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Jun 30th, 2008 — Jul 6th, 2008 Generate the Custom HTML Email for this Issue
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Processors on TACC's Ranger Get Upgrade
Result is 580 Teraflop Capacity
The team of Advanced Micro Devices, Sun Microsystems, and TACC is pleased to announce an upgrade to Ranger. All 15,744 AMD 2.0 GHz, quad-core processors (62,976 cores) are being replaced with 2.3 GHz processors to create an upgraded system that will provide the user community access to a resource with a theoretical peak performance of approximately 580 Teraflops.
Japan's Underground Datacenter
Project Blackbox 100 Meters Below the Earth
100 meters under the ground in Japan, Sun along with ten other IT firms are building a datacenter. The datacenter is located at such a low depth to take advantage of the cooler air as a means to bring the 40 percent of energy usage, for cooling, down a few notches.
    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.
    Oracle and Sun Optimize Data Warehousing
    The Best of Both Worlds
    The newest platforms can easily handle large data volumes like video, voice and RFID. Sun’s reliable Solaris OS is the choice platform for running mission-critical computing. Oracle’s leading Database and Applications have made them world leaders. When you put the two companies’ technology together the possibilities are endless.
    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.
    Configuring the Sun Fire X4500 Server For Nearline Storage Service
    NetBackup, ZFS Can Produce 1TB Backup Throughput Rates
    Ryan Arneson claims that backup throughput rates in excess of 1TB per hour are attainable by configuring the Sun Fire X4500 server as a disk-cache media server for Symantec Veritas NetBackup 6.5. His white paper outlines the procedure for this configuration using ZFS on the Solaris 10 08/07 OS.
    Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140/5240 Servers
    Assemble To Order (ATO) Configurations, Options Available
    Sun now offers Assemble-to-Order (ATO) configurations to the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 and T5240 Servers. Customers now have the choice of standard or ATO configurations. ATO configurations allow customers to pick exactly the configurations they want. Typically, ATO systems have longer lead times compared to standard configurations.

    The T5240 can be configured with two 8-core, 8-threads-per-core, 1.4GHz UltraSPARC T2 Plus processors, 32 DIMM slots (up to 128Gb), and 16 2.5" SAS disks (with 220V power input).

    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.

      Migrating Solaris 8 and 9 Systems to Solaris 10 OS Containers
      Most Applications Will Run Without Change
      Using Solaris Containers to migrate Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 systems into Containers on a Solaris 10 system is the subject of Penny Cotten's BigAdmin article. Cotten notes that Containers can enable users to migrate to the Solaris 10 release from the Solaris 8 and Solaris 9 OSes even if a system is running applications that cannot be ported to version 10.
      Assigning System Resources on the Fly in Solaris 10 OS
      Populating Non-global Zones Without a Need to Reboot

      In his BigAdmin article, Gabriel Simona presents an alternative to the need to reboot the Solaris 10 OS when assigning such resources as file systems, raw devices, tape devices, and IP addresses from the global zone to a non-global zone. What he suggests is initially organizing the zone's configuration and then delivering the administrative operations in a prescribed order. With this procedure, one is not constrained by mission-critical operations or by the presence of a system administrator.

      An Approach to Writing Device Drivers for the Solaris OS
      The Complex Made Less So
      Those readers with an interest in writing device drivers for the Solaris OS will find James Liu's BigAdmin feature on the subject interesting and useful. Liu begins with foundational information about the Solaris kernel architecture in general and device drivers in particular before going through the steps involved in developing a minimal skeleton driver.
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