back to article Oracle to detail delayed Sun roadmap

Oracle's stalled $5.6bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems looks like its finally received approval from European antitrust regulators. On Wednesday, the database giant said that next week, its chief executive Larry Ellison will outline a strategy for the combined companies and their roadmaps during a webcast. The event could …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SPARC64 is dead

    Oracle will not pay Fujitsu what they need to create a SPARC64 VIII.

    The M9000 is the first to go since those sales have essentially dried up and people are only buying M5000's if they dont have the time to migrate the app.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      SPARC64 The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated

      If you want an M-series server today you will have to wait a little longer than normal as demand is outstripping factory output.

      Larry's comments have greatly boosted confidence and growth.

  2. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    Oracle-Sun-Fujitsu - Ivan Hallworth

    Ivan Hallworth - Oracle & Sun-Fujitsu:

    The potential of, and actual job cuts at Sun, and any major IT company for that matter, are always most unfortunate - there is always such a terrific impact and fall out, and not always for the good, for so many very good, nice, capable people and their families.

    These economic downturn years have been difficult for many.

    This is a fast moving and fast changing industry that is accelerating in transformation.

    Good news however for both Oracle and Sun in that the deal appears to be finally closing and to be going through final EU approvals after months of frustrating uncertainty for all.

    Oracle-Sun continue to have some of the most interesting and innovative IT industry solution sets. This deal strengthens both and positions them very well against strong competition.

    This deal hopefully brings a bit of further and much needed customer clarity, and perhaps the hope of some degree of stability, after all the uncertainty following Oracle's acquisition and the regulatory hold-ups.

    Smart move on the part of Larry Ellison. It must be acknowledged that he is a savvy, capable and thoughtful leader at the top of his game, and one of the lasting IT leaders, no matter what you may think because of the sometimes unfair things said of him concerning his personal style. True enough, most of Oracle's acquisitions are software, and there is no real reason that this deal will not be a resounding success for both Oracle and Sun. Roll the Roadmap.

    It means that Oracle-Sun joins IBM, Fujitsu ( and also in terms of infrastructure, Cisco,) in being at the top-table in being able to offer first-rate, complete end-to-end and true Enterprise class server, storage, communications, hardware and software infrastructure and application solutions - with HP struggling perhaps to truly innovate at the very high-end in this area, but equally, having a very good Intel blade and server range, and a much improving mid-tier storage line up, communications and professional services.

    On a lighter note, its going to be very interesting to see next month's February 2010 and the 33rd America's Cup Challenge in Valencia, Spain, between Swiss defending team Alinghi against Golden Gate Yacht Club team BMW Oracle Racing who are the challengers on this one-on-one Deed of Gift match.

    Team BMW Oracle are racing a yacht that has to be seen to be believed; a 90-foot Rigid Wing Sail Trimaran, the BMW Oracle 90 (BOR90), now named USA.

    The defenders are racing Alinghi 5, another interesting 90-footer, a Catamaran, with the addition of a somewhat controversial power hydraulics engine(!)

    All in all it looks set to be a most interesting Match!



    1. Jesper Frimann
      Thumb Down


      In a time where the once great company SUN have been mishandled and tens of thousands of SUN employees, are loosing their jobs.

      I must admit I find it offensive and bad taste that you promote an Oracle sponsored sport teams, like Americas Cup that is estimated to cost as much as 60 million Dollars to participate in.

      If Oracle had chosen to give up that sponsorship, hundreds of SUN employees could have kept their jobs.

      I know that it's lonely at the top, and hence you sometimes loose a bit of perspective, and I know that wearing a tie might limit the blood circulation to the upper most part of the body. But your attempt to take focus away from the terrible layoffs by promoting a upper class sailing event is IMHO distasteful.

      I can only hope for our fellow IT people that there are other companies like HP, Fujitsu and IBM that need your excellent skills.

      // Jesper

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Sir...

    Can I keep my job?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    M9000 factory working at full speed??

    IDC Server Tracker WW Q309 - M9000 (Fujitsu & Sun)

    2008Q2 2008Q3 2008Q4 2009Q1 2009Q2 2009Q3

    183 129 221 159 165 90

    IDC Server Tracker WW Q309 - Power 595 (IBM):

    2008Q2 2008Q3 2008Q4 2009Q1 2009Q2 2009Q3

    149 211 545 246 380 328

  5. Freakyfeet

    @ Ivan Hallworth

    Huh ?

    Why did you write a comment that was basically regurgutating everything that's been written already ? (Yet still managing to make no sense)

    That was the most bizarre piece of "look, I'm the new Chris Mellor" advertising I've ever read.


    1. Ivan Hallworth
      Thumb Up

      To Freakyfeet

      Freakyfeet - whoever you are(!) what do you have to say that is new and constructive, helpful even?

      Or are you, perhaps, just another wrecker faultfinder?

      Either way your view is fine.

      As you are already aware, and so there is absolutely no doubt, Chris Mellor does cover storage superbly and this should be advertised, his analysis and coverage in my view, is getting better and better.

  6. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    for Jesper

    "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot

    help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot further

    the Brotherhood of Man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help

    the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by

    spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage

    by taking away a man's initiative. You cannot help men permanently by

    doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

    - Abraham Lincoln

    Ivan Hallworth -


    Sun is still a great company and so is Oracle.

    To teach and to be working in IT like you do and be an owner is a most noble profession.

    Please remember, no one is forced to work at either of these two companies, nor other IT


    Sun and Oracle pay staff very well with generous benefits. Other companies do too. Yes, they are all very highly performance driven in this competitive environment and in economic tough times. They don't get so much credit for all the opportunity, work and employment that they have created long term in the past and still do and the good that they have done and continue to do. Its not so easy for companies to survive long term, let alone prosper.

    I admire Scott McNealy in one great respect that during the fall out post Y2K he did his darndest to resist mass layoffs, and to an extent succeeded, and it must have been tough to do this against the board who were possibly encouraging this at the time. He was a tough but clean and fair competitor when I sold against him at Fujitsu on worldwide finance accounts. Sun had seen very little direct sales competition in its prized accounts until then. Within enterprise SPARC it had a monopoly. He had been leading Sun successfully for some considerable time even then.

    Sun and Fujtisu's problem has never been technology, both are terrific innovators and leaders in this respect.

    The Sun and Fujitsu problem to my mind is simply sales, sales ambition and sales courage, sales creation and sales execution. Without professional and effective sales, growth can't be sustained, and in time because the overheads of running these complex businesses is so high it leads to pressures to cut costs.

    Oracle should be able to fix all this. Painful no doubt and doubtless necessary.

    Sales, plus too much middle-tier and less than enlightened middle management sometimes.

    There are first rate people in both organisations, they need to be found and topgraded and encouraged.

    In terms of the overall Sun and Fujitsu lineup both are still excellent and of course Sun worked closely with Fujitsu on high end SPARC servers. In many regards Fujitsu made it possible for Sun. Both companies quietly and confidently have a long and successful history of mutual cooperation and great benefit.

    Hopefully this will continue with Oracle.

    Sun's whole solution lineup and the 'Share' campaign leitmotif is truly inspired.

    Just like NetApp's AND is the new OR campaign, something many of us quietly discouvered earlier.

    The industry and customers need really for this to succeed, otherwise it becomes an enterprise world were the only first-rate competitors become a duopoly; IBM Power 7 + and Intel.

    Innovation and progress perhaps then would be stifled.

    It will be difficult because of the current respective market shares and growth rates and again we are back to fundamental sales and better buying considerations.

    We must all make and do very much better IT deals, locally and internationally.

    It can be done though. Even in these chastened times. Where there is the quiet ambition and will to get on with it and get it done.

    Existing and any future layoffs at Sun and at Oracle are most unfortunate. This was the starting point for the earlier piece.

    You have to believe profoundly in unlimited and sustainable abundance.

    One man's prosperity does not create another's poverty.

    All poverty is self-perpetuated over the long term.

    You can take as much as you like without depriving anybody else, and should do so without guilt. Even awsome, monumental wealth like Bill Gates' and Larry Ellison's has not deprived even one person of even one spoonful of soup, and has made many others rich and provided gainful employment to thousands who lack the courage or initiative to employ themselves.

    Looks at the Gates' Foundation like a modern Carnegie Trust. Greatest Gospel of Good Fortune in Africa! Cambridge University in England where its made it possible for over 900 of tomorrow's best leaders from overseas to get first rate learning and opportunity.

    This will continue for likely centuries more. A modern day Carnegie Gospel of Wealth.

    With this in mind, give charitably as you choose, and help as much as you can and choose, but not out of guilt, and not seeking quid pro quo.

    Many of the Sun displaced will go on to prosper if they wish, working for other firms, or starting their own new businesses, they are on the whole a smart bunch! Opportunity abounds and we are despite appearances in a new golden age.

    As for the America's Cup, Jesper, you are right in this particular context it is in not such great taste perhaps for me to mention it. It exists though and is fact.

    Please kindly be assured that I did not mean it in the way you may perhaps may have assumed having left Sun 23rd January 2008 myself, I am perhaps well aware of the implications and have given this careful and I hope thoughtful consideration.

    Sixty million if that is the figure is a lot and would keep 1000 or more jobs for a year its true.

    Maybe not all of this is from Oracle, its a joint team.

    All progress depends to a certain extent on unreasonable people and approach.

    Like landing on the moon, or creating computers, software and other helpful tools, most scientific and engineering really is indefensible if you think about it, though equally it often brings increasing and bounteous good benefits to all in its wake. That, at least, is what we all hope.

    The America's Cup and the learning from it is a force for good.

    Certainly this year sees a lot of innovation and an interesting match.

    It too brings gainful employment for many.

    Who know what benefits research and use of fixed wing sails may bringa about, or not!

    Leaders and people in IT need perhaps to concentrate on the good, help the less fortunate, and

    build each other up instead of all the wreckless attack and trying to pull down to justify one's

    own position.

    We need enlightened self interest and not bad self interest.

    Everyone is claiming to be entitled and at the same time a victim.

    Expectations unrealistic. Whatever happened to a modest enough is enough and to care and share?

    There is much wrong that needs to be fixed. Just look at whats happening right now, questions raised in the UK House of Commons by the consituency MPs where IBMs head office is over IBM employee pension rights whilst at the same time corporate profits and shareholder rewards are skyrocketing. This trouble from the very company that invented paid holidays, care and benefits for people and employees. Look at he current mess over this same issue at Fujitsu and HP. Does nothing for the common good and their reputations and is a failure of enlightened leadership. We call on them to fix this properly and fairly!

    Yes Sun too. Probably this is going on across the industry. There is a way, a more balanced way through better inspired and enlightened leadership and lets hope this happens and quick.

    Oracle Sun resolution is easy in my view, I know exactly what I'd do if I were involved in running it, but I'm not.

    More balance needs to be restored and leaders need to see things more closely through employee's and customer's eyes.

    Employees do need to be put first and to be treated fairly by leaders. Without this, how on earth can you properly and long term help customers and shareholders gain increasing sustainable prosperity and be in the best competitive position?

    I am ever optimistic and hopeful in spite of it all!

    Engineers in IT and customers deserve so very much better from our leadership and there is

    such talent and capability all around this wonderful industry. We need to make and do very

    much better mutually beneficial deals.

    IT future, perhaps a bit surprisingly is about people and better people relationships and mutual


    Looking forward and intrigue to hear Apple's and Oracle's news on the 27th.

    Apparently both leaders are firm friends.

    Ever Onward!

    With Faith and Ever Hopeful!

    Warmly Yours,

    Ivan Hallworth

    PS: to whoever asked about there job. Its not up to me. Please Relax. Hope for the Best, plan for the worst and take what comes. Either way please just do something!

    Be Well

    and Warmest Best Wishes to you and to you Jesper. You are Winners.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    SUN's HW and ROI

    Now, most intersting questions are:

    1. Where Sun's HW goes?

    2. How Oracle will implement ROI?

    I hope to see some roadmaps on January 27th.

  8. Jesper Frimann
    Dead Vulture

    RE:Ivan Hallworth

    I am sorry I don't see what I associate with SUN, their SPARC servers running Solaris, making a comeback any time soon, if ever.

    SUN has cut so deep in R&D that development of SPARC processors is more or less reduced to the Niagara line which is a niche product.

    Rainbow Falls is going to be manufactured by TSMC. A company that has never made a serious server chip before.

    And it is basically a 16 core chip each with 8 threads, that all have to be active at the same time to get max throughput. This means that a 4 socket box have to utilize 512 threads. It simply does not make sense. And it will be no match for Intel/AMD x86 products and IBM POWER servers.

    So I predict that in 3 years Snoracle hardware will be almost pure x86.

    And Larry might think that it's a good idea to give away Coolthread servers for free if they use Oracle.. Sure.. it's like giving away Ford F-350 pickup trucks when you are selling gasoline to the same people at 100$ a gallon. Ok, oracle licenses are way way more expensive.

    Customers aren't that stupid, here in Denmark Computerworld is currently writing articles daily on customers that are having Oracle sales people come to their door trying to squeeze more license money out of them.

    One place where I used to work, got a bill of 4MUSD, cause they merged with another company, I know the systems, I helped design the solution. I know the Oracle license rules so there is nothing to come for. And they will be moving to DB2 on SAP, I talked with some of my old colleges. Simply cause they have had enough of Oracle's arrogance.

    Then we just have to hope that IBM doesn't pull the same stunt on them, but I don't think so as they will be buying everything from SAP.

    And it is with sad eyes that I see Oracle destroying SUN, if the SUN IBM deal had gone though Solaris would have lived on for quite some time before merging with AIX to become THE UNIX OS, that would have been grand. I grew up on HPUX and Solaris at the university.

    I also have friends who work at SUN, and they are scared. And it is sad, it is.

    // jesper

  9. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    Re: AC Oracle HW & ROI

    Agree, spot on:

    1. 27th is the new reality and roadmap Oracle HW and where it goes

    2. Oracle need to concentrate on much better customer ROI value and not just on hardware,

    customer comments appear to suggest that Oracle are pushing licensing pricing far to far to the extent that its damaging some customer Oracle good relations. This is having a clear reputational impact on Oracle. There are always alternatives options available to customers.

  10. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    Re: Jesper

    1. There is plenty of Sun-Fujitsu kit out there working perfectly fine, so no comeback is needed, but I think that I know what you mean. A renaissance comeback, as it stands you're right, unlikely, but my point is that it is possible, even from the current position, and that it may be a good thing for healthy competition and to help ameliorate things tending toward a duopoly.

    2. We may know on the 27th, Oracle have committed to Oracle-Sun R&D, but agree will not be even, we can only go on what they decide. In my view they have to also persuade Fujitsu and that will not be easy, due to overall sales, Fujitsu are is a cost saving mode, disks gone, fab outsource, and SPARC seems a bit de-emphasised over Intel. You have a point and TSMC are quite a big experienced chip capability. Fujitsu wouldn't use them unless they met their needs. Don't know enough about Fujitsu's plans in this area, again the 27th we'll perhaps find out.

    Understand your point about Niagara and Rainbow Falls.

    3. Yes the competitive alternatives and both valid are clearly Intel which is growing and POWER7. IBM appear to be the big winner for uncertain Sun customers.

    4. Yes good value for money ROI on the Oracle licensing and the real and perceived value is a big issue for Oracle right now, they've perhaps squeezed and pushed too far if many customers are complaining. For some customers, its not so much of an issue and its impossible or harder to migrate.

    5. Even on Intel Oracle have a cliff against HP, IBM even if the Sun x86 business has been fast growing.

    6. Oracle need to temper any real or apparent arrogance, it never benefits anyone to be like this.

    Thats the problem you can change and still have the problem!

    Better for customers to also exercise their negotiation power.

    7. Brighten up, Denmark is sunny and happy, lets face it Sun 'destroyed' themselves, Oracle and Larry an acceptable white knight that saw the clear opportunity.

    That was the problem with IBM, AIX, and Solaris may not have won out longterm.

    Plus we don't know that had IBM done it they could've because of antitrust.

    They got a good gawk at the IP portfolio though : )

    Back to duopoly IBM POWER7 vs SPARC and SPARC may not have won out longterm.

    Plus duopoly IBM vs Intel.

    There may well be new chips that come along, just look at ARMs success.

    Samsung have designs on enterprise apparently.

    8. Perhaps most importantly, its always sad to hear of scared people in IT, but they do have options and good choices. Each individual and circumstance is different.

    Whatever happens I feel sure that either those that stay at Oracle or those that leave will go on to thrive and prosper, if they choose to.

    PS: the BMW Oracle Racing USA main sail on some of the pictures appears to carry the Sun logo so there is some hope Oracle will continue with the Sun branding further.

    Good Fortune Jesper,

    Ivan Hallworth

  11. Jesper Frimann


    1. Yes, that is perhaps the most important thing talking for SUN. A large install base, and a pretty fanatic one also. As you can see on this board, they are perhaps the most fanatic Unix crowd, and can sometimes be beyond normal reasoning. Have a few college that are like that.

    2) Well what options did Fujitsu and SUN have ? They could have their chips made by Intel or IBM. What has to be seen is can TSMC manufacture a chip that is equal to Tukwila, Nehalem and POWER7 in Raw compute power, reliability and operating temperature ? There is a big difference in making Grahpic Chips for NVidia to go in Gamer PC cards, and to making highend 'must not fail' server chips... a big difference.

    Yes many are saying that, we just need fujitsu's venus 8 core chip, then we are equal with the rest But try to have a look at this picture of a watercooled Venus board with 4 chips and 32 cores.

    and compare it to a 4 chip and 32 core POWER7 MCM chip.

    and a POWER7 power 575 node with 32 chips and 256 cores. (also water cooled)

    It's a whole different league.

    3) Both HP and IBM from what I understand.

    4) No matter what anybody say. YOU do NOT gain any Business Value or higher ROI as a customer by having to pay for 24 licenses rather than 8. (Niagara T5440 versus Power 550). You simply don't. What you do gain Business value on is using a Enterprise version of Oracle rather than a standard edition. But giving your money to the software supplier and buying inferior hardware is just bad for business. Sorry.

    5) Sun makes great x86 gear, or so I am told :)= I am a Unix guy. But their volume is tiny compared to the other big players.

    6) Again, it has been to easy for them, kind of reminds me of the Mainframe sales people of the 80ies. But times have changed, the bean counters are reaching higher up in the trees to pick fruits. And software licenses is one of the ones where you really really can save money.

    7) I think that a marriage of AIX and Solaris would have resulted in them both getting married to the penguin in the end. Now that would have been sweeeet. A linux with all the AIX and Solaris gutties. Yum Yum. And man that would have been bad for Microsoft Windows.

    8) The most important thing here is perhaps that we will have 3 not 2 big 'we can deliver it all' vendors. And competition is good, real good. So no arguing there. I am just not sure that it was such a good deal for SUN to be swallowed by Oracle. Fujitsu or IBM would have been better, for the customers but perhaps more expensive due to less competition.

    // Jesper

  12. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    Thanks Jesper

    1. It works and they know a good thing when they see it.

    Sold FJ PRIMEPOWER into its first global account bank. 10,000+ Sun servers. Zero production error on FJ kit. 4% failrate Sun. SPARC64 ECC thoughout. Solaris is proven and UNIX crowd fanatic on it. Oracle are worthy owners of this "Crown Jewel'. Majority of those Sun servers now supported by FJ. My view is Sun/FJ don't know enough about selling, hence the troubles at both firms. Oracle are not perfect, but they may succeed better at this. Ironically I used and old FJ sales strategy that I think they've forgotton to do this.

    2. Failure to profitably sell leads to loss. Production-Sales=Scrap! Hence divestment disk business and Sun's midair collapse to Oracle to survive. I worked with STK it got bought by Sun, so I know a bit how it feels from Sun's perspective even though no longer there.

    Most interesting pictures, thank you, yes looks quite different, will ask FJ about this.

    Neither solution IBM/FJ is probably any where near optimal, both

    look v. expensive vs. scale out on Intel or similar and WSI.

    3. Correct.

    4. You're Right Jesper. Suppliers do some silly things sometimes. We should ask Oracle about this and will. tools for customers to make better supplier deals.

    5. Yes, volume tiny but at times very fast growing disrupted a bit by all the uncertainty. Is tough to make sustainable money in this space. Appears to be well designed gear, but market share is insufficient vs. HP and IBM.

    6. Fj PRIMEPOWER was mainframe class, the Sun kit wasn't and this with the M series helped Sun. In terms of arrogance this happens when a supplier or one or more of its people convince themselves that they've permanently got it made and that they have power over customers.

    Its bad thinking and practice and sooner or later they loose out, corporately and individually, its a form of bullying and thats bad.

    Pension fund contributions as well and employee pay and benefits its too easy too do.

    Boomerang effect here in the UK, very surprising and damaging to IBMs reputation, HP, Fujitsu the same thing is happening. I made the point elsewhere it seems very widespread across the industry right now. Understandable but the wrong thing to do. Back to looking after employees first, customers and shareholders and the balance thereof.

    7. Am unsure that IBM would get the deal through regulators on antitrust and competition grounds. It would've given them total enterprise server dominance and that for reasons above is maybe not in customers best interests or that of IBM.

    Like VMware such a fusion AIX,Linux,Solaris may have been good. Maybe windows would've been hosted on this to protect the world.

    8. Yes fair competition is real good. I don't think FJ could ever have afforded to, nor would Sun's ego have allowed it. I liked the IBM idea up until it got stuck and Oracle moved in.

    The surprising thing to me was there did not seem to be great enthusiasm about this fantastic prize. Perhaps the best thing is happening with Oracle. Wednesday should give us all a clearer view perhaps. Fujitsu definitely needed it and agree it would've been in many ways a better fit.

    I think if it were possible IBM should've had the will to drive it through. Am concerned for HP that they innovate enough moving forward.

    My guess is that there may well be some new technologies that arrive perhaps that will help.

    Solid state is a real interesting area right now and this may evolve to incorporate active memory and active storage arrays is what I see happening and this may have an effect.

    It does appear a bit crazy and a bit difficult to have to go to such water cooled strategies.

    As always its success in the market selling and meeting genuine customer needs and wants that seems to be the key to success and longterm prosperity.

    Good Weekend Jesper

    // Ivan

  13. asdf

    01/27 settles nothing

    Its will be an Intel/ARM world three years from now with perhaps a bit of Power sprinkled in (video game contracts only reason IBM will still be making chips). Damn shame as Intel has never been the best design but just had better marketing. I will miss all the different architectures MIPS, Alpha, SPARC, etc (but not Initium good riddance on that kit).

  14. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    27th January 2010 gets this a step closer

    Intel and ARM are both doing well. Power 7 and Power is also doing well and that is set to continue.

    There is a huge SPARC installed base and of course it continues to sell,

    Beginning April 1, Masami Yamamoto is the newly elected President of Fujitsu and according to Timothy's report in The Register yesterday, he is quoted as saying he wants "to make Fujitsu a truly global IT firm," according to Reuters.

    He is not going to be able to achieve this without a proven and credible enterprise class architecture, a different , but equal in positioning, to IBM's Power7 processor.

    Fujitsu now needs to get a grip of the operation and financial's of its whole business, especially its sales and sales model is key to driving consistent and profitable growth.

    Yes, if it chooses, and executes on a smart plan, Fujtisu being a most worthy competitor can achieve this and it needs to do this quick.

    Key decisions on the high end SPARC64 processors need to be made and perhaps next Wednesday's clarification by Sun, perhaps with Fujitsu may help clarify this.

    For Fujtisu to succeed is a very good thing and most important for our industry and especially customers as, without them, as it stands it becomes something of a market share duopoly in the enterprise compute space between x86 and the IBM Power 7 architectures.

    That SPARC spans two major vendors OracleSun and Fujitsu has always been a very good thing and something of a unique advantage for high end enterprise customers.

    Fujtisu and Sun have a very long standing and successful collaborative agreement. Let's hope that this partnership continues between Oracle and Fujitsu.

    Looking forward to clarification by Oracle and hopefully with Fujitsu on the 27th January .

    - Ivan Hallworth


  15. Jesper Frimann

    RE:Ivan Hallworth

    1) Well FJ have made better servers than SUN, for quite some years IMHO. But they are still very small in the Server Marked compared to HP and IBM. And with SUN loosing SPARC revenue in the range of 25-40% in each of the last 3 quaters according to IDC, th

    en it's not like things are looking bright. But there is another area where FJ is suffering, and that is in the Virtualization area. They are heavily relying on SUN here, who has been cutting R&D like hell.

    And it is here it starts to get nasty. Cause if you are able to overprovission a POWER7 power 595 server with a factor of 3, a server which is already 4 times faster per core in the POWER6 version (For example on SAP R/3 SD 2-Tier M9000 versus POWER 595, then you are really up the sh*t creek. Sure you can to a certain extend use Solaris container, but they do not provide the same isolation as a seperate virtual machine.

    2) You cannot have both cheap server, high performance and high RAS, good profits at the same time, as a Server vendor. And right now the front of the pack with regards to general business servers, are powered by Nehalem and POWER6. With Nehalem having the

    best per socket throughput (as it is a quad core) and POWER6 the best per core throughput. THis will most likely swing to POWER7's advantage when it becomes available. With 8 core chip version of Nehalem close behind.

    I must admit I fail to see SPARC Venus being a game changer. POWER6 is already a factor of 4 faster per core/factor of 2 faster per chip. And FJ servers haven't got the best reputation for scaling on benchmarks with lots of cross board communication.

    For example have alook at the

    M9000 128 Threads 128 Core 64 socket@2.4GHz result: 1230446

    That is:

    4005 per thread per GHz of the CPU

    4005 per core per GHz of the CPU

    8011 per socket per GHz of the CPU

    M9000 512 Threads 256 Core 64 socket@2.52GHz result: 1456653

    1129 per thread per GHz of the CPU

    2258 per core per GHz of the CPU

    9032 per socket per GHz of the CPU

    So doubling the number of cores and the number of threads only gave a medicore 13% more on a Board Machine Destructive workload.

    I know this is a Technical benchmark, but it is one of the better to illustrate what happens when you run some very board unfriendly heavy memory access workload on a FJ MX000.

    6. Nahh.. Not Mainframe. I don't agree on that.

    // Jesper

  16. Ivan Hallworth
    Thumb Up

    Many Thanks Jesper - Good Points

    6. OK, PRIMEPOWER not a Mainframe but certainly there's a clear mainframe design thinking input; cooling, metal, layout, three-phase power, cabling and more of this thinking than SunFire and in practice PRIMEPOWER had good availability. Not mainframe partitioning its true and oher aspects. On my watch PRIMEPOWER performed well in one account zero production errors against around 4% fail rate across 10,000 Sun servers, perhaps SPARC64 was helped by ECC on many paths.

    1. Agree also IMHO. Sun's and Fujitsu's problem was a sales one and that ultimately was about effectively getting the message across. At times they were very well placed against competition, IBM, HP and failed to be able to take advantage of this in the market, especially well positioned once Sun had got over Fujitsu's system capability with PRIMEPOWER and the resulting M class systems. Can't comment on M vs. PRIMEPOWER as I don't know the newer machines.

    Certainly IBMs Z system appears to be most interesting.

    Oracle and Sun uncertainty has not helped in recent months. What's your view on today's clarification? Does this help? You are right about Fujitsu's virtualisation strategy. Again, like many of these things, if there is good growth more resources can be deployed to try and improve. Again is tied in to opportunity and market share.

    Separate VM arguably better than Solaris container. Thanks for your performance detail that appears to show the power of POWER6 and POWER7 is very much better.

    2. Sure, its a balance. Says who though? I guess IBM and HP with Intel would argue otherwise as they are both market leaders in their respective sections of the market. Overall if they make money on servers, I do not know. Server leadership a key for server vendor survival.

    Agree it looks like a two horse race. Oracle and Fujitsu will have to gear shift to compete.

    For it to be a three horse race, with perhaps another entrant would help keep the market competitive. It may well be that a new approach gains traction. Markets do tend to a duopoly in many cases with Other often being a large segment, often the largest.

    It may already be too late. Agree Venus as is, doesn't look enough to be a game changer. You clearly showed this in your earlier post. Water cooled looks like a retrograde step. We know the problems with distributed arrays. Plus as you pointed out to change fabrication process fraught with risks, costs and difficulties.

    Wonder what today's clarification by Oracle has said about this? What Fujitsu's answer would be to this Venus question. How the roadmap and catch-up is now rendered?

    SPARC would have to be stronger for it to matter and to make it to the Intel IBM table to compete. Will need radical strategy and action for this to work. Time is clicking on.

    Whats your view on Itanium and its future? Eclisped by Nehalem and successors?

    What about the google server farm approach versus big centralised servers?

    The big boxes appear to fall over in terms of the costs of supporting that type of architecture and maybe moved to water cooled is another indicator. Perhaps Intel architectures are headed that way too?

    Its going to be interesting to see what happens as feature sizes shrink, if there is a move to more chip stacking or wsi arrangements.

    Its also interesting if it becomes a two horse race IBM and Intel the costs of just staying in the game for both is increasingly astronomical. The margin for error perhaps reducing.

    Having read Scott McNealy's 26th January 2010 memo, I can't help wondering and thinking if Sun would have survived and prospered independently had he stayed at the CEO helm. He'd had a long tenure.

    Will be fascinating to see if Oracle are able to harness the Sun opportunity. IBM and HP continue to attack the Sun base.

    Will need a tightly executed Oracle strategy to secure the base and grow Sun's infrastructure business.

    Many Thanks Jesper.

    // Ivan

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