News about Oracle's Solaris and Sun Hardware
System News
Jun 30th, 2008 — Jul 6th, 2008 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
System News System News for Sun Users
Volume 125, Issue 1 << Previous Issue | Next Issue >>
Sections in this issue:
click to jump to section

Gartner Vendor Rating for Sun Microsystems: Positive
Considered a Viable Choice for Strategic or Tactical Investments
On June 20th, 2008 Gartner issued a vendor rating for Sun Microsystems: “The overall vendor rating is positive”.

The Gartner definition for “positive” is:

  • Demonstrates strength in specific areas, but execution in one or more areas may still be developing or inconsistent with other areas of performance. -- Customers: Continue planned investments. -- Potential customers: Consider this vendor a viable choice for strategic or tactical investments, while planning for known limitations

"Sun Microsystems has improved in several areas, including revenue. It also has made progress toward sustainable profitability, product innovation and Unix server market leadership. The overall vendor rating is positive" - Gartner

Sun-NetApp Litigation Continues
Demonstrates Difference Between an Open Business Model and Proprietary One
Sun's general counsel Mike Dillon recently blogged about the status of the lawsuit between the two firms. First NetApp sued Sun claiming that ZFS infringed on NetApp's patents. Sun counter sued saying that NetApp infringed in 22 of it's patents. Sun reached out to the community to help find examples of prior art then submitted six reexamination requests on the patents asserted by NetApp. Mike says, "Reexamination is a procedure in which a party submits documents (prior art) relating to a patent to the US Patent Office (PTO) and asks that it reconsider whether that patent should have ever been issued."

So far, the PTO as granted the first 5 requests finding that multiple "substantial new question of patentability (SNQP)" exist for each patent. For one other NetApp patent, "the PTO has issued a first action rejecting all the claims of this patent."

Million-Messages-per Second Barrier Surpassed by Sun-Intel Collaboration
Sun Technolgoy Provides Best Throughput Performance, Lowest Available Latency
Sun and Intel posted the results of a benchmark that shows a Sun server running Reuters Market Data System 6.0.3 (RMDS). The results show a million+ message per second at a record-breaking low latency on a gigabit Ethernet link. The benchmark was conducted using Intel-based Sun Fire X4150 servers with dual Quad-Core Intel Xeon X5460 3.16 GHz processors, running Solaris 10 OS technologies and utilizing a 1Gb Ethernet network infrastructure.
System News For Sun Users Blog Recap
Recent Blog Entries of Interest to Sun Users
System News posts items of interest for Sun users on a regular basis on the System News For Sun Users blog. Some of those items will become detailed articles in this newsletter. Here's a quick recap of posts for the last week:

Free and Open Source S/W
The Allure of Free Software Brings Sun Potential Customers, Drives Revenue
Schwartz Comments at Supernova 2008 Conference
In an internet blog by Dan Farber from CNET, Sun’s open sourcing programs are described as a mile marker for the software industry. When Jonathan Schwartz was pitching the business model, he showed statistical proof that open sourcing of MySQL and other popular programs like Java and ZFS gain hundreds of thousands of potential clients a month.
Blastwave on Solaris 8 Containers
change title, add subtitle
Located in Cobourg, Canada, Blastwave has 40 global public mirrored sights to ensure that from anywhere in the world, downloading is timely. Blastwave used to run Solaris 8, however recently they made the jump up to Solaris OS 10.

"I virtualized critical Solaris 8 production servers and nobody noticed," exclaimed Dennis Clarke, creator and founder of "I literally shut the server down, backed it up, created a Solaris 8 Container, restored the environment, and brought the server back up. The process was simple, transparent, and completely flawless."

Top Things to Know if New to MySQL on Solaris
A Handy 'Pocket Guide' to the Solution
Here's a nice baker's dozen and a couple more user hints for those of you new to MySQL on the Solaris OS, courtesy of George Trujillo's blog. He promises a mere 10 tips but delivers 15.
New GlassFish and MySQL Offering Starting at $65K / Year
Potential Savings of About $1Million / Year
For a company with less than 1,000 employees, Sun is now offering GlassFish and MySQL for an unlimited number of servers across that company's enterprise. No counting sockets or cores, support incidents, servers; No auditing or true-ups. Tiered pricing is available for firms with more employees. A firm with under 1,000 employees could save about $3 million over three years compared to using WebLogic Enterprise Edition and Oracle Enterprise Edition.
Sun's Advanced Datacenter (Santa Clara, CA)
Hot Isle Containment and Pods Provide Efficience and Flexibility
To run Sun’s award-winning data centers, a modular design containing many "pods" was implemented to save power and time. The modular design aids the building of any sized datacenter. Inside of each pod, there are 24 racks. Each of these 24 racks has a common cooling system as does every other modular building block. The number of pods is limited by the size of the datacenters. Large and small datacenters can benefit from using the pod approach.

A virtual tour of the datacenter is available.

Modular Approach Is Key to Datacenter Design for Sun
Savings in Power Consumption, Cooling, Real Estate
If reducing 152 datacenters to 14 and 202,000 square feet of real estate to 76,000 isn't sufficiently impressive, then consider that the design of Sun's datacenter in Santa Clara, Calif. saved US$9 million in future construction costs and delivered an 88% reduction in overall real estate costs. Rafael Ruffolo of IT World Canada reports that Sun will also realize savings of at least US$1.1 million in power costs annually while reducing power load by 60%.
Sun Datacenter Switch 3x24
Ultra Dense Design Complements Sun Blade 6048 Modular System
Sun announces the Sun Datacenter Switch 3x24 (Sun DS 3x24), an ultra-dense single rack unit InfiniBand switching platform designed to complement the Sun Blade 6048 Modular System by providing connectivity directly to the InfiniBand Switched Network Express Module with a Sun 12x-12x cable. Up to 4 Sun DS 3x24 switches can be used together supporting up to 288 blades. The Sun Blade 6048 Modular System has been designed to accommodate up to 2 Sun DS 3x24 switches with top-of-rack mounting brackets X4730A.
Can Flash Memory Become the Foundation for a New Tier in the Storage Hierarchy?
An ACM Article by Adam Leventhal
(Small image shows, on a logarithmic scale, the access time and cost per gigabyte for DRAM, Flash and a 15K disk. See the ACM article for details.)

Adam address the question "Can flash memory become the foundation for a new tier in the storage hierarchy?" by exploring the capabilities of Flash memory, the challenges of existing disks, Log Devices and Read Caches. Adam says, "it's possible to build a flash-based device that can service write operations very quickly by inserting a DRAM write cache and then treating that write cache as nonvolatile by adding a supercapacitor to provide the necessary power to flush outstanding data in the DRAM to flash in the case of power loss."

Flash is suitable to be a second level adaptive replacement cache (ARC)- L2ARC in ZFS terms. A small server with room for 128Gb of DRAMs can easily accommodate 768GB or more using flash SSDs in its internal drive bays. The L2ARC can help take full advantage of the flash SSDs.

Storage Virtualization as a Route to Data Management
Using the Sun StorageTek 9990
Customers facing such key challenges in data management as accelerating growth rates and increased power costs will find some suggestions in Ken Ow-Wing's webcast entitled "Enabling Storage Virtualization: Sun StorageTek 9900V Disk Family." He is product line manager in the Sun StorageTek 9900 program.
Hyper Parallel Access Volume for Sun StorageTek 9985V and 9990V
Makes for Cost, Operational Efficiencies Among Mainframe Users

The Sun StorageTek 9900 team announced the general availability of S/390 Hyper Parallel Access Volumes (HyperPAV) for the Sun StorageTek 9985V and 9990V. The HyperPAV function potentially reduces the number of alias-device addresses needed for parallel I/O operations since HyperPAVs are dynamically bound to a base device for each I/O operation instead of being bound statically like basic PAVs.

Top Ten Articles for last Issue
Volume 124 Issue 1, 2, 3 and 4
We track how frequently each article is viewed on the web site to determine which the readers consider the most important. The top 10 articles for last week, Vol 124 Issue 4, were:

  • Sun CTO on xVM and Virtualization [19924]

  • A Comparison of MySQL and Oracle Features and Functionality [20085]

  • Using Virtualization to Improve Scalability and System Performance [20082]

  • Sun Petascale Architecture at the Heart of New Supercomputer [20180]

  • AnadTech IT Portal's Review of the Sun Fire X4450 Server [20050]

  • OpenSolaris Project: COMSTAR - COmmon Multiprotocol SCSI TARget [20156]

  • Sun Support for Java System Products on System Virtualization Solutions [20092]

  • Sun Fire X4150 with New Intel Xeon E5450 Processor [19997]

  • Blogs Unscramble Reports of Wattage Consumption on Sun Fire X4450 [19887]

  • Sun HPC ClusterTools 8.0 EA2 Now Available; Supports Linux [20187]

The longer version of this article lists the top 10 articles for each of the last four weeks.

    Trending in
    Vol 235, Issue 2
    Trending IT Articles