[rescue] Re: Happy happy happy! Joy joy joy!

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezics at q7.com
Mon Jun 2 09:50:31 CDT 2003

On Sun, 1 Jun 2003, Patrick Giagnocavo wrote:

> What OS does it/will it run?  A Cray variant of Solaris 2.5.1 ?

Solaris 2.5 with Cray mods, actually.  Sun rolled most of their changes
into Solaris 2.6, as I understand it; I'm working on tracking down a copy
of the Cray packages, which are loaded as a supplement...?  There are some
white papers (I have hardcopy, not sure if they're available on the web...
yet) that describe the changes the Cray guys made.  Lots of kernel
improvements to deal with large memory (up to 16GB), more CPUs (up to 64),
and various scalability tweaks (data structures, lock contention, etc).

Plus they added window scaling and SACK support into the TCP/IP stack, did
their own processor partitioning stuff, introduced the SSP and Cray
Virtual Console [0] (borrowing? the JTAG support from the SC2000,
actually), created the first "system domains" in a Unix box (fairly
primitive in early releases - only 1 board per domain, and only 2 domains
besides the "main" system; the E10K later expanded on the domains features
quite a bit, adding IDN, etc) and must have been the prime movers behind
the DR and AP stuff - nothing Sun had built to that point supported hot
swapping of system boards...

So, lots of the niftiest features of the E10K and the big SunFires had
roots in the CS6400, and that definitely qualifies it on my list of 
"interesting machines with historical significance" and highly worthy of 
collecting and preserving.  

-- Chris

[0] A friend of mine recently pointed out all the "cool new management
features" of the Newisys Opteron-based machine, and he's partially right -
they are cool features - but they sho ain't new.  A "service processor"
that uses a JTAG interface and runs a separate Unix instance (embedded
Linux, in the Newisys box) to do system monitoring, diagnostics and
bootstrapping?  Gee, sounds like the PC world discovered the SSP, 10 years
later. :-)

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