Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Aug 2009 18:08 UTC
Oracle and SUN "Sun Microsystems' product plans are up in the air pending its acquisition by Oracle, but the company's chip engineers continue to present new designs in the hope they'll see the light of day. At the Hot Chips conference at Stanford University on Tuesday, Sun presented plans for a security accelerator chip that it said would reduce encryption costs for applications such as VoIP calls and online banking Web sites. The chip, known as a coprocessor, will be included on the same silicon as Rainbow Falls, the code name for the follow-on to Sun's multithreaded Ultrasparc T2 processor."
Thread beginning with comment 380752
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Again and again...
by cjcox on Wed 26th Aug 2009 21:18 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

Niagara comes out with built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and turn it into mince meat. T2 comes out with better built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and laughs in its face.

Does anyone see a worthless trend here?

If Sun isn't careful, they're going to die... oops, too late...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Again and again...
by flanque on Wed 26th Aug 2009 22:40 in reply to "Again and again..."
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

That really depends on the difference in cost, adds another breakpoint by using a dedicated card and also impacts support contracts.

Yeah you can offload the SSL to dedicated card but if you can get it as a standard part of the chip then that's a good. If it ends up costing you at extra $5k then that's probably not going to fly.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Again and again...
by Drumhellar on Wed 26th Aug 2009 23:31 in reply to "Again and again..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

So, Sun shouldn't include SSL acceleration because they eventually get leap-frogged by a third party?

Or, maybe third parties shouldn't create SSL boards because they eventually get leap-frogged by Sun?

I like the latter better.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Again and again...
by segedunum on Wed 26th Aug 2009 23:37 in reply to "RE: Again and again..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You're always going to bet on the third-party in that scenario because there's any number of ways in which they can improve performance, and there are already good accelerators around right now. From a commodity perspective it remains to be seen whether Sun's approach performs better than a x86 system dedicated for the purpose.

It's an ultra-niche and ultimately fruitless selling point when you consider the competitors that are already there and doing it.

Edited 2009-08-26 23:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Again and again...
by segedunum on Wed 26th Aug 2009 23:34 in reply to "Again and again..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Yer. I'm afraid off-loading specific functions to coprocessors in hardware for performance reasons, apart from specific areas (the ever expanding requirements of graphics for one), has never been terribly successful. A dedicated accelerator for such uses is always going to turn out to be better.

I can only see this as a way for Sun to squeeze their Sparc development into ever more niche areas, and niche areas people don't need at that, before Oracle inevitably has a look at the figures and pulls the plug.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Again and again...
by jwwf on Thu 27th Aug 2009 02:45 in reply to "Again and again..."
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Niagara comes out with built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and turn it into mince meat. T2 comes out with better built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and laughs in its face.

Does anyone see a worthless trend here?

If Sun isn't careful, they're going to die... oops, too late...


Don't see the problem. If I can have either a super low volume $2000 board, with third party drivers, versus integrated "dont have to do anything" support in the vendor's own OS and system, I'll pick the latter unless the dedicated guy is better by an order of magnitude AND it actually matters.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Again and again...
by kaiwai on Thu 27th Aug 2009 03:42 in reply to "Again and again..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Niagara comes out with built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and turn it into mince meat. T2 comes out with better built-in SSL accelerator, 3rd party accelerator comes out soon after and laughs in its face.

Does anyone see a worthless trend here?

If Sun isn't careful, they're going to die... oops, too late...


What I think is also interesting is how Sun has removed UltraSPARC-AT10 related code from OpenSolaris - so one really wonders where Sun's future is, in regards to hardware design. I simply don't see Sun being in the SPARC business for much longer as Fujitsu are having less of an interest in that area as well.

Edited 2009-08-27 03:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Again and again...
by jwwf on Thu 27th Aug 2009 04:40 in reply to "RE: Again and again..."
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

What I think is also interesting is how Sun has removed UltraSPARC-AT10 related code from OpenSolaris - so one really wonders where Sun's future is, in regards to hardware design. I simply don't see Sun being in the SPARC business for much longer as Fujitsu are having less of an interest in that area as well.


It's a pretty unambiguously bad sign I'd say. But then again, Sun has been in a bad spot regarding processor design for probably half of the time they've been making processors. If it was all about processors, Alpha and MIPS would be alive and SPARC and x86 would be dead already.

I can't see anybody exiting the high-end Solaris business yet--I'd expect HP to drop HP-UX first. But I find it fascinating how IBM bought Transitive, and then completely buried them after the failed Sun merger (website doesn't even exist anymore). So maybe the brains at IBM figured they could keep the high end Solaris market without SPARC.

Reply Parent Score: 2