Home > Solaris > 64-bit Solaris for Opteron is Coming 64-bit Solaris for Opteron is Coming Eugenia Loli 2003-04-26 Solaris 17 Comments Sun is attacking the low end x86-based server market with force, as it has announcements around both AMD’s Opteron processor and Intel’s Xeon processor on the way, executives told TheRegister. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 17 Comments 2003-04-26 8:14 pm …Sun seems to be going the way of SGI – diluted product lines and lack of commitment to their products. sad sad sad… 2003-04-26 8:20 pm Since Sun will never win on the CPU market, the company is wasting money mantaining their sparc cpu’s alive. . . they can/must move to opteron (maybe itanium but the hate to ia-xx is a little blinder) an focus on solaris and java. . . 2003-04-26 8:32 pm it’s sad to read that Sun will not ship nor design opteron based hardware. i think a Sun-AMD alliance can result a lot more productive business and a huge tech feedback for both companies. . . like (or more than) the Intel-HP one. 2003-04-26 9:23 pm …Sun seems to be going the way of SGI – diluted product lines and lack of commitment to their products. sad sad sad… Yes, but Sun turned a profit last quarter ($5 million) and SGI did not. Don’t sound the death knell for Sun quite yet. Since Sun will never win on the CPU market, the company is wasting money mantaining their sparc cpu’s alive The new Niagara processor from Sun will be the first SMT processor to support 32 hardware threads with cache coherency. Sun has always had superior processor design. Sun’s big problem regarding the UltraSPARC line is the fabrication. Since Sun does not own a fabrication plant, they must outsource the manufacturing of their processors to TI. Consequently their processors are very expensive and made with antequated manufacturing processes, thus they can’t be clocked as high as their x86 counterparts. Sun either needs to buy their own fabrication plant (it’s not like they don’t have the assets to do this) or enter into a strategic partnership with AMD to manufacture the new UltraSPARCs. Unfortunately AMD already has inroads with IBM, and has licensed technologies like their SOI process. AMD couldn’t leverage the level of process technology used to manufacture the Opteron when making the SPARC because of this. 2003-04-27 1:27 am “Sun’s big problem regarding the UltraSPARC line is the fabrication.” Maybe things are going to get better. http://www.ebnonline.com/digest/story/OEG20010518S0040 2003-04-27 1:28 am Sun’s high-end CPU’s still have an edge, although that’s slowly going away. 64-bit high-cache CPUs and an platform/OS that allows for hot-swapping, scalability, and failover. For specialty systems, mostly databases, this makes quite a bit of sense. Oracle/Veritas/Sun make a good combination that scales dependably even to 32 processors. The x86-32/64 is not yet able or is unproven in that realm. For those sytems, it’s worth putting the money. Where Sun has really failed is the low-end. Either their low-end systems were $25,000 (such as an E220R) for semi-powerful systems, or $1,000 for a vastly unpowered Netra T1 or similar. When you can get a rock-solid dual-processor x86 system for around $2-4,000, it’s no wonder Sun is losing out. 2003-04-27 1:58 am Sun is an enigma wrapped in a riddle ~ Very confused misguided company … innovation is stifled … it is so so sad … 2003-04-27 2:30 am Sun hates Microsoft, yet it can’t fully commit to Linux. Sun hates Intel, yet it can’t fully commit to AMD. Everything is half-hearted about it. It desperately wants to maintain its big money-making Solaris/Sparc power combo that has served it so well for years now, so much so that it’s not willing to investigate whether there is money to be made by going to an AMD platform. What’s the point in extending Solaris/x86 out to the AMD64 platform, but then not even offering the AMD64 platform to your own customers yourself? Sun doesn’t want to go to IA64, fine, then go to AMD64. But what is going to kill Sun is not going against the Itanium (others are also opting to do that), but being indecisive about how to combat it. 2003-04-27 2:30 am sad im afraid, since sun doesnt really make kludge products like the wintel platform. but the price is way,way,way too steep for the middle and low end. 2003-04-27 4:07 am Why doesn’t Sun use G3’s/G4’s for it’s “low-end”? If they want 64-bit, why not POWER4? Wouldn’t it be easier to port from one RISC platform to another? 2003-04-27 4:37 am re: Bascule the “antequated manufacturing processes” are not the problem. The 900-MHz and new 1.05-GHz UltraSPARC-III chips both use TI’s 0.15-micron copper process for their 29 million transistors. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,82104,00.asp 2003-04-27 5:07 am Why doesn’t Sun use G3’s/G4’s for it’s “low-end”? If they want 64-bit, why not POWER4? Well, it’s a pretty safe bet they’ll eventually have to migrate to some commodity processor – which would mean either Power or some Intel permutation (IA-64 or Opertron), Continued development of Sparc is getting to be too expensive to be cost effective. But then, they have to eat all the PR they’ve generated about the superiority of the Sparc platform through the years. Not to mention, if their current customers are forced to migrate off of the Sparc platform, many of them may just decide to migrate off of Sun all together. I agree going to Power could be an interesting move, but then, how do they clearly demark the distinction between their product, and IBM’s? (Actually, there are significant differences between Sun’s machines and IBM’s apart from the processor, but that might not be so easy to explain to a procurement manager.) You have to remember, they’re getting squeezed by IBM in the high end, and Intel on the low end. It’s important for them to distinguish between their product and IBM’s. Which might not be so easy if they’re using the same processor as IBM. 2003-04-27 6:03 am To late to little. SUN is out & down. Let’s see how long the death struggle will last. They should fire Mc Nealy one BS talker & idiot. This guy has absolutly zero view. 2003-04-27 9:52 am The 900-MHz and new 1.05-GHz UltraSPARC-III chips both use TI’s 0.15-micron copper process for their 29 million transistors. Yes, a 0.15 micron process years after everything in the known universe has moved to a 0.13 process and new processors are about to move to a 90 nanometer process… Your argument (sparc is dead, sun is dying) fails to be convincing in its utter minimalism of a single, invalid point. And you didn’t even touch the issue of outsourced manufacturing… Let’s not forget that Sun netted a $5 million profit last quarter. Before you sound a death knell like all the PC fanboys who like to declare Macs are dying, I suggest you take a good, hard look at the facts. 2003-04-27 3:32 pm Well, from what I have seen, SUN isn’t going to die. Lets look at the “signals”, Scotts rhetoric about Microsoft has been tonned down to a whisper, project Orion is on course, and their future processors are on target. There are three issues they need to address: 1) Outsource hardware production, there is no justification for having such a large amount of capital tied up in something as mundane as putting together equipment. 2) Move production to move chip foundries such as TSMC and UMC. The previous annoucement was just on lower end processors, I say push the envelop and move all the line over to different foundries. TI needs to be sent a clear message that they can be replaced anytime. 3) Cut prices on their development software, if it were me, I would be charging $599 + 90days of technical support for their complete line of SUN Compilers. If the customer decides to by a SUN workstation for development purposes, throw the compilers in for free! SUN needs to learn the fine art of pulling in customers and keeping them addicted for the long term. 2003-04-27 6:08 pm It is very interesting to investigate why Solaris has never gained market share.Around here where live ( Greece)people buy Linux distros for about 40 Euros (Desktop editions of Suse, Mandrake etc.).However nobody pays half of that to download a very good operating system like Solaris. A couple of years ago Solaris 8 was free for download,you didn’t had to pay even 20 dollars.However this hasn’t gained them market share. Almost all open source applications have been ported to Solaris.And there is also lbcs that allows you to run almost all Linux applicatios even if you don’t have the source code. Everybody however has a copy of Windows (legal or pirated) even if they don’t need it.I’m one of them.I also have VectorLinux insalled on a second partition.Many of them haven’t touched Windows for a long time.When I ask them why they say because they ‘ll need it some time. It is like an addiction.They don’t need it, however they feel insecure without it. And let us look how Sun promotes Solaris.It is 20$ for single processor machines but costs 250$ for a dual processor workstation.This Scot McNeally is a devious guy. He gives it cheap/free to those who wouldn’t buy it anyway but charges a good amount of money to those who really need it.Solaris is rarely used on single processor machines. It is an OS designed to be deployed on heavy machines. Who in his right mind would install Solaris just for word processing? The OS consumes more processing power than the applications it runs. And for 250$ one can buy a PC with WinXP preinstalled. If you had to choose between Solaris and XP which would you choose? All (and I repeat ALL) people I know choose XP. And the most scary part is that they are right.So what if Solaris can scale well with 128 processors? Who needs 128 processors?And XP is rock stable too.Besides in a business you don’t install every piece of freeware/shareware/trashware you download from the internet. You install only the OS and a couple of applications you use every day. Beyond that you don’t touch the computer for any other reason.If you think Windows is not good for businesses just look how many servers around the world still use WinNT.And the best of all is they refuse to upgrade either to Unix or to newer versions of Windows. This means that WindowsNT gets the job well done.And there are millions of them around the world. The most important reason however is hardware support. Did you see the hardware Solaris supports? If you were a businessowner would you like to depend on the old hardware Solaris supports? Can you still find a TNT2 these days? How about winmodems and other widely used hardware? Most of the hardware Solaris supports is not produced any more and even if it is produced it is not imported here. Difficult days ahead for Sun.That is the bottom line. Mass production processors have the power SPARC has and free Operating Systems are killing Solaris. 2003-04-27 7:14 pm If you are running a 24/7 business are you going to depend on a “consumer” based Linux distribution and various hardware vendors for support? Stop thinking home PC, because that is not Sun’s market. I have personally used a machine with 32 CPU’s (E6500) and if your business depends on that kind of horsepower, then that is why you spend the “big bucks” for Solaris on Sparc hardware. The various Linux distros are getting smart in regards to support for serious use, check RedHat and their ES offerings. The days of “free” are over unless you intend to stay with consumer grade distros and continuously upgrade, which does not work very well in a large Data Center where downtime has to be minimal. Part of Sun’s strategy is simplified Data Center management through hardware and software called “N1”. I personally attended a meeting discussing how N1 works and it is both cool and scary (depending on which side of the fence you are on). If you are a system administrator or dba and N1 actually works, watch out! The Opteron processor works very well into N1, since Sun could offer lower cost “Blade” servers running Solaris Intel and give customers a high performance, low cost option to Sparc hardware. You get the benefits of Solaris and high performance, low cost hardware. I don’t see too many Linux distros even attempting to offer anything like N1, although HP and IBM are coming up with their own versions.