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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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.

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