Debian Linux dropping SPARC support (for now)

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jul 27, 2015

According to this Debian Devel-Announce mailing list post, support for the SPARC architecture is being dropped from the Debian linux distribution. Debian SPARC has for years been a 64-bit kernel with a 32-bit userland, and there are notes that it may return as fully 64-bit (both kernel and userland) in the future.

Oracle releases updated SPARC processor documentation

Posted by Bill Bradford on Apr 28, 2015

Oracle has released updated documentation covering up to current versions of the SPARC processor.

More Sparc M7 CPU information

Posted by jkemp on Oct 14, 2014

The latest iteration of the tech, the Sparc M7, is due to launch sometime next year – although exact dates remain vague – and to hear Ellison tell it, it’s “the most important thing we’ve done in silicon, maybe ever.”

Ellison pins Oracle’s hopes on cloud… and Sparc

Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle’s most important silicon EVER

Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7

Oracle halting development of Sun Ray technologies

Posted by jkemp on Jul 15, 2013

Oracle will soon be announcing that it’s discontinuing development of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray software and hardware, and Oracle Virtual Desktop Client product lines.

Solaris 10 update 11 available now

Posted by jkemp on Feb 13, 2013

Solaris 10 update 11 is available now.

Get it here:

Solaris 11 GA released

Posted by jkemp on Nov 9, 2011

Solaris 11 GA released

Today marks the release of Oracle Solaris 11, the first cloud OS.

Oracle Solaris 11 delivers ground-breaking features for secure and agile deployment of services in large scale cloud environments and enterprise data centers. With over 4,000 different new features, Oracle Solaris 11 raises the bar on enterprise operating systems. Oracle Solaris 11 is 7 years in the making and a whole new set of capabilities, from advanced network virtualization to high performance cryptography and virtualization, dependency aware software packing and installation technologies.


Release Notes:


Oracle announces new UltraSPARC T3 Systems

Posted by Bill Bradford on Sep 20, 2010

Oracle has announced new Sun SPARC Enterprise-T systems at Oracle Openworld in San Francisco.

Highlights of the new systems:

  • SPARC T3-1B: single-socket 16-core CPU @ 1.65Ghz, blade, up to 128G RAM
  • SPARC T3-1: Single-socket 16-core CPU @ 1.65Ghz, 2RU form factor, up to 128G RAM, eight or sixteen 300G 2.5″ SAS drives
  • SPARC T3-2: Dual-socket 16-core CPUs @ 1.65Ghz, 3RU form factor, up to 256G RAM, up to six 300G 2.5″ SAS drives
  • SPARC T3-4: Quad-socket 16-core CPUs @ 1.65Ghz, 5RU form factor, up to 512G RAM, up to eight 300G 2.5″ SAS drives

Anyone else having problems with Solaris 10 and WD SATA drives?

Posted by Bill Bradford on Mar 18, 2010

I’m at my wit’s end, here, so I’m posting in hopes that someone else might have had this problem.

I finally got all of the hardware for the new SunHELP server in place at the remote colo (in Austin),
and shipped them the disk (WD RE3 1TB “Raid Edition” SATA). It arrived and was installed in the system today.
The T1000 has the latest firmware for the OBP and ALOM installed as of last Friday.

The disk was fine when I tested it here before shipping, and didn’t have any problems during the (jumpstart) install. However, after install (with zfs root pool on the single disk) and reboot, I get a ton of these:

WARNING: /pci@7c0/pci@0/pci@8/scsi@2/sd@0,0 (sd1):
        Error for Command: write(10)               Error Level: Retryable
        Requested Block: 369161036                 Error Block: 369161036
        Vendor: ATA                                Serial Number:      WD-WMAT
        Sense Key: Unit Attention
        ASC: 0x29 (power on, reset, or bus reset occurred), ASCQ: 0x0, FRU: 0x0

Never anything more than a “Retryable” error level. “zpool scrub” says I have no errors. The disk is using
the same SATA and power cables that were plugged into the “factory” 80G SATA disk, which worked fine before
it was removed to put in the 1T drive.

If anyone else has seen issues like this with WD SATA drives and SPARC systems, please let me know.

Update: I’d like to publicly thank Hichael Morton for buying and overnighting a Hitachi 1TB SATA disk so that the server upgrade can go as planned while I figure out what the problem with the Western Digital disk is.

Tadpole/RDI Documentation Archive Created

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jan 27, 2010

I’ve started collecting documentation for Tadpole and RDI portable systems and putting it up at

If you have any documentation for Tadpole or RDI systems in an online format, please get in touch with me so that I can add it to the archive.

Oracle / Sun Strategy Webcast, EU approves takeover purchase

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jan 21, 2010

Oracle will be holding a webcast detailing its plans for Sun on Wednesday, January 27 starting at 9am PT.

“Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, along with executives from Oracle and Sun, will outline the strategy for the combined companies, product roadmaps, and how customers will benefit from having all components – hardware, operating system, database, middleware, and applications – engineered to work together.”

In related news, the European Commission has unconditionally approved Oracle’s purchase of Sun.

SPARC Enterprise 3000 gets a speed-bump

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jan 12, 2010

As described in this press release, the SPARC Enterprise 3000 is now available with the 2.76Ghz SPARC64-VII quad-core processor.

Sun and Fujitsu announce new quad-core SPARC64 VIII CPUs

Posted by Bill Bradford on Oct 13, 2009

Sun and Fujitsu have announced new SPARC64 VII processors for SPARC Enterprise servers.

Running at 2.88GHz for the SPARC Enterprise M9000 and M8000 servers and 2.53GHz for SPARC Enterprise M5000 and M4000 servers, the new processors provide increased single-thread and overall system performance, while the enhanced memory controller in the SPARC Enterprise M8000 and M9000 servers improves throughput under memory-intensive workloads.

More information can be found here.

Oracle: “We’re In It To Win It”

Posted by Bill Bradford on Sep 10, 2009

A recent Oracle ad posted in the European edition of the Wall Street Journal, also available on the Oracle website:

NYT: Sun cancels “Rock” CPU

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jun 16, 2009

According to this article in the New York Times, Sun may have stopped development of the “Rock” CPU ahead of its acquisition by Oracle. However, some of the comments indicate otherwise.

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Released

Posted by Bill Bradford on Jun 1, 2009

Sun has released the latest version of the OpenSolaris operating system, version 2009.06. You can get it here.

This release incorporates the networking stack improvements brought by Sun’s Project Crossbow and finally adds SPARC system/processor support.