Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Nov 2008 21:38 UTC, submitted by pantheraleo
Oracle and SUN The world hasn't been kind to Sun for quite a while now, but with the economic downturn, things are getting worse. Sun announced today that it will be laying off 18% of its workforce, or about 6000 people. In addition, it was announced that Sun's software chief Rich Green has resigned for reasons that were not stated, although as part of Sun's reorganization and cost cutting efforts, many departments are being merged, and the software division is being restructured and reorganized.
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Banks
by h3rman on Fri 14th Nov 2008 23:11 UTC
h3rman
Member since:
2006-08-09

That's the sucky part of selling a lot of your stuff to banks. You can make a lot of money but in the end banks are just parasites, if the host dies, they're dead too. Bigger bank fish will eat the smaller bank fish.
Next, Red Hat, Novell?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Banks
by Hiev on Sat 15th Nov 2008 00:01 UTC in reply to "Banks"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Because we all know than in the enterprise world only banks dissapear and only banks get be bougth by other companies.

Me rolls eyes.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Banks
by h3rman on Sat 15th Nov 2008 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Banks"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

Industrial production has to somehow correspond to demand. On the other hand, financial bubbles, i.e., price/debt inflation, i.e., bank revenues, can grow virtually without limits, extracting value from the productive economy - until the bubble bursts. If your business then depends largely on having banks as customers, you're dead.
Although I would agree that the American domestic market is unique since the US doesn't have to finance its own trade deficit/budget deficit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Banks
by segedunum on Tue 18th Nov 2008 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Banks"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Because we all know than in the enterprise world only banks dissapear and only banks get be bougth by other companies.

Who would have considered saying that at one time? It was always going to be risky staying with one set of customers regardless.

Sun are relying on big businesses, many of them financial, buying into large, high-end systems with an enterprise price tag to match. This is Sun's market, it's their culture, it's the way they have always been and they don't want to diversify to anything else. Sun, collectively and individually, simply do not comprehend anything else. Unfortunately, they're always at risk when companies ask themselves questions like "Do we need to spend money on this?" and "Why are we buying that expensive stuff when we have something cheaper elsewhere that performs a more than adequate job here?"

Sun has had many years and the cash to diversify and mitigate this risk, but they either don't understand this at all, or as I think, they went into a spiral of denial and believed that they could tweak their existing stuff here and there, hype some technical stuff few care about, continue selling big machines at big prices to markets that had moved on and everything would be OK. It was never going to be.

What's missing from this headline is that Sun have made a $1.68 billion dollar loss this quarter alone - hence the job losses.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Banks
by Kebabbert on Tue 18th Nov 2008 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Banks"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

At last some clever remarks from you! About time.

"Unfortunately, they're always at risk when companies ask themselves questions like "Do we need to spend money on this?" and "Why are we buying that expensive stuff when we have something cheaper elsewhere that performs a more than adequate job here?""

And then the conclusion is simple: SUN provides far better throughput at a fraction of the price on some work loads, compared to IBM and HP-UX Unix machines. Not to mention x86 servers.

Also, Solaris Enterprise support is cheaper than RedHat Linux Enterprise support. Again the conclusion is simple: Use Solaris.

Good to see some sane reasoning from you, at last. I agree, you must ask yourself the question if you can optimize and consider the alternatives. You should not only consider a subset of possible solutions, that could lead to sub optimization, and you dont want that.

Reply Score: 2

hard to say
by TechGeek on Fri 14th Nov 2008 23:44 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Hard to say what the deal is. Sun was re-organizing anyway, is this just bad timing? Or is this due to the economy. Also, are these IT jobs being lost, or people like secretaries and such. Hopefully we don't see a big down turn in the IT field. I don't want to be job-less.

Reply Score: 3

RE: hard to say
by Hiev on Fri 14th Nov 2008 23:49 UTC in reply to "hard to say"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Yeah sure because sun has about 6000 secretaries.

Where does this people come from?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: hard to say
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 14th Nov 2008 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: hard to say"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, secretaries, salesmen, advertising, marketing, accounting. I'm sure they have a reasonable number of non tech related positions. Although, it would be naive to assume that they wouldn't cut any engineers at all. I would be very afraid, if I was one of the devs working on an obscure java technology. Like any of these:

http://java.sun.com/othertech/index.jsp

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: hard to say
by evangs on Sat 15th Nov 2008 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hard to say"
evangs Member since:
2005-07-07

Those projects are probably dead already given that the latest entry dates back to October 2005.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: hard to say
by dagw on Sat 15th Nov 2008 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hard to say"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, secretaries, salesmen, advertising, marketing, accounting.

Of course if you got rid of all of those people you'll never get any new customers or orders or payments or silly stuff like that. Which will quickly lead to you not needing any more engineers anyway.

How many tech companies haven't failed because people thought that great tech would more than make up for a shitty sales and marketing team.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: hard to say
by Moochman on Sun 16th Nov 2008 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hard to say"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

...not to mention that Sun's marketing never seemed all that extensive to start with...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: hard to say
by Panajev on Sat 15th Nov 2008 12:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hard to say"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

Well, secretaries, salesmen, advertising, marketing, accounting. I'm sure they have a reasonable number of non tech related positions.


Chances are that most of the cuts will be outside of sales, marketing, accounting, and advertising, and I doubt that secretaries will see huge cuts...
I know it sounds stupid, but too many times in the past tech firms have fired their engineers before firing anyone else...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: hard to say
by l3v1 on Sat 15th Nov 2008 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hard to say"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, our chief has said on occasions that we should never think that we (r&d, scientists, developers, IT) are more valuable for the company than the cleaning and maintenance personnel when considering the stability of the jobs/positions. Go figure.

Edited 2008-11-15 21:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: hard to say
by Jondice on Sun 16th Nov 2008 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: hard to say"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20
Worthless?
by tony on Fri 14th Nov 2008 23:51 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

Here's an interesting factoid: Sun's current market cap is about $3 Billion. Sun's cash on hand is roughly $3 Billion, so basically Wall Street thinks that Sun is essentially worthless. Granted, the market is pretty bonkers right now, but with some activist investors buying up shares, I would imagine they're going to force a change in management.

Reply Score: 2

Part of Sun's Problem...
by pantheraleo on Sat 15th Nov 2008 00:07 UTC
pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

Is that these are cuts they should have made years ago. But Scott McNealy (to his credit as a guy who cares about his employees, but to his discredit as someone who was able to make hard but necessary business decisions), didn't want to lay anyone off. So even after the dot-com bubble burst, Sun kept tons and tons of employees that they really couldn't afford to keep on staff anymore.

When Jonathan Schwartz took over, he was sort of left with no choice but to make several drastic decisions that should have been made years ago.

Edited 2008-11-15 00:11 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Part of Sun's Problem...
by diegocg on Sat 15th Nov 2008 00:39 UTC in reply to "Part of Sun's Problem..."
diegocg Member since:
2005-07-08

Actually; Schwartz is also a guy who cares about employees.

Sun is a company that doesn't usually cuts R&D costs, because they believe that cutting R&D means you're dead long term. That's why things like ZFS exist. Had Sun listened to Wall Street, there wouldn't be ZFS now and Solaris would have the same future than other dead unixes.

Despite of the layoffs, Sun is a company that still keeps its R&D team strong.

Reply Score: 7

v RE[2]: Part of Sun's Problem...
by Hiev on Sat 15th Nov 2008 00:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Part of Sun's Problem..."
RE[2]: Part of Sun's Problem...
by fithisux on Sat 15th Nov 2008 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Part of Sun's Problem..."
fithisux Member since:
2006-01-22

That is why SUN is a BIG compny. Hopefully they start selling OEM OpenSolaris, like Novell.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Part of Sun's Problem...
by zdzichu on Sat 15th Nov 2008 10:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Part of Sun's Problem..."
zdzichu Member since:
2006-11-07

Hard to sell something, that is free, you know. Sun sells support for it's operating systems. As for OEMs, look here: http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=becwyk1&c=us&... . It's a Dell server configurator, you can order it with Solaris preinstalled.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Part of Sun's Problem...
by Jondice on Sat 15th Nov 2008 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Part of Sun's Problem..."
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Just a plug for Sun - I recently purchased an Ultra 40 (x64) workstation from Sun, at a very reasonable price. I have never seen such a nice system - the case is phenomenal.

The only part that wasn't reasonable was getting extra hard drives, but I was able to buy them elsewhere (the beast holds up to 8 drives).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by beosguy@gmail.com
by beosguy@gmail.com on Sat 15th Nov 2008 02:13 UTC
beosguy@gmail.com
Member since:
2008-07-17

Despite of the layoffs, Sun is a company that still keeps its R&D team strong.

I worked in Silicon Valley for 20 years. NO ONE SURVIVES if they cant adapt to the economic climate and cut expenses. R&D can be done outside of Silicon Valley in other cheaper states and countries for the cheap. At the end of the day... its what you sell at the register, not what you create, that keeps you alive.

Reply Score: 3

v Comment by beosguy@gmail.com
by beosguy@gmail.com on Sat 15th Nov 2008 02:20 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

You think spending money on roads is wasteful, but upgrading governmental computer systems is not? I'm guessing you don't remember the FBI's virtual case file debacle, nor are a regular commuter in this country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_Case_File

Reply Score: 2

Sun performances...
by ciplogic on Sat 15th Nov 2008 02:44 UTC
ciplogic
Member since:
2006-12-22

I am working in an enterprise that have as option Solaris too. But for most things is used Linux as a substitute and only when is mandatory for support and long term running a Solaris/Sun workstation is used.

That is combined mostly with somehow success of .NET on Windows (that attack the thick client software on Windows) and Ruby on Rail (that fullfills Sun's JSF/JSP offering) makes Sun to cannot compete. Sun have great CPUs but they are a lot more expensive than an dual socket Opteron solution. No matter than a dual-socket Sun may support till 64 threads, but in most workloads, Opteron is a much cheaper and 8 threads (using Barcelona and Shanghai) are good enough.

I think that if Sun wants a better turn, they should invent a killer product, not to sustain Java only (which is mostly the biggest visible cash-cow of Sun). JavaFX even now is not released and enough mature. SwingX was purposed but stagnated. And Java7 (runtime and language) offer some interesting stuff but is not so complete to compete as language level a .NET 3.5/C# 3.0 or .NET 4.0 (the realistic competitor that will have to face) on Windows clients.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Sun performances...
by Kebabbert on Sat 15th Nov 2008 11:56 UTC in reply to "Sun performances..."
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Yes, Niagara cpus are more expensive. But I think you should factor in price/performance instead of only price.

One Niagara box equals 10-20 ordinary x86 at some workloads, but it is not 10 times more expensive?



http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,s...

"On a 64-bit AMD processor and Fedora, we could process approximately 200 matches per second of RSS," Whitehead said. "With Solaris 10 on the T1000, this match rate jumped to 10,000 per second."




http://blogs.sun.com/bmseer/entry/mysql_consolidation_on_sun_sparc

Migrated 251 Dell 2950 Linux MySQL servers onto 24 Solaris Niagara boxes.




Even if 10 times as many x86 servers were cheaper, they require more administration, power, repairs and that cost money too.

I think one of the problems is that SUN can not sell to many of these boxes to a customer, they are too powerful for multi threaded work.

STRATA (europe's second largest web host) that handles 1 billion email/day migrated their whole back end to one Niagara T5440 box.



In SAP official benchmark, one T5440 using 4 Niagara cpus at 1.4GHz achieves 14,000points. IBM's "superfast" new Power6 cpu at 4.7GHz achieves 7,000points. But IBM used 3 servers, in total 12 cpus. Compare that against 4 Niagara 1.4GHz on one machine, running virtual Solaris instances.



No, there are not many customers that need two of these T5440 monsters. One of these can consolidate many servers. And they are far cheaper than IBM, for instance.

SUN is the only big dinosaur that has opened up all their high technology. Microsoft has not done that. Nor Apple. IBM, SAP, Oracle. etc. If SUN bankrupts, no one else will dare to open up their entire portfolio as SUN has. How clever is it to give away everything, instead of selling it? If SUN is successful, other large companies will consider opening up all their portfolio.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Sun performances...
by Laurence on Sat 15th Nov 2008 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Sun performances..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


SUN is the only big dinosaur that has opened up all their high technology. Microsoft has not done that. Nor Apple. IBM, SAP, Oracle. etc. If SUN bankrupts, no one else will dare to open up their entire portfolio as SUN has. How clever is it to give away everything, instead of selling it? If SUN is successful, other large companies will consider opening up all their portfolio.


SUN are in a different, more awkward position to the other dinosaurs though.
On the desktop end (Apple, MS) few people really care about open source. I mean sure you get *nix desktop users who sware by FOSS, but they acount for a vastly insignificant number of overall desktop users.

On the server market, SUN was at risk of loosing out to Linux in much the same way as some of the other UNIXs had. Their only way out (as I could see) was by:
1/ releasing some technologies that empowers it's existing products (ZFS being one killer feature for Solaris imo),
2/ and open sourcing to, hopefully, attract new users (sometimes the strengh of a community alone can help sell a product) and hope they stay on board to develop for SUNs platforms as well as the greater potential of them purchacing licences / support for the non-free services further down the line than if said users never migrated.

In my opinion, SUN have played their hand well (I for one have been swung from running Linux and FreeBSD to Nexenta (an OpenSolaris distribution) as my home file and webserver and I'm very happy with the results of the migration thus far.

I do wish SUN all the best - they're one of the few dinosaurs I still route for.

Edited 2008-11-15 14:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Sun performances...
by segedunum on Mon 17th Nov 2008 14:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Sun performances..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This is exactly what Sun's problem has always been - trying to play King Canute and get the tide to go back. You can't pull out a few niche benchmarks and say that a Niagara machine is worth twenty AMD or Intel ones, because everyone knows that isn't true. They still believe that in this time of fast,, cheaper, commodity hardware that costs a few thousands people are still going to pay tens or hundreds of thousands for the Sun and 'enterprise' badges.

One or two things don't add up to me in those articles either. You've got a company that enjoys running Fedora in production, but is then willing to spend a spectacular sum of money on a Niagara hardware platform, Solaris 10 and a new administrator? Please........... Migrating 251 x86 MySQL servers on to 24 Niagara servers is also the most far-fetched and naive thing I have ever seen. No specifics of benchmarks either. This stuff is not helping Sun.

Sun quietly knew many years ago that they were never going to compete with the x86 hardware companies for raw performance, so they backed themselves into ever smaller niches with SPARC. Linux on x86 destroyed SGI's Unix workstation market and wiped Sun's out as well. IBM has backed Power into a very high-end and lucrative mainframe niche, however long that lasts, but Sun don't have that option. For those benchmarks to mean absolutely anything to you, whatever benchmarks they have actually used, then you need to be running an awful lot of totally unrelated parallel tasks and threads, and those tasks need to be very lightweight to complete in a reasonable amount of time. Almost nobody has those kinds of requirements. People want to do related tasks twice as big as last year in half the time, and neither Niagara or Sun can help anyone there.

Additionally, given the parallel march of Intel and AMD in putting ever more cores into their processors, you seriously have to question the longevity of Niagara even in the niche market it has tried to carve out.

The solution is brutally blunt, simple and honest: Either Sun gets some ROI from its expensive research and development people to get Niagara and SPARC platforms on a par performance-wise with comparative x86 Intel and AMD platforms, or it gets shot of it. Being protectionist of the SPARC platform will only have one outcome otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Sun performances...
by Kebabbert on Mon 17th Nov 2008 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Sun performances..."
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

"You can't pull out a few niche benchmarks and say that a Niagara machine is worth twenty AMD or Intel ones, because everyone knows that isn't true."

But for some multi threaded work loads the Niagara IS many times faster than an x86. You dont trust the benchmarks? They are fake? Or do you think I claim that the Niagara are in general 20 times faster than an x86 cpu? Where do I claim that? Either way, you are wrong. For some work loads the Niagaras are way faster, and neither do I claim Niagaras are that fast in general. Learn to read. When IBM announce an benchmark, it is not meant to be interpreted as a general statement, right? It is a claim regarding that particular set up for that very benchmark. If you think otherwise, you think wrong. Again. I suggest you study some higher mathematics. That will sharpen your thinking skills. As of now, you are drawing wrong conclusions. SUN has always been very clear that Niagara cpus are for throughput and not single threaded work. If you think that SUN generalizes that statement to mean that Niagaras are 20 times faster in general, then you are drawing a false conclusion. Again. Like when you again and again always state that ZFS requires several GB to just run - when I and other have told you several times that ZFS doesnt. Ive told you many times Ive run ZFS on 32 bit pentium 4 with 1 GB RAM for over a year. Wrong again. We dont reach you, that's obvious.




And, yes Niagara hardware is expensive in relation to x86. But in comparison to IBM and HP-UX, they are at a fraction of the price. And way faster on some tasks. For instance one SUN machine with 4 Niagara cpus @ 1.4GHz is twice as fast as 3 IBM Power6 machines @ 4.7 GHz with 12 Power6 CPUs on Siebel benchmarks. SUN: 4 x 1.4GHz = 5.6GHz is twice as fast as 12 x 4.7GHz = 56.4 GHz. And, a lot cheaper also. Maybe it is just me, but for multi threaded work, I would surely examine how SUN Niagara boxes does for my work load. So what if it isnt fast on all workloads? IBM is not fast on all work loads either e.g. multi threaded work load. You try to say that you shouldnt even consider what Niagara boxes can do for your particular work load, because of some strange reason?

Understand this; Niagara boxes compete with IBM AIX Unix and HP-UX unix, not with x86. Everything you say about the Niagara, also applies to IBM Power6. Or IBM mainframes which are 1 IBM mainframe Mips == 4 GHz x86. IBM Mainframe CPUs are really slow. You can emulate one Mainframe on a laptop with a program called Hercules. In fact, Ive heard of a customer that migrated an entire mainframe to a Solaris box with 4 Niagara cpus, with plenty of power left.




The customer that migrated 251 Linux x86 Dell 2950 servers onto 24 Niagara boxes, did a naive thing? Ah, you mean they didnt test anything first? Maybe it is you who are naive if you think companies change their important infra structure without testing and doing an analysis first?

For instance, STRATA second largest web company in Europe which handles up to 1 billion email a day, migrated their whole back end to one Niagara box with 4 cpus with plenty of capacity left. You are naive if you think they would migrate without testing first.

Frankly, you would get fired if you worked at my company. For incompetence. If you have a solution that are cheaper and 10 times faster and suits your work load perfect, and still you wont even consider it, then you are incompetent. You make the company loose money it could have saved.

I dont understand your frankly, ignorant, comments. "Who needs detection of silent corruption as ZFS offers?" "You shouldnt even consider Niagara because they are not that fast in general". etc. Really weird remarks. Unless, you work for IBM or some similar company. Then your comments make sense.



And yes, the ordinary SPARC are not that fast. That is true, but SUN dont claim that either. The advantage of SPARC is that x86 is a buggy architecture, and SPARC is not. For instance Ive heard that the Fujitsi SPARC64 allows you to back an instruction if it turns out to be bad. Only Mainframes had that functionality earlier.

Edited 2008-11-17 17:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Sun performances...
by segedunum on Tue 18th Nov 2008 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Sun performances..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

But for some multi threaded work loads the Niagara IS many times faster than an x86. You dont trust the benchmarks? They are fake?

No I don't trust them. I don't see any seismic waves on the grapevine as to how much faster these machines are, and the case studies are highly, highly suspicious for the reasons I stated previously. The descriptions some of these people give of their operations (running Fedora in production and then spending a ton of money on Sun kit, for example) simply doesn't stack up. Basically, the only people producing these wondrous benchmarks are Sun themselves and a few organisations Sun are using in their case studies, probably with free kit and consultancy attached for taking part.

It's certainly not an Intel versus AMD shift where lots of verification can be had. Even some benchmarks there have been iffy, but the recent picture has become clear.

Without specifics, the general premise is that you run these machines for very parallel operations. The only way you can possibly make use of this is to split your software operations into a lot of lightweight independent threads of execution, otherwise you are back to work done per single task. Either way, most are going to have to heavily optimise your software to get it to do that. Very, very, very few can exploit multiple cores within a single transactional sequence to any great extent. The simple fact is the vast majority of tasks are pretty single threaded.

Or do you think I claim that the Niagara are in general 20 times faster than an x86 cpu? Where do I claim that?

The premise here is that somehow a Niagara machine is worth any given x86 machine several times over in a specific niche (replace X boxes with Y Niagara machines), benchmarks and specifics of which are thin on the ground outside of Santa Clara. Sun can't really afford to have their hardware people running around playing these games.

Either way, you are wrong. For some work loads the Niagaras are way faster, and neither do I claim Niagaras are that fast in general. Learn to read.

I would suggest you learn to read articles you quote. These are 'benchmarks' issued by Sun and not verified by anyone else, devoid of specifics, and their case studies are merely poster children organisations that have suspect operations. Repeating it won't magically make it true or some statement of fact.

When IBM announce an benchmark, it is not meant to be interpreted as a general statement, right?

No it isn't. Power has failed in terms of raw performance up against x86 machines as well, which is why IBM is keen to avoid crossover where they sell it. Why are you mentioning IBM?

If you think otherwise, you think wrong. Again. I suggest you study some higher mathematics. That will sharpen your thinking skills.

Wow. I would suggest Sun stops spending time trying to tell us about [insert incredible technical innovation that will turn things around here], and spends more time working out why they are laying off thousands and are struggling to break even year after year. Obviously the 'bottom line' skills could do with sharpening.

As of now, you are drawing wrong conclusions. SUN has always been very clear that Niagara cpus are for throughput and not single threaded work.

It's a very, very, very, very, very niche benchmark for the vast majority, with massive effort and retooling required and questionable studies, which has been my point throughout. Sun cannot afford expending R and D money on niche markets unless they are very lucrative. Financial performance. That's the point here.

Ive told you many times Ive run ZFS on 32 bit pentium 4 with 1 GB RAM for over a year. Wrong again. We dont reach you, that's obvious.

"I got Solaris and ZFS up and running on my dinky little 32-bit laptop with 512 MB of memory and, OMG, it didn't die!" does not prove a thing I'm afraid. The BSD guys' experience, and those of many others, are that ZFS will naturally tend to grow unbounded and grab memory as you increase its workload. Its extensive features come at a price, and it depends on whether most think the price is worth paying.

Besides, while you and others argue totally off-topic stuff like this, Sun sheds yet more jobs and is still struggling to get to break-even. Show me the money, as they say.

You try to say that you shouldnt even consider what Niagara boxes can do for your particular work load, because of some strange reason?

I'm not saying that at all. If you have thousands of threads of execution, those threads are quite lightweight, they don't do a lot of number crunching and they are pretty independent and parallel then one of these machines might well be ideal.

Alas, I can't see that being anything other than a niche, the workloads of the majority of organisations don't stay uniform, circumstances change and with advances in x86 machines with multiple cores you question the shelf life of a machine in a year or two that cost your company a lot of money. You're going to look pretty incompetent when your company wants to throw a somewhat new workload at your Niagaras and they fall over...........Niagara falls. Even Sun's consultants are careful where they sell them.

Understand this; Niagara boxes compete with IBM AIX Unix and HP-UX unix, not with x86.

All the major benchmarks and case studies produced for Niagara compare it with x86 and Linux based machines, and talk about workloads such as MySQL and web servers because that's where Sun has been losing out. They don't compete with anything that runs AIX or Power in any way, and that's the problem.

If you believe this then you are very confused about what Sun's target market is for Niagara, which is par for the course really.

Maybe it is you who are naive if you think companies change their important infra structure without testing and doing an analysis first?

Well, they apparently run Fedora in production, so I'd call that naive. Free kit, consultancy and freebies also help. :-)

Frankly, you would get fired if you worked at my company. For incompetence.

Talk to the hand sweetheart. You've spent God knows how many paragraphs talking about everything from ZFS to lovely technical comparisons of Power and SPARC to try and avoid talking about the inevitable, as Sun people love to do - and yet you would ignore Rome burning as you struggle to break-even and your company lays off thousands of people. Quite frankly, you won't get to fire me or anyone else ;-).

If you have a solution that are cheaper and 10 times faster and suits your work load perfect, and still you wont even consider it, then you are incompetent. You make the company loose money it could have saved.

That would be lovely, but alas, in case you hadn't noticed Sun have laid off thousands of workers, again, and they are really struggling to break even year after year. The bottom line is that few out there agree with you.

Unless, you work for IBM or some similar company. Then your comments make sense.

I see an awful lot of people, a great many of them Sun employees, spending a great deal of time and effort banging away on their blogs about IBM, what IBM are saying about them and arguing fruitless points about various meaningless technical benchmarks they have come up with that few are listening to in the hope that will turn things around. You would think they would have other things to do ;-).

Edited 2008-11-18 00:42 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sun performances...
by akrosdbay on Tue 18th Nov 2008 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sun performances..."
akrosdbay Member since:
2008-06-09


Alas, I can't see that being anything other than a niche, the workloads of the majority of organisations don't stay uniform, circumstances change and with advances in x86 machines with multiple cores you question the shelf life of a machine in a year or two that cost your company a lot of money. You're going to look pretty incompetent when your company wants to throw a somewhat new workload at your Niagaras and they fall over...........Niagara falls. Even Sun's consultants are careful where they sell them.


May be you can explain why Sun's CMT business is growing double and triple digits YoY if there really is no demand for it?

Edited 2008-11-18 07:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Sun performances...
by Kebabbert on Tue 18th Nov 2008 10:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sun performances..."
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Ok, if you dont trust official benchmarks about Niagara on SAP's and Oracle's web sites, then there is nothing I can do. We are "discussing" why it would be incompetent to not even consider Niagara for a particular work load if it is 10 times faster. But if you think that the benchmarks and testimonies are a lie, then there is nothing to discuss about. I wonder, what kind of environment are you used to? Lies are quite common, I understand?

I think you should seriously consider study some higher mathematics. Then you maybe could draw conclusions correctly. No mathematician would draw such flawed conclusions as you do.




Wrong conclusion 1:
If web sites still functions perfectly, if not better, with far lesser Niagara boxes, then... what does that imply? Is everything about the Niagara performance a lie, or could it be true? Hmmm... Let me think... Hmmm... Nope, I cant figure the answer out. Can someone else than Segedunum help me? What could the correct answer be? If it is a big lie that you can migrate lots of servers to few Niagara, how can the companies still function after an migration? Hmmm... Difficult question, I must say.

What happens IF the benchmarks that are to be good to be true, were true? Would Segedunum be shocked then?




Wrong conclusion 2:
Segedunum has heard that ZFS requires a lot of memory on FreeBSD to even start/work/whatever. Does that imply that ZFS on Solaris requires a lot of memory? Hmmm... Let me see... Hmmm... Nope. I can not figure that out either. Can someone else than Segedunum help me?

Segedunum has also heard from several different people that ZFS on Solaris doesnt require much memory, but them sources are not to be trusted. Can I spot a slight bias somewhere? Maybe not?




Wrong conclusion 3:
The Niagara boxes are worthless because the Niagaras will not be able to handle a different task with different work load.

Hmmm... Let me think. If... SUN makes it very clear that these Niagara excels at some tasks, but not on other tasks... Does that mean that I can throw what ever task I want at the Niagara boxes? It does mean that, doesnt it? Or? Now I am unsure. This was too difficult for me also.

If I have a knife, that is made for one purpose: cutting, should I expect the knife to handle other tasks as well? Or should I just see the knife as one of many tools? One tool for cutting, one tool for hammering, etc? Nah, I dont know. This was too difficult for me. Or, maybe if I have specialized tools, they excel at a single particular task and I should have multi tools in my repertoire? One specialized tool is 10 times better than a general tool at a particular task? Does that make the specialized tool worthless? I guess it does? Hmmm... Here we see some deep thinking.




Wrong conclusion 4:
SUN doesnt succeed right now. That must imply that SUN's technology sucks and everything is a big lie, right?

Microsoft with admittedly bad technology succeeds very well. And MS is famous for having an excellent and aggressive sales division. So let me do some deep thinking again. If... MS sells best in the world, then their technology must be best in the world, right? And... as SUN doesnt sell too well, their technology must suck right? Ah, yes! I solved it! Yes, it must be so. Nevermind the battle between VHS and Betamax, where Betamax lost despite being better technology.

And besides, The Niagara boxes market share grow very rapid. Like 50% or more each year. There ARE customers wanting those. I wonder why if they suck so badly. So, wrong again, buddy.





I could go on and on, analyzing your earlier posts. But I have work to do. I am doing valuable work for my company. Segedunum, you are so clever man. I wish I had your brains. Where do you find all your bright ideas? They just pop up? *full of admiration*

I understand SUN employees banging away on IBM. I would do that also. Do you know why? Because IBM are stating things that are not really true. If IBM market division didnt exaggerate things, there would be no banging, I promise you. When IBM goes out and says false things, like their technology is best in the world and so - but an Niagara is many times faster at a fraction of the price, I would be pissed too.

Like, when IBM says that an lesser Mainframe consolidates 232 x86 servers. If you scrutinize that, it turns out that the x86 servers must be at 2-3% utilization and the mainframe is close to 100% utilization! And, you can emulate a mainframe on a laptop with "Hercules". An IBM Mainframe MIPS == 4 MHz x86. An 1000 IBM MIPS cpu is roughly equal to 4000GHz x86. And we read everywhere how fast these mainframes are. You can probable migrate one mainframe to one Niagara box. In fact, I think Ive read it somewhere. If I find the link I will post it here.

And still IBM refuses to publish benchmarks. If their technology were so good, why refuse? SUN publishes everything. SUN is clear with the weak points of Niagara, and doesnt try to hide that. Doesnt try to hide anything, like IBM does. If you have nothing good to come with, then you can try to fool everyone instead. That is the reason SUN people gets pissed off. If IBM would stop that, then there would be no SUN banging. Besides, Niagara is quite fast at number crunching also. 1.4 GHz is way faster than IBM Power6 at 4.7GHz. Funny.
http://www.sun.com/servers/coolthreads/t5120/benchmarks.jsp
In floating benchmarks, the Niagara is not that superior, but still it is fast.


I remember when Microsoft claimed that Windows TCO is lower than Linux TCO. When you scrutinize, it turned out that Linux was run on a very expensive IBM mainframe whereas Windows was run on a PC! If you do that, of course Windows is cheaper than Linux! Are you surprised if someone banged away at MS? But If MS stopped, then there would be no banging, I promise you.

Edited 2008-11-18 10:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Sun performances...
by Kebabbert on Tue 18th Nov 2008 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Sun performances..."
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Or I remember when IBM claimed that Power6 had tremendous bandwidth, 300GB/sec or so. When you scrutinized that claim, it turned out that IBM had added the band width in all components in the chip! The different caches plus other things. Maybe IBM doesnt know that, but a chip doesnt have greater bandwidth than the lowest number.

If there is a bottleneck on 10MB/sec, then the chip will have no greater band width than 10MB/sec. You can not add upp all the bandwidth in the different caches. If IBM stopped all these silly claims, then nobody would have anything to complain on IBM.

Seriously, I dont understand why SUN doesnt sell better. If I were a SUN sales man, I bet I would sell lots. I would turn the company.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Sun performances...
by david87656 on Wed 19th Nov 2008 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Sun performances..."
david87656 Member since:
2008-09-03

I was recently at Sun and talked with one of the engineers there who explained some of the reasons Sun hardware is relatively fast. This was not a sales pitch, it was just two engineers talking. I'm a software engineer, so there are alot of hardware details that I don't fully understand, but the gist of his description makes sense.

1. Regardless of the chip architecture, Sun optimizes (synchronizes) the speed of all the components so that they are essentially clicking at the same time. There's very little synchronization loss. If you put components on a board, all purchased from different vendors, the synchronization loss is higher.

2. Niagra (Sparc, for that matter in general) is designed to get work done and not boast a high clock speed. That's why you still see alot of these boxes somehow doing very heavy loads. They were running, if I remember correctly, 200-300 thin clients on a couple of Niagra boxes. Try doing that on a Dell.

I think their model makes good sense, if you goal is performance to get work done. In the end, they are cost-effective, but not cheap.

But, we tend to be a walmart kind of society. If you see something that looks similar on the outside and costs 3-5 times as much you tend to be skeptical. But, if you talk to people who actually have implemented Niagra systems, who have the throughput to justify it, generally won't go back to Intel architectures for the really important stuff.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Sun performances...
by Kebabbert on Wed 19th Nov 2008 13:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Sun performances..."
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Another point of keeping the clock frequency low, is that a CPU consumes power proportional to the square of the frequency, if my memory serves me correctly.

If you want to keep power consumption low, the most important factor is to keep the clock frequency low. Due to physical laws. And SUN is doing that.

Genius. Imagine the difficult constraints in a world of high frequency CPUs, when SUN was constructing the new family of CPUs: Fast AND low power consumption. How do you combine that? Fast and low power, at the same time?

Well, due to physical laws, you have to keep the frequency down. Ok, lets do that. How do we get speed, if we need low frequency? Many core with virtually no cache misses (an intel x86 server idles 50% under full load due to cache misses, Niagara almost never idles). Do that and you get... Niagara! The key point is "never idle waiting for cache misses". Everyone has multi cores, but the faster the CPU, the higher the latency with a cache miss. IBM Power6 at 4.7 GHz must have the worst penalty upon cache miss, of all existing CPUs due to their high frequency. That is the reason Power6 are comparatively slow. To crank up the frequency is the wrong way to go, this was apparent long time ago. IBM hasnt realised it yet.

Reply Score: 2

Sun MS
by OSGuy on Sat 15th Nov 2008 10:55 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Man, I really hope Sun Microsystems recover. I do NOT want them to go. As far as I know the last few years have all been uphill for them. Didn't they receive a cash injection from MS not too long ago about some type of settlement?

Edited 2008-11-15 10:57 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Focus
by acobar on Sat 15th Nov 2008 17:04 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

I really, really hope they get out of the trouble they are now, but think will not be easy.

On the desktop, the position of MS is still undisputaded, even after Vista fiasco, with Apple gaining back some ground. It is very, very hard to step on this front, and I'm not even counting the various Linux distros.

Server OS are really cheap (even free) by now and Linux improved so much that even support is becoming less and less needed for medium and small companies.

x86 hardware is dirty cheap these days and they are so powerful that most of companies can very well count on them for most of their needs.

Services is where they are trying hard to improve their presence, but again, it is not easy to compete with IBM, Oracle and thousands of other big, middle and small companies. And Sun, because of its size, is probably not competitive on bidding for small business, what Red Hat and Novell are.

They have great products and are, probably, the big corporation that contributes more to the open source community. But again, the time now is bad and the opponents are really tough.

Even doing their best to adapt to the current time as they are doing now, it will be an heroic uphill battle, an epic of our time. I wish them a sounding victory and that Sun disperse the clouds, that for sure.

Reply Score: 3

It's to be expected.
by zenulator on Sat 15th Nov 2008 19:58 UTC
zenulator
Member since:
2008-06-29

Cutting operating costs and streamlining business is always a good move especially in a falling economy. Sun may be a dinosaur in today's tech market but it also has the resources needed to adapt and survive.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's to be expected.
by segedunum on Mon 17th Nov 2008 14:12 UTC in reply to "It's to be expected."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Cutting operating costs and streamlining business is always a good move especially in a falling economy.

The problem is, this is nothing new for Sun. Every Sun employee knows about the annual lay-offs and restructuring. It's par for the course for the past few years.

Reply Score: 1

top most
by sLiPaQXg on Sun 16th Nov 2008 12:37 UTC
sLiPaQXg
Member since:
2008-11-16

Sun should start at the top of the tree with the latest round of layouts. Schwartz has wrecked a once proud company.

Reply Score: 0

MySQL and the future?
by centos_user on Sun 16th Nov 2008 21:14 UTC
centos_user
Member since:
2008-11-16

What does this mean to the future of MySQL will SUN stop developing on it and let it go to ruin?

I am concerned because this is really the main db in the open source arena?

Does anyone have any ideas?

Reply Score: 2

RE: MySQL and the future?
by chekr on Mon 17th Nov 2008 00:04 UTC in reply to "MySQL and the future?"
chekr Member since:
2005-11-05

The MySQL business generates revenue and is a growth business - I very much doubt Sun will let it languish. The worst that could happen is the business is sold on...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MySQL and the future?
by centos_user on Mon 17th Nov 2008 03:13 UTC in reply to "RE: MySQL and the future?"
centos_user Member since:
2008-11-16

I find it most aggravating of how a public traded company buys out the 'open source' software and exploits it to where nothing is left and it is left a distant memory.

***In my opinion the entire stock market is a fraud, there no need for it and most of the time the CEO's bleed the company dry then get paid MILLIONS to leave. The economy would function in a better premise if companies were independently owned and held accountable for mis-use of funds, to throwing money down a rat hole for Corporate jets, exclusive getaway vacations and wasted money on lavish corporate suites with gourmet chefs. Just my rant on it, SUN if owned by an individual would be taking things in a different light than money flowing in based off what a stock market trader said.

I HOPE they do not sell off MySQL or tank it I will be very disappointed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: MySQL and the future?
by sbergman27 on Mon 17th Nov 2008 04:39 UTC in reply to "MySQL and the future?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I am concerned because this is really the main db in the open source arena?

I can't say I'd be completely disappointed if it did lose some of its mind-share. MySQL blows chunks compared to a couple of other FOSS RDBMS offerings. I've always been uncomfortable with having an inferior product as our FOSS DB poster child when our best and most feature-complete options should be getting the lime-light.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: MySQL and the future?
by Soulbender on Mon 17th Nov 2008 07:35 UTC in reply to "RE: MySQL and the future?"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

What, you don't believe that table locks is a sufficient substitute for atomic transactions?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: MySQL and the future?
by sbergman27 on Mon 17th Nov 2008 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: MySQL and the future?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What, you don't believe that table locks is a sufficient substitute for atomic transactions?

Nor that we should be inventing our own SQL "standard". MySQL shares much with PHP. It's easy for people who don't know any better, and are just learning programming, to get started with them. And by the time they've created big ugly messes with them, they've already become conditioned to that being normal, and don't see a problem.

Reply Score: 2