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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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 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 Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Sun performances...
by Laurence on Sat 15th Nov 2008 14:31 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 Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Sun performances...
by segedunum on Mon 17th Nov 2008 14:44 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 Parent Score: 1