Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd May 2008 20:44 UTC, submitted by Moochman
Oracle and SUN Engadget got the chance to sit down with Jonathan Schwartz, the pony-tailed CEO of Sun Microsystems. Being the gadget blog that they are, Engadget asked Schwartz about the long-missing JavaFX Mobile platform Sun has promised, Java on the iPhone, and competing with Microsoft as an open source vendor.
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RE[4]: Shame ...
by Arun on Mon 5th May 2008 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Shame ..."
Arun
Member since:
2005-07-07


Such metrics are pretty meaningless overall. All CPU makers now, including AMD and Intel, are talking about putting more cores on a chip and doing more in terms of parallel applications and threading (corner cases for performance improvements really) when people really want to do a task twice the size in half the time and get more through - and the x86-64 processors will still always cream SPARC there. In the seven years since I seriously looked at Linux/x86 and Solaris/SPARC head-to-head, 4370 pystones/sec on an UltraSPARC versus 17,543 pystones/sec on a 1.4GHz Athlon was a pretty big no brainer, and that's why lots of academic institutions in particular jumped off. I don't see that the situation has improved.


Your ignorance is astounding.

Lets just look at raw performance here, both systems in the following configuration cost almost the same:

HP ProLiant DL580 G5
Intel Xeon X7350 Processor 2933MHz
16 cores, 4 chips, 4 cores/chip
SPECweb2005 = 40046
SPECweb2005_Banking = 71104
SPECweb2005_Ecommerce = 55552
SPECweb2005_Support = 36032

http://www.spec.org/web2005/results/res2007q4/web2005-20071203-0010...

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220
Sun UltraSPARC T2 1400Mhz
8 cores, 1 chip, 8 cores/chip (8 threads/core)
SPECweb2005 = 41847
SPECweb2005_Banking = 70000
SPECweb2005_Ecommerce = 58000
SPECweb2005_Support = 40000

http://www.spec.org/web2005/results/res2008q2/web2005-20080408-0010...

Oh look! a single 8 core 1.4 GHz SPARC system is better than a 16 core 2.9 GHz Xeon System in raw performance.

In performance per watt the Xeon box will look like a joke. Each of the Xeons in that box take 130 Ws so 4x130 is 520 Watts for the cpus alone. The UltraSPARC on the other hand consumes 95 watts normal max 123 Watts.

Why does an Intel based system need 5x the power and 4x the cpus to produce worse results than a single UltraSPARC chip?

Doesn't look like your ignorant statement " the x86-64 processors will still always cream SPARC there."

BTW Academic institutions are back. http://hpcvl.org/hardware/victoria-falls.html

"1. What is the cluster?
We are installing a new compute cluster that is based on Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 Servers. At the start, about half of these servers are available, one login node called vflogin0 and the compute nodes named vf0001.... We will add the other nodes as testing and configuration work is completed, for a total of 78.

Each of these nodes includes two 1.2 Ghz UltraSparc T2+ chips. Each of these chips has 8 compute cores, and each core is capable of Chip Multi Threading with 8 hardware threads. This means that each of the nodes is capable of working simultaneously on up to 128 threads. Once fully installed, the cluster, called "Victoria Falls" will be able to process almost 10,000 threads."

Edited 2008-05-05 00:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Shame ...
by sbergman27 on Mon 5th May 2008 00:48 in reply to "RE[4]: Shame ..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

As a casual bystander, I can't help but notice that while you were careful to point out a metric of raw performance and performance per watt, you carefully avoided talking about performance per dollar.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Shame ...
by Arun on Mon 5th May 2008 00:55 in reply to "RE[5]: Shame ..."
Arun Member since:
2005-07-07

As a casual bystander, I can't help but notice that while you were careful to point out a metric of raw performance and performance per watt, you carefully avoided talking about performance per dollar.

Edited the previous comment:

But here are the costs.
The Sun box costs $39K.
The HP box About $32K running RHEL and HP virtualization Citrix Xen.
VMware ESX is $13K more.

Edited 2008-05-05 01:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Shame ...
by segedunum on Mon 5th May 2008 01:41 in reply to "RE[4]: Shame ..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I really hope all Sun customers have your kind of faith. Really. I do.

Oh look! a single 8 core 1.4 GHz SPARC system is better than a 16 core 2.9 GHz Xeon System in raw performance.

Repeating and regurgitating Sun's own benchmarks, verbatim, counts for very little.

On raw performance? Four Xeons versus one SPARC, all at twice the clock speed (not that that counts for much as a comparison)? Errr, no. But you keep telling yourself that. One SPARC would never keep up with one Xeon in a month of Sundays, and the sorts of target workloads that Sun seems to be using would have to be so parallel and so concurrent as to be totally unrealistic. Not everything is or can be, and even in the article I linked to the UltraSPARC couldn't even outperform the Opteron on that.

I'm sure Sun can find lots of other completely arbitrary, moving target units of measure such as 'performance per watt' to make SPARC look better. Whether that is really enough, we'll have to see. Something tells me that Sun hasn't learnt from what happened after the dot com boom.

In performance per watt the Xeon box will look like a joke. Each of the Xeons in that box take 130 Ws so 4x130 is 520 Watts for the cpus alone. The UltraSPARC on the other hand consumes 95 watts normal max 123 Watts.

Right on cue. Speaking of arbitrary units of measure...... You can't just tot things up on Sun's power calculator on their web site and expect that to answer a real world question.

Why does an Intel based system need 5x the power and 4x the cpus to produce worse results than a single UltraSPARC chip?

It doesn't. It would help if you actually looked at what the results tell you, and it would also help if you actually knew what the power consumption cost of a Xeon was. You balance that versus the raw performance, and you could halve the CPUs to two and halve the performance of a Xeon to cut power right back (a more realistic test) and its raw performance would still be better.

What people are looking at is whether it is worth spending the money to get any future power savings, versus having the raw performance per cycle. Nobody cares about Sun's theoretical performance per watt. Fact is, compared to an Opteron box, the guy worked out that his UltraSPARC would have to be at least twice as power efficient to feel the effect of cost savings over a period of several years for Coolthreads to be worth it. Sorry, but that scenario doesn't add up.

Doesn't look like your ignorant statement " the x86-64 processors will still always cream SPARC there."

Hate to break it to you, but the raw performance of SPARC has lagged behind x86 for a very, very long time.

BTW Academic institutions are back. http://hpcvl.org/hardware/victoria-falls.html

I'd laugh if that wasn't so sad. Why do you think they left in the first place? I'm sure Sun gave them a nice deal and some new toys to play with ;-).

"Once fully installed, the cluster, called "Victoria Falls" will be able to process almost 10,000 threads.""

The issue here is how much of each thread can be completed per second (is it better to get more threads and work through each second, or is it better to have more of them?) versus the initial cost of the machine versus the time it takes for the power cost savings to outweigh the initial cost. That's what matters.

Coolthreads (and multiple cores in general) is simply a tough sell for people wanting to complete more of the same tasks in less time following Moore's Law, and that accounts for the majority.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Shame ...
by Arun on Mon 5th May 2008 02:00 in reply to "RE[5]: Shame ..."
Arun Member since:
2005-07-07

I really hope all Sun customers have your kind of faith. Really. I do.


Stick to the point.


Repeating and regurgitating Sun's own benchmarks, verbatim, counts for very little.


Are you just daft? HP and Sun both submitted their respective results to Spec. It doesn't get any more objective than that.

On raw performance? Four Xeons versus one SPARC, all at twice the clock speed (not that that counts for much as a comparison)? Errr, no.


Your ignorance is even more telling. Cpus consume more energy at higher clock rates and dissipate more heat.

But you keep telling yourself that. One SPARC would never keep up with one Xeon in a month of Sundays, and the sorts of target workloads that Sun seems to be using would have to be so parallel and so concurrent as to be totally unrealistic. Not everything is or can be, and even in the article I linked to the UltraSPARC couldn't even outperform the Opteron on that.


Your article was ridiculously out dated. SpecWeb is an industry standard benchmark. Prove your point with some real data not FUD.

I'm sure Sun can find lots of other completely arbitrary, moving target units of measure such as 'performance per watt' to make SPARC look better. Whether that is really enough, we'll have to see. Something tells me that Sun hasn't learnt from what happened after the dot com boom.


Again, specweb is a real benchmark for web services ( the target market for the Sun box) and and single Sun chip out classes 4 of the latest Xeons.


Right on cue. Speaking of arbitrary units of measure...... You can't just tot things up on Sun's power calculator on their web site and expect that to answer a real world question.


More vile ignorance. Real world datacenters are constantly looking for ways to reduce their cooling and electricity bills. Gee I wonder why virtualization and server consolidation is big in the REAL WORLD.

I forgot that you don't live in the real world.


It doesn't. It would help if you actually looked at what the results tell you, and it would also help if you actually knew what the power consumption cost of a Xeon was. You balance that versus the raw performance, and you could halve the CPUs to two and halve the performance of a Xeon to cut power right back (a more realistic test) and its raw performance would still be better.


It doesn't? Say what? that doesn't make any sense.

The Xeons X7350 are 130W parts. HP's and Intel's websites say so. Can't you read and comprehend?

Even if you reduce the cpus to 2 you get 260Ws for the cpus alone vs 95 watts or at max 123Watts for the SPARC cpu box. The SPARC box is still lower power but can now deliver twice the performance of the HP Xeon Box.

What people are looking at is whether it is worth spending the money to get any future power savings, versus having the raw performance per cycle. Nobody cares about Sun's theoretical performance per watt. Fact is, compared to an Opteron box, the guy worked out that his UltraSPARC would have to be at least twice as power efficient to feel the effect of cost savings over a period of several years for Coolthreads to be worth it. Sorry, but that scenario doesn't add up.


Eh? The Sun box and the HP box cost almost the same and the Sun box uses significantly less power.

Oh you are still stuck like a broken record on that article you posted.

I think HP and its engineers tuning the hell out of their setup and submitting a result that show cases the best performance number on SpecWeb2005 and Sun doing the same counts for a lot more than a blog post from 2 years ago.

HP and Sun have the only two results in the 40K range on SPecWeb2005. So we are comparing the very best submissions from the respective companies.

You can't possibly be implying that HP doesn't know how to tune and get the best performance out of their systems, could you? Especially when they are trying to post the highest number, or so they thought, for their own customers to see and the sales staff to use as material sell those systems.

You certainly can't be that daft , can you?




Hate to break it to you, but the raw performance of SPARC has lagged behind x86 for a very, very long time.


Got proof? The cool threads server's perfomance throws a wrench soundly in that statement.


I'd laugh if that wasn't so sad. Why do you think they left in the first place? I'm sure Sun gave them a nice deal and some new toys to play with ;-).


Please don't show your stupidity any more than you have to.

The issue here is how much of each thread can be completed per second (is it better to get more threads and work through each second, or is it better to have more of them?) versus the initial cost of the machine versus the time it takes for the power cost savings to outweigh the initial cost. That's what matters.


More nonsensical gibberish. Read and comprehend first. Then do some research and come up with some real data to the topic at hand. Some up to date data would be very useful.


Coolthreads (and multiple cores in general) is simply a tough sell for people wanting to complete more of the same tasks in less time following Moore's Law, and that accounts for the majority.


I wonder why the coolthreads systems are doubling in revenue YoY.

Edited 2008-05-05 02:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Shame ...
by andrewg on Mon 5th May 2008 21:52 in reply to "RE[5]: Shame ..."
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Cool threads technology in T1000 and T2000 servers are for applications like web servers, file servers, mail servers any application that is integer intensive with a large number of concurrent requests on a resource. It is an in order design so it uses less power because out of order is not necessary. So you get a CPU which is designed for lots of threads where no one thread needs to be particularly fast or require much floating point. Current main stream CPU designs are focused on being all things to all people hence they don't compete at the tasks the T1000 and T2000 target.

Sun's partner Fujitsu is being relied on to provide high performance single thread and floating point CPU where the application demands it. But the CPU design named "The Rock" is supposed to be revolutionary. It does something called a scout thread which runs ahead optimising the execution order. It basically forgoes the need for normal out of order execution. We'll see if it lives up to the hype in 2009.

But right now Sparc leads for certain types of applications.

Reply Parent Score: 2