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The final demise of SUN Sparc workstations?

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by siryoda@gmail.com, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN? I knew this day
    was coming. They had not really updated the line in a long time. But
    I will miss these machines. True you can do a great deal on X86
    hardware running Solaris or Linux, but not everything. And they are
    (were) wonderful boxes to learn some things on, instead of having to
    always have access to big iron.

    Maybe Fujitsu is still selling Sparc workstations, so maybe all is not
    lost. :)
    , Jul 25, 2008
    #1
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  2. Paul Gress Guest

    wrote:
    > Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    > any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN? I knew this day
    > was coming. They had not really updated the line in a long time. But
    > I will miss these machines. True you can do a great deal on X86
    > hardware running Solaris or Linux, but not everything. And they are
    > (were) wonderful boxes to learn some things on, instead of having to
    > always have access to big iron.
    >
    > Maybe Fujitsu is still selling Sparc workstations, so maybe all is not
    > lost. :)


    I've noticed that also. The best Sparc processor is IIIi for a
    Workstation and now their at VII for their servers. I guess its a
    Graphics Bus/Card issue. I thought the Rock chip was suppose to be for
    Workstations, with improved floating point performance.

    Any way, it may be a good idea to check out Fujitsu and see their
    product line.

    Paul
    Paul Gress, Jul 26, 2008
    #2
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  3. mihalis68 Guest

    On Jul 25, 6:41 pm, wrote:
    > Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    > any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN?  I knew this day
    > was coming.  They had not really updated the line in a long time.  But
    > I will miss these machines.


    I'll miss them too, I had a great time working on them for about 12
    years or so. Note that you can still get a few remanufactured
    workstations at Sun's fantasy prices - $2900 for a 550 Mhz Sun Blade
    150, for example.

    I don't know exactly when Sun gave up on competing with PCs on price/
    performance with SPARC, but it was a long long time ago and since then
    it's been an exercise in milking the installed base for all its worth.
    I think perhaps Ultra 10 was the last good deal. After that we had the
    weak sb100/150 and the far too expensive SB1000/2000. By the time the
    UltraSPARC-IIIi machines came out my product (sparc/solaris native
    client software for a high-end financial software company) was DEAD.

    I eventually got an SB2500 at work and indeed it was smoking fast and
    wonderful, but much too late. By then you were seeing pallets of sun
    sparc workstations on Ebay going for a few cents on the pound. I was
    thinking that they were the trash being removed from entire trading
    floors consolidating onto PCs.

    Ok so yes Sun eventually made some nice PC-based workstations (I have
    an Ultra40) but there was that unfortunate wobble where they nearly
    killed Solaris x86. At this stage I would have been forced to go to
    Linux if I still had a Unix based product at all. But we'd gone
    entirely Windows and being a Sun/Solaris guy on the workstation side
    of things was a career limiting move.

    Maybe one future workstation size box will sneak out of Sun at some
    point - like a SPARC64 in a box or even an UltraSPARC T1, but the
    glory days of proper Sun workstations are gone forever. Somebody
    oughta write a book or something...

    Chris
    mihalis68, Jul 26, 2008
    #3
  4. Huge Guest

    On 2008-07-26, mihalis68 <> wrote:

    > By then you were seeing pallets of sun
    > sparc workstations on Ebay going for a few cents on the pound. I was
    > thinking that they were the trash being removed from entire trading
    > floors consolidating onto PCs.


    Probably. I know that when we went from Unix workstations to PCs on the trading
    floor I was supporting at the time, support manpower requirements went up 8
    fold. (From 1/2 a person to 4 whole people.)


    --
    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
    and presumptuous desire for a second one."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
    Huge, Jul 26, 2008
    #4
  5. CJT Guest

    mihalis68 wrote:

    > On Jul 25, 6:41 pm, wrote:
    >
    >>Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    >>any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN? I knew this day
    >>was coming. They had not really updated the line in a long time. But
    >>I will miss these machines.

    >
    >
    > I'll miss them too, I had a great time working on them for about 12
    > years or so. Note that you can still get a few remanufactured
    > workstations at Sun's fantasy prices - $2900 for a 550 Mhz Sun Blade
    > 150, for example.
    >
    > I don't know exactly when Sun gave up on competing with PCs on price/
    > performance with SPARC, but it was a long long time ago and since then
    > it's been an exercise in milking the installed base for all its worth.
    > I think perhaps Ultra 10 was the last good deal. After that we had the
    > weak sb100/150 and the far too expensive SB1000/2000. By the time the
    > UltraSPARC-IIIi machines came out my product (sparc/solaris native
    > client software for a high-end financial software company) was DEAD.
    >
    > I eventually got an SB2500 at work and indeed it was smoking fast and
    > wonderful, but much too late. By then you were seeing pallets of sun
    > sparc workstations on Ebay going for a few cents on the pound. I was
    > thinking that they were the trash being removed from entire trading
    > floors consolidating onto PCs.
    >
    > Ok so yes Sun eventually made some nice PC-based workstations (I have
    > an Ultra40) but there was that unfortunate wobble where they nearly
    > killed Solaris x86. At this stage I would have been forced to go to
    > Linux if I still had a Unix based product at all. But we'd gone
    > entirely Windows and being a Sun/Solaris guy on the workstation side
    > of things was a career limiting move.
    >
    > Maybe one future workstation size box will sneak out of Sun at some
    > point - like a SPARC64 in a box or even an UltraSPARC T1, but the
    > glory days of proper Sun workstations are gone forever. Somebody
    > oughta write a book or something...
    >
    > Chris


    The move to Mac hasn't helped.

    --
    The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
    minimize spam. Our true address is of the form .
    CJT, Jul 26, 2008
    #5
  6. * :
    > Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    > any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN?


    Yes, right after reading your post ;-)

    > I knew this day
    > was coming. They had not really updated the line in a long time. But
    > I will miss these machines. True you can do a great deal on X86
    > hardware running Solaris or Linux, but not everything.


    I'm sure SPARC at some not too far away time will end up like other
    traditional RISC architectures like SGI/MIPS or (with end of this year)
    HP PA-RISC.

    I hope Sun comes out with a nice dual XEON workstation now.

    Benjamin
    Benjamin Gawert, Jul 27, 2008
    #6
  7. In article <>,
    Benjamin Gawert <> wrote:
    >I hope Sun comes out with a nice dual XEON workstation now.


    A single socket quad core mobile workstation would be nice too
    and also overdue.

    John
    John D Groenveld, Jul 27, 2008
    #7
  8. Paul Gress Guest

    Paul Gress, Jul 27, 2008
    #8
  9. In article <488ce690$0$5015$>,
    Paul Gress <> wrote:
    >Can be purchased here:
    >
    >http://www.polywell.com/us/notebook/PolyNoteC719ND.asp


    I've not purchased from Polywell, but I bought my Clevo 570RU
    from Sager Midern.

    The new 8GB ram quad core Clevo is here:
    <URL:http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_customed.php?pid=29175&action=customize>

    I've had the 570RU since the fall and love it.
    I upgraded to 4GB ram and Solaris Express and Vista screams.

    Currently booted Vista 32-bit because I can't get OpenVPN to
    work and I need to VPN to a Cisco, but mostly I boot Nevada.
    I also recently needed to boot Vista to use the built-in
    camera and an external USB Java card reader.

    John
    John D Groenveld, Jul 28, 2008
    #9
  10. Paul Gress Guest

    John D Groenveld wrote:
    > In article <488ce690$0$5015$>,
    > Paul Gress <> wrote:
    >> Can be purchased here:
    >>
    >> http://www.polywell.com/us/notebook/PolyNoteC719ND.asp

    >
    > I've not purchased from Polywell, but I bought my Clevo 570RU
    > from Sager Midern.
    >
    > The new 8GB ram quad core Clevo is here:
    > <URL:http://www.sagernotebook.com/product_customed.php?pid=29175&action=customize>
    >


    I currently have that Clevo model (D901C), purchased it from Polywell.
    Have the latest SXCE snv94 installed with 4 gig of ram. It's much
    faster then my W2100Z. The link you sent shows it can now be had with 8
    gig of ram. Now I need to upgrade the BIOS. I'm only using the Dual
    Core at 3.0 gig and the Quatro FX1600M graphics, runs my CAD better then
    my Wortkstation. Extremely happy.

    Also have my Cad running on a Blade 2500. I've been always waiting for
    a newer Workstation that would compete with the PC Workstations, but I
    guess I'll never see that. It's a shame, I still have more software
    running on my Blade 2500, such as Framemaker, Acroreader (soon to be
    released on X86), and various addins for my Cad (Pro/E).

    Paul
    Paul Gress, Jul 28, 2008
    #10
  11. Guest

    On Jul 25, 3:41 pm, wrote:
    > Has anyone else noticed that you can no longer order (at least online)
    > any Sparc workstation (like the Ultra 45) from SUN? I knew this day
    > was coming. They had not really updated the line in a long time. But
    > I will miss these machines. True you can do a great deal on X86
    > hardware running Solaris or Linux, but not everything. And they are
    > (were) wonderful boxes to learn some things on, instead of having to
    > always have access to big iron.
    >
    > Maybe Fujitsu is still selling Sparc workstations, so maybe all is not
    > lost. :)


    Just got off the phone with a Fujitsu rep. No SPARC workstations in
    their lineup, either (at least the current line-up). He said they are
    doing some pretty good things with the next family of SPARC
    processors, but he doubts they will put it in a workstation format.
    He just does not see the market is there for it. Of course, my
    opinion would be that there might be a market for them if 1) the
    prices were not crazy, and 2) the performance kept pace with Intel and
    AMD. But neither of those things is really feasible at this point in
    time.

    They (Fujitsu) offer plenty of Intel and AMD options, though, just
    like Sun. But unless anyone knows of any other vendor, it seems the
    SPARC workstation has officially gone the way of the dodo. The
    Fujitsu guy said their server business is brisk, so maybe SPARC itself
    still has some life . . . and since I have been playing with an M8000
    and some small T2-based boxes, I know there are some pretty nice
    things out there that perhaps only IBM bigger iron otherwise can do.

    P.S. Benjamin, while it does not look like Sun is doing a dual proc
    Intel workstation (they are doing a dual proc AMD workstation, and a
    single proc quad-core Intel workstation), it does look like Fujitsu
    has one. It is the Celsius R550; at it looks like it can take two
    54xx Intel procs. Maybe your company only deals with Sun, but in case
    they do not, I thought I would let you know. We have found the
    support to be similar to Sun's (fairly good)--but maybe that is
    because of the amount we purchase from each.
    , Jul 29, 2008
    #11
  12. * :

    > P.S. Benjamin, while it does not look like Sun is doing a dual proc
    > Intel workstation (they are doing a dual proc AMD workstation, and a
    > single proc quad-core Intel workstation), it does look like Fujitsu
    > has one.


    It's FSC (Fujitsu-Siemens), not Fujitsu. And yes, I know that they offer
    dual processor x86 workstations.

    > It is the Celsius R550; at it looks like it can take two
    > 54xx Intel procs. Maybe your company only deals with Sun, but in case
    > they do not, I thought I would let you know.


    I know FSC and had several workstations and servers from them already.
    The built quality of their Celsius workstation is in no way comparable
    from the offerings of Sun, HP, or IBM (now Lenovo). And the service (at
    least in Germany) is a bad joke at best. On my former workplace when we
    had Sun the Sun service wasn't perfect by any means but far better than
    what FSC offers. For example, just try to replace a simple broken tape
    drive of a FSC server within warranty. While for example HP has a 3 year
    onsite replacement warranty for their drives which means after a call
    you get a new one delivered to your door at next business day (you just
    put the old drive in the package and it gets collected at your
    convenience without any cost for you) FSC has a terrible painful process
    (call FSC support, fax them the invoice, and obtain a shipment number
    from them; with that number you have to log on a website, fill out a
    form or if it is down again you call another number, give them all your
    data that you gave FSC already and request a new drive being shipped to
    you; it only takes two to three weeks for you to get the new drive and
    then you have to ship the old drive back at your own costs). The
    workstation service is equally crap. Parts that can are easily available
    for systems from other manufacturers are either not available at all or
    FSC refuses to sell to you and insists going to an autorized FSC dealer
    which of course will not just order the part for you but requires you to
    have the work done by him.

    Unlike Dell, HP or Sun FSC seems to have difficulties selling their PCs,
    and it looks like Siemens will pull out of FSC which means the whole PC
    part will probably go down the drain. This together with the bad service
    and the fact that almost all other vendors are cheaper than FSC makes me
    recommending to stay away from x86 products of this company.

    Benjamin
    Benjamin Gawert, Jul 30, 2008
    #12
  13. Guest

    On Jul 26, 3:45 pm, CJT <> wrote:

    > The move to Mac hasn't helped.


    But it seemed like Apple has made the move to x86 like the others. Do
    they make PowerPC models anymore? Those were nice, but intel/AMDs
    were cheaper and "just worked" better for the price. I think it's
    just a matter of time until the right implementation of SPARC comes
    together for a feasible sparc workstation. The timing would have to
    be right, though. There's still a chance. I was pretty disappointed
    when Digital went away in 1995.

    DM
    , Aug 6, 2008
    #13
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