T1000 shipped!

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 31, 2006

Over the weekend I shipped the T1000 “CoolThreads” server to its new home at OnRamp Access in Austin, Texas.

The guys there should be able to put it online for me today, and then it will run alongside the existing E420R for a couple of weeks while I run benchmarks and migrate everything from the old server.

On another note, this is news/information post #1500 since May 14, 2002.

Sun to provide data processing services to DoD ISA

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 31, 2006

Sun has announced that it has been awarded a 5-year (plus three option years) contract to provide data center processing capacity (using the Solaris operating system) to the Department of Defense Information Systems Agency.

Under this contract, Sun will deploy Sun Utility Computing and Capacity Management solutions to DISA’s 18 data centers to provide application-ready Solaris OS processing capacity. Sun’s service will provide server capacity capable of handling all of the multiple types of Solaris application workloads DISA processes, including logistics, finance, and command and control applications. Sun Cluster business continuity software will be used to provide automatic application failover when required. The service will include Sun’s comprehensive Sun N1 System Manager suite of management, deployment, measurement and monitoring tools to ensure responsive performance and deployment of new workloads. In addition, Sun’s unique Solaris Containers technology introduced in Solaris 10 will enable DISA to virtualize its workload, resulting in vastly improved utilization and reduced management costs.

Sun will install Sun owned hardware in DISA data centers to provide this service to support both classified and unclassified network requirements. Sun will incorporate both SPARC and AMD Opteron architecture-based server systems in the service it provides. The service will accommodate the wide variety of computing environments that exist at DISA, ranging from small Web servers to large enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. With Sun’s service DISA data centers will be better prepared for future needs including Net-Enabled Command Capability and Net-Centric Enterprise Services-based applications as well as other DOD network-centric systems.

Gentoo Linux certified for T1000/T2000

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 27, 2006

Gentoo Linux has been certified by Sun for use on T1000 and T2000 systems.

Sun donated a T2000 server and assisted the Gentoo/SPARC team with the port.

Ask the Experts: Accelerating your SOA application development

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 26, 2006

Learn how to leverage the inutitive yet powerful features of NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 by joining this webinar.
Then post any questions you have on this topic during the week of October 30 in an Ask the Experts session.
Key technical representatives of the Java Studio Enterprise team at Sun Microsystems will be on hand to answer your questions.

Sun releases financials for Q1 FY2007

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 26, 2006

Sun has announced financial results for its first quarter in fiscal year 2007.

Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 were $3.189 billion, an increase of 17 percent as compared with $2.726 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2006. Year over year revenue increase resulted from both acquisitions and increasing acceptance of the Solaris 10 Operating System, as well as growth in the services business. Computer Systems Products revenues increased 15 percent year over year, the third consecutive quarter of year over year revenue increase.

Net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 on a GAAP basis was $56 million or a net loss of ($0.02) per share, as compared with a net loss of $123 million, or net loss of ($0.04) per share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

GAAP net loss for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 included: $21 million of restructuring and related impairment of asset charges and a $7 million benefit for related tax effects, $58 million of stock-based compensation charges and $79 million of intangible asset amortization relating to recent acquisitions. The net impact of these four items was approximately ($0.04) per share.

Cash generated from operations for the first quarter was $157 million, and cash and marketable debt securities balance at the end of the quarter was $4.671 billion.

Solaris 10 to run new root nameserver

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 25, 2006

Sun and ISC have announced that ISC has chosen Solaris 10 on a Sun Fire x64 server as the platform for a new root nameserver to replace the current F.ROOT-SERVERS.NET machine.

New Google Custom Search Added

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 24, 2006

I’ve replaced the old SunHELP search functionality with a new Google Custom Search Engine that only indexes this site and the mailing list archives.

You can use it here or by clicking the “Search” link to the left.

Sun named #1 for commuting employees

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 23, 2006

Sun announced that the company has been designated as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). For the third year in a row, Sun is among the top 10 FORTUNE 500 companies that lead the country by providing outstanding commuter benefits to a significant portion of its U.S. workforce to help decrease air pollution, traffic congestion, and dependence on fossil fuels. Sun tops the rankings as the number one company in the Computer and Office Equipment industry.

“Sun’s flexible work program for its mobile and distributed workforce, called iWork, consists of leading-edge technologies and forward-thinking work practices that create an innovative, productive work environment where the network is the computer and employees can work anywhere, anytime using any device. The program offers flexible work choices that include the option to work from home or a local drop-in center which allows employees to spend less time and money on commuting. Sun employees also use SMART (Sun Microsystems Alternative Resources for Transportation) programs and services which give up-to-date commuter information, incentives for taking transit, biking and walking to work as well as shuttle rides to better utilize public transportation options near Sun campuses.”

AOL Needs System Administrators!

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 23, 2006

AOL in Reston, Virginia has numerous opportunities for system administrators of varying levels of experience.

For position descriptions and additional information (or to submit a resume) please contact Jeff Brockman or call 703-265-1000, Ext. 33195.

Sun to release “Datacenter In A Box”

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 17, 2006

Robert Cringely predicted that Google would do this almost a year ago:

“The probable answer lies in one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We’re talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig.”

Sun is turning this concept into an actual product, “Project Blackbox”:

“Designed to address the needs of customers who are running out of space, power and cooling, Project Blackbox gives customers a glimpse into the fast, cost-effective datacenter deployments coming in the near future–where thinking out of the box means putting an IT infrastructure in a box.

Project Blackbox packages compute, storage, and network infrastructure capabilities into scalable, modular units outfitted with state-of-the-art cooling, monitoring, and power distribution systems. Customers will be able to order a variety of standard and custom configurations of systems, storage, networking, and software. Housed in a standard 20-foot shipping container for maximum flexibility, Project Blackbox will be easily transported using common shipping methods. Simple hookups for water, AC power, and networking will enable customers to quickly deploy Project Blackbox upon delivery.

The Project Blackbox prototype is a computing powerhouse capable of hosting a configuration that would place it among the top 200 fastest supercomputers globally. The current prototype could support the following capacities:

* A single Project Blackbox could accommodate 250 Sun Fire T1000 servers with the CoolThreads technology with 2000 cores and 8000 simultaneous threads.
* A single Project Blackbox could accommodate 250 x64-based servers with 1000 cores.
* A single Project Blackbox could provide as much as 1.5 petabytes of disk storage or 2 petabytes of energy-efficient tape storage.
* A single Project Blackbox could provide 7 terabytes of memory.
* A single Project Blackbox could handle up to 10,000 simultaneous desktop users.
* A single Project Blackbox currently has sufficient power and cooling to support 200 kilowatts of rackmounted equipment.”

Detailed photographs are available here.

Sun enhances virtualization offerings

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 17, 2006

Sun today announced numerous enhancements to its virtualization offerings.

As a complement to Sun’s existing virtualization products and services, Sun is announcing six new offerings today:

LDoms: virtualization technology for Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers with CoolThreads technology that lets customers run multiple OSes simultaneously with Solaris Containers; it helps customers to reduce server footprint, while increasing server utilization and datacenter efficiency.

Solaris on Xen: In 2007, Sun will deliver fully supported Xen functionality in an update to the Solaris 10 OS. This means that customers will be able to run concurrent Solaris 10, Linux and Microsoft Windows OSes as “guests” on a Solaris 10 OS-based Virtual Machine. In addition to the system flexibility this offers, the fact that Sun’s Xen hypervisor is based on the Solaris 10 OS means that customers can benefit from unique Solaris 10 features such as Predictive Self-Healing, DTrace, Solaris ZFS and Solaris Trusted Extensions, even if they aren’t running their applications on the Solaris 10 OS, the most advanced OS on the planet.

Sun Fire x64 Servers: “Galaxy” Sun Fire X4000 server line powered by Next-Generation AMD Opteron processors and the Solaris 10 OS.

Solution Customer Workshops: a two-day collaborative session designed to assess a customer’s current business requirements, match them to technology, and determine actionable next steps. This complimentary workshop (estimated $10,000 USD value) delivers a high-level total-cost-of-ownership analysis that estimates the potential long-term savings for the customer.

Life Cycle Services for Virtualization: consulting, education, and support services to help architect, implement and manage a customer’s virtualization solution investment.

Extended VMware Support: support for VMware ESX 3.0.1 on the Sun Fire X4600 server and Sun Blade modular systems.

More information can be found at http://www.sun.com/virtualization/.

Sun Fire T1000 Update

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 7, 2006

Just an update – the Sun Fire T1000 server (so graciously donated by Sun) has finally gotten an OS installed (Solaris 10 6/06) and firmware updated, and will be shipping to the colocation provider in Austin next week. Once it arrives and gets racked and connected, comparison benchmarks will start.

This would have happened a couple of months ago, if not for “real life” (my day job and obligations thereof) getting in the way.

I’m looking forward to starting the benchmark and comparison process, and welcome any suggestions for workloads or processes you’d like to see tested on the system.

On a side note, the latest revision (6.2.4) of the T1000 firmware adds SSH capability to the network-connected Advanced Lights-Out Manager, while the version that originally came on the system only supported telnet.

Ask the Experts: Swing

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 3, 2006

Got a question about building graphical interfaces using Swing?

Post your questions on the Ask the Experts page during the week of October 16 through October 20 and get answers online from key technical representatives of the Swing, Java 2D, and AWT teams at Sun Microsystems.

Sun creates the OpenSPARC Advisory Board

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 3, 2006

Sun today announced the creation of an independent OpenSPARC Community Advisory Board, chartered with setting the direction for OpenSPARC, a community that fosters the creation of tools and derivative chip designs based on Sun’s UltraSPARC T1 processor.

The OpenSPARC CAB will be comprised of five charter members, two from Sun and three outside the company. Nathan Brookwood, analyst with Insight64; Assistant Professor Jose Renau, UC Santa Cruz; and Robert Ober, Fellow – CTO office, LSI Logic are joined by David Weaver, senior staff engineer, and Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer, from Sun.

The board’s charter is posted on http://www.opensparc.net.

Solaris PowerPC Code Released

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 3, 2006

Sun Labs has opensourced the Solaris PowerPC code base. From the announcement by John Crowell:

Sun Labs is pleased to announce the release to the OpenSolaris community of a long awaited update to the Solaris PowerPC code base. This release provides the community with a functional Solaris PowerPC development environment on selected target platforms. This is a modest, but important step toward reaching the goal of developing the Solaris PowerPC port project to the point where it includes the latest source tree, provides a shell or single user prompt on the target platform, and has enhanced debugging, ie: KMDB. Community members are encouraged to check out the latest information on the Solaris PowerPC port project page and/or join the discussion list.

You can find files and information for the project here.

The OpenSolaris PowerPC port will initially target the Genesi Open Desktop Workstation as well as Power Macintosh G4 and Mac mini systems from Apple Computer.