Sun Microsystems is today officially debuting its two new 'massively threaded' servers based on the UltraSPARC T2+ processor. The major advancement in Sun's new CMT SPARC Enterprise T5140 and T5240 servers is that both systems support two processors - whereas previous offerings topped out at a single socket. Each processor - part of the 'Niagara' line - is equipped with up to eight cores and 64 threads, which is par with the chip's predecessors. But with a fresh ability to double-up, a single machine is able to process 128 instructional threads at the same time. Sun heralds the chip consolidation as leading to better performance per watt and space efficiency.
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As computers chip continue to decrease in fabrication size, manufacturers such as AMD and Intel are researching new ways to overcome physical barriers. Die size, performance, operating frequency and heat are all major obstacles in the semiconductor industry. Sun Microsystems announced that in partnership with Luxtera, Kotura and Stanford University, it is working on an ambitions project to move data transmissions from electrical signals over copper wires to pulses of light using lasers.
Innotek has been bought by Sun. The press release reads: "Sun today announced that it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire innotek, the provider of the leading edge, open source virtualization software called VirtualBox."
Sun Microsystems is releasing the specifications of its new UltraSPARC T2 processor, formally code named Niagara 2, to the open-source community Dec. 12, as part of the company's ongoing effort to build more of a community around its signature chip. The goal of releasing Niagara 2 into the open-source community through the General Public License is to create a larger community around the chip and increase the number of operating systems and applications that can use the processor, said Shrenik Mehta, senior director for Fronted Technologies and the OpenSPARC Program at Sun. In 2005, the company released the specification for the UltraSPARC T1 processor and the designs have been downloaded 6500 times since then, Mehta said.
"Sun announced Niagara 2 the other day, an evolution of the older Niagara 1, now called the UltraSPARC T1. From the 10000-foot view, it all looks quite familiar, but once you delve into the details, it quickly becomes apparent that almost everything has changed."
Having recently rediscovered itself as a systems company, Sun Microsystems has been welcomed into Microsoft's vast and growing family of OEM partners. Expanding the companies' three-year-old interoperability pact, Sun has agreed to ship Microsoft's dated but important Windows Server 2003 operating system pre-installed on its x64 machines. The companies will also co-operate on go-to-market activities for the machines. Ars Technica has more.
A few months ago, Sun responded to criticism of its claims of being a transformed and open company. As part of their initiative to address this issue, they have opened a Wiki-based FOSS Open Hardware Documentation page working with individuals from the OpenBSD project and others. If you need documentation for Sun hardware, please post your request on the aforementioned page.
"Hoping to improve the state of server software, Sun Microsystems has confirmed that it will include support for transactional memory with the first generation of its Rock processors due out in the second half of next year. Sun's research and development teams have spent years working on a type of transactional memory that combines software and hardware aids. Now, the company looks set to be the first mainstream chip maker to build transactional memory hooks into its chips."
"Jonathan Schwartz is a man on a mission. While at Linuxworld today, I took an hour to visit with Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems. After spending an hour prodding Jonathan with questions about Sun's history and future with open source, I was left with one clear impression: Sun is rising, and open source is the driver behind its rebirth."
Sun Microsystems plans to announce its new UltraSparc T2 microprocessor, along with plans for servers based on the chip. The UltraSparc T2, an eight-core, 64-thread microprocessor will hit the market in the second half of the year.
Sun's latest Niagara and Rock details have reached El Reg, and they confirm that the hardware maker is up to some very ambitious stuff. First off, Sun looks set for the imminent release of its first Niagara II-based servers - the T5120 and T5220 systems. Customers will see 1U and 2U boxes, respectively, each with one of the 'Niagara II' or (more formally) UltraSPARC T2 chips. It looks like the eight-core, 64-thread chip will arrive at 1.5GHz.
Simon Phipps of Sun has responded to the recent criticism of Sun's openness, pointing out that even releasing information that they may already have costs a lot of money. "Jonathan asked me to look into this, to ensure we're pursuing an open path across all of Sun, not simply the software group. We take all input seriously, and we can't solve all problems for all parties, but we're committed to doing our best to faithfully engage with all the communities we serve, in the same spirit as the existing Open Source Ombudsman Scheme. With the support of my team and others in the community I'll try to build a new scheme that is fair and transparent."
Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos said his company's technical and marketing agreement with Microsoft will help increase Linux adoption rates because users will have access to improved technology and won't have to fear lawsuits from Redmond. "What's good for adoption rates is good for Linux," Typaldos said in an interview.
After just over a year as chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz is moving into a new phase as the leader of Sun Microsystems. Much of his opening months was spent emerging from the shadow of the highly visible Scott McNealy, boosted by Schwartz's high-profile blog. Now that the introductory period is over, Schwartz is working to show that the Silicon Valley stalwart can regain its former stature.
"We began our week of JavaOne coverage this morning with some of the information shared during the CommunityOne General Session. Now that the day is winding to an end, we have some additional information to pass along on Sun's first-ever CommunityOne event. Outside of the CommunityOne General Session, other tracks throughout the day were on NetBeans, GlassFish, OpenJDK for mobile & embedded environments, OpenSolaris, Web 2.0, Startup Camp, RedMonk's un-conference, and the discussion of Linux versus Solaris."
Xandros today launched Xandros Server Standard Edition 2, a complete, enterprise-grade SMB Linux server package including Xen virtualization and more than 30 other services. The new Xandros Linux server is compatible with existing Windows domain and networking topologies.
"I'm excited to let you all know that as of now Sun engineering will add its support to the ongoing Mac/Aqua porting effort. The MacOSX porting history is basically as old as OpenOffice.org itself. Practically from the start there was the plan to have a native version for Mac, however as a first step the community decided to produce an X11 port which - since OOo already had several X11 ports from the start - seemed to be a good way to get a version quickly as temporary solution. As usual the 'temporary solution' tended to be quite long lived."
"Amid falling sales of its bread-and-butter servers and mounting pressure on Schwartz to cut more jobs and boost a stock price that's dropped more than 22%, to USD 5.26, since early February, Sun is considering its most radical open-source move yet: releasing Solaris under the love-it-or-hate-it GPL. The move could reinvigorate Sun by putting one of its crown jewels into the thick of the open-source movement - or it could diminish the worth of one of Sun's most valuable pieces of intellectual property."
Xandros today announced that Xandros Server 2.0 is the first product to be certified by the Linux Foundation through use of the LSB Distribution Testkit. Xandros engineers worked closely with their Linux Foundation counterparts in perfecting the new, automated testing procedures that will facilitate broad application developer support to Xandros Server 2.0 and all other standards-based Linux operating systems.
"Today Sun extends its position as the top contributor of code to the free and open source software community by donating its storage software code to the OpenSolaris Project. This will enable community members to combine OpenSolaris with hardware from any source to create new storage solutions at a fraction of the price of traditional proprietary storage vendors."