by supplying the boot file as an argument, but I was in a hurry and revert
      • It will let you install/remove anything you want. You're supposed to have a clue. Some people want/need to remove a critical component and replace it with their own flavor. Sorry it didn't work out for you, but it's really better for you that it didn't, apparently.

        So will any linux-distribution. The only difference is that the system is trying to help you. I fail to see how this can be constructed to be negative.

        rpm -e glibc
        Removing glibc would break dependencies for the following packages:
        ...
        ...
        r

    • You obviously don't know what the hell you're doing. If you had any actual Solaris experience you would have known that you should boot off of the Solaris Software CD 1, not the Install CD. You should have installed the SUNWCXALL cluster of packages, download the latest 9_Recommended.zip patch cluster from ftp://sunsolve.sun.com, apply patch cluster, and you're set.

      Really, how difficult is this? I can't believe this guy got modded up. This is as bad as those guys that do reviews of RedHat and say they
  • Good thing for Sun (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moduc ( 620300 )

    Long before Sun evaluated the first AMD chip for blade, I was thinking this would be a good idea for them. Regardless of many things, prices is just the tipping point. Using AMD, Sun does not have to put too much effort developing chips. AMD and Intel has quicker CPU cyle because of the Desktop root. This makes Sun's offer more competitive in term of price, publicity, and performance (at whatever cost they charge).

    I am surpised that people compares Sparcs, and AMD (interm of its vitality), while they d
  • The article also discusses how Linux is pushing...

    Who is this mysterious "Linux"? I know of the OS kernel called Linux, but last I checked, it wasn't concerned about the marketplace for non-Windows OS's, it just worried about scheduling processes and providing abstracted interfaces to hardware.

    Does the latest kernel print subliminal messages at boot time, saying "Delete me! Install Solaris for x86!!!"?

  • What the fuck is the deal with Scot McNealy's teeth? They reflect more light than the surface of the moon. Maybe if he kept his mouth shut Sun wouldn't be in such a mess. Hang on.....
  • by Asdex ( 554247 )
    Sun is now offering UltraSparc IIIi processors:
    http://www.sun.com/processors/UltraSPARC-IIIi/ [sun.com]

    They do have some similarities to AMD's opteron processor:
    - 1 MB on-chip L2 cache
    - integrated memory controller
    - 128bit DDR Ram
    - large L1 cache

    It should be interesting to compare those two processors.

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