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Sun Fire V20z with AMD Opteron - deafening silence?

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Roger Williams, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Sun announced/released the Sun Fire V20z with AMD Opteron CPUs the other
    day and what do we see in comp.sys.sun.hardware? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
    Deafening silence in fact (at least on my news feed here in NZ). The
    company really is in trouble isn't it? No-one cares any more about their
    hardware releases.

    Here's a question. If you buy a V20z now, what do you run on it? "64-bit
    Red Hat and SUSE Linux, as well as 32-bit Red Hat Linux" say Sun. How ready
    is the 64-bit RedHat really?

    Next we read, "The Solaris Operating System (x86 Platform Edition) will be
    available in 32-bit (April 2004) and 64-bit (support available soon)".

    So, when's "soon" likely to be? And will that day come with Sun
    Workshop/Forte/One/Name-du-jour compiler support, especially Fortran?
    Roger Williams, Feb 12, 2004
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  2. *Browsing the information on www.sun.com*

    Hmm... Interesting - it does *not* list the PC-standard
    VGA/keyboard/mouse ports that normally are included in the
    glorified standard-PC-servers. And they talk about LOM.

    I wonder... Could it really be so nice that Sun finally has
    created a *real* "PC" server? One that doesn't require a
    Console Switch and really can be remotely managed in a
    sane way without a lot of ugly "hacks". If this is true then
    things look really nice.

    I just hope they put a nice price on this machine also.

    - Peter
    Peter Eriksson, Feb 12, 2004
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  3. Roger Williams, Feb 12, 2004
  4. It's a rebadged Newisys box:


    Sun has said they will release a 4-cpu machine too, here's the specs:

    Bjorn-Ove.Heimsund, Feb 12, 2004
  5. Roger Williams

    Chris Morgan Guest

    In-band and out-of-band console-over-ssh sounds very nice to me.

    Chris Morgan
    "Post posting of policy changes by the boss will result in
    real rule revisions that are irreversible"

    - anonymous correspondent
    Chris Morgan, Feb 12, 2004
  6. Nope. Here - from the specs pdf :

    I/O ports " One USB 1.1 port " One RS-232 serial (DB9) " One PS/2 port for
    keyboard " One PS/2 port for mouse Video ports HD15 VGA video connector
    (rear) Remote System " LOM service processor " In-band and out-of-band
    management " CLI (SSH), IPMI v1.5, SNMP " Dual 10/100 management Ethernet
    ports " Remote power on/off, FRU status, software load

    What freaks me out if the OS. I'mean we just started integrating
    everithing around Sun as the "vendor of choice", using Sparcs for
    back-end and some Linux/Intel's V60x for the front end... We decided to
    go for the "Sun Control Station" - so that we would have one softvare for
    monitoring and managing (through LOM/ALOM) all of the servers. It can even
    push packets to all servers at once. And then this... Control Station
    still has no mention of RH Enterprise, and we would REALY like to have
    some of these opterons around...

    Right now - we're considering running Red Hat 7.3 on them ( :)) ! ), and
    just adding the 64-bit capable kernel, and the libs for those apps that
    would support the 64-bits (our own apps, mostly). Hope this would change...
    I just don't see how... Unless the Control Station and V60x/V65x support
    Red Hat Enterprise... And even then - it would be a costly solution.

    Nikola Krgovic, Feb 12, 2004
  7. Roger Williams

    Rich Teer Guest

    Why didn't/don't you use Solaris x86 on the front end machines?

    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net
    Rich Teer, Feb 13, 2004
  8. Well, in my environment this would be because none of the applications have
    been ported for it and its price/performance is naff compared to Linux
    along with the fact that Suns support for Solaris x86 has been so
    on-again-off-agaion that I'd never use it in a production environment for
    fear of being orphaned.

    Just my £0.02

    Paul S. Brown, Feb 13, 2004
  9. Roger Williams

    Rich Teer Guest

    WHat applications are they?
    Sun charges the same for its x86 servers with Solaris x86 as it
    does for those shipped with Linux. So they have the same price
    Sun have learned their lesson from the last time they orphaned
    Solaris x86. They have no plans for doing so again, as their
    recent announcements confirm (and I am in communication with
    managers at Sun who know the scoop).

    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net
    Rich Teer, Feb 13, 2004
  10. Rich Teer wrote:

    BEA Weblogic Suite, Oracle, Veritas i3 Suite, Checkpoint Firewall-1 - little
    things like that. All supported on Solaris SPARC, not supported on Solaris
    Except for software maintenance charges over and above the purchase price.
    TCO for a maintained Solaris system tends to be a fair bit higher than for
    a maintained Linux system assuming you acquire the Linux from a non-Sun
    source. Linux also gives you the possiblity of breaking hardware tie in
    which is always attractive in business - if the hardware vendor becomes too
    expensive then just move to another one and take the software with you.
    I am in communication with a fair few managers at Sun myself, and their
    message is somewhat mixed. Combination of "SPARC is god", "Solaris x86 -
    didn't we kill that?" "Linux is cool!" and "Don't we still sell SunOS?"

    Their story is mixed at best and as far as I can tell some of the biggest
    ISVs in the normal target area of high density systems aren't playing with
    Solaris x86 where they are with Linux.

    I personally won't trust it until a few years down the line when Sun have
    shown an actual dedication to it as their behaviour in the past has made it
    difficult to trust them going forwards.

    Paul S. Brown, Feb 13, 2004
  11. |Sun announced/released the Sun Fire V20z with AMD Opteron CPUs the other
    |day and what do we see in comp.sys.sun.hardware? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
    |Deafening silence in fact (at least on my news feed here in NZ). The
    |company really is in trouble isn't it? No-one cares any more about their
    |hardware releases.

    There's been discussion on the alt.solaris.x86 newsgroup and the
    mailing list that I've seen. The sun
    hardware group has tended to be more sparc-oriented so I'm not surprised
    there wasn't a lot of immediate reaction here.
    Alan Coopersmith, Feb 13, 2004
  12. Roger Williams

    Rich Teer Guest

    Most or all of which are coming, are already have alternatives available.
    Have you looked into the price of RHES recently?
    Please cite unbiased references. My experience is just the opposite.
    As does Solaris x86. It doesn't just run on Sun HW, ya know.
    Try talking to the people who matter, in the x86 group! And Jonathon
    For the moment, I agree. Although for the life of me, I don't know
    why expensive software life Oracle is available for Linux. Oracle
    and cheap aren't words I'd use in the same sentence!
    Fair enough. What will Sun have to do to convince you otherwise?

    Rich Teer, SCNA, SCSA

    Rite Online Inc.

    Voice: +1 (250) 979-1638
    URL: http://www.rite-online.net
    Rich Teer, Feb 13, 2004
  13. Because the mentioned Sun Control Station has agents for both linux and
    solaris, but demands a dedicated server running linux (???? I tought so
    too). Also, Fire V60x which we will be using have LOM which I really need
    for off-band maintenance - but it isn't supported under solaris - just
    under linux !! (?????) Here (from Control Station requirements) :

    "Lights Out Management support only for Red Hat 7.3, 8.0 and Red Hat
    Enterprise AS/ES 2.1 for systems supporting Intel's IPMI protocols."

    Don't ask me - sun just doesn't support solaris on those machines
    as well as it supports linux.

    Also, opterons were one of the reasons we opted for sun (to be frank -
    one of the arguments I used to lobby for sun :) ), and solaris for them
    is still way down the pipeline. (I know about 32-bit solaris, but that
    isn't the option).

    Sparc's are out of the way because of the demand for processing hardware,
    and because there is no need for extreme reliability on those machines on
    one hand, and large CPU requirements on the other. We will be using them
    only on the database back-end where we need stability and large I/O.

    Nikola Krgovic, Feb 13, 2004
  14. Howewver I have production standards to adhere to and re-engineering for
    something alternative isn't an option. When you have applications already
    developed and time to market is essential then you go with what you know
    and keep doing so until there is a compelling reason not to. As a rule just
    wanting to keep it single vendor across the hardware/software piece is not
    a good enough reason and we'd be using SunOne if it was. The reasons we're
    not using SunOne are something else.
    Yes, however I've also priced SuSE and any number of alternatives including
    LinuxIT third party support for generic distros. My experience is that it's
    cheaper to keep a couple of standby chassis on the floor and pay the TPM
    than to keep a Sun box (any Sun box) under maintenance at an equivalent
    service level.
    Personal experience.

    Linux systems generally require less patching than Solaris - of the order of
    single digits of patches per month rather than the occasional dozens for

    Patches are provided in a *much* more timely manner for most Linux
    distributions than for Solaris (hours rather than weeks/months) which
    equates to less business risk due to security exposures. It took Sun some
    months to patch the vulnerabilities with the shipped BIND. I don't know if
    they have yet provided a patch for the OpenSSH bundled on the disks for
    Solaris 8.

    The paid-for cost of maintenance for a Solaris system tends to be relatively
    high at around 20% of the system list price and increasing annually,
    whereas I can get commercial Linux support for a fair bit less than that.

    No, but it is *very* limited on the hardware it's compatible with which can
    be more of a bear to deal with than it's worth. At the point where I'm
    vendor hopping I don't want to have to buy what's effectively the same box
    rebadged from the next vendor along. I like a bit of choice.
    Ultimately the people who matter are the ones who are selling this stuff. If
    they don't know about it it won't sell and if it doesn't sell then there
    will be a perception of lack of demand and we end up 18 months ago again.
    Sun needs to sort out its internal communications a *lot*.
    Oracle Lite is $100 at their online store and that's an undiscounted price.
    The reason it'll be available for Linux is that it gets it a lot more
    installed sites on the low-end editions of the product and as a result a
    lot more people who know it and will consider it in future where they may
    have considered PostgreSQL or MySQL in the past. It's a mindshare thing.
    Not screw up for a while. Something they seem to be having problems with at
    the moment - think brand new machines which can only run out of date OSen,
    brand new machines with poor enough QC that they launch with faulty
    ethernet and various other things.

    I'll start trusting it when it becomes a mature product with at least the
    ISV support of the SPARC edition.
    Paul S. Brown, Feb 13, 2004
  15. Roger Williams

    Toomas Soome Guest

    I will believe this when I can install SunRay server software (SRSS) on
    solaris x86. :)

    Toomas Soome, Feb 13, 2004
  16. Speaking of Checkpoint (Sun seems to be working with them) - has anyone
    tried their hardware products? What are the differences (advanteges??) to
    Cisco PIX firewalls?

    Nikola Krgovic, Feb 13, 2004
  17. Roger Williams

    Paul Eggert Guest

    That "deafening silence" question about the Sun Fire V20z somehow
    reminded me to ask something that's been bugging me for a while. When
    Cray chose Opteron for its upcoming 10,368-CPU Red Storm computer at
    Sandia <http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/ccn/salishan2003/pdf/camp.pdf>, they
    also chose the SUSE distribution of GNU/Linux (with a 2.6-based kernel).

    Now, one can't help but wonder: why didn't Cray choose Solaris x86?
    Was it a scaling problem? For example, was it because Solaris x86's
    SMP orientation won't easily scale to 30,000 CPUs, and Cray figured
    that GNU/Linux is a better long-term choice for their future designs?
    That would be understandable, but still it'd be good to know. I hope
    that it wasn't something silly like Solaris x86 not scaling to a host
    with 10 TB of RAM.

    PS. Or perhaps the Solaris x86 power-management code couldn't deal
    with a machine that consumes 2 megawatts? :)-)

    PPS. The folks at Sandia are quite proud of that power figure, by the
    way: they say that Red Storm will require "only" 2 MW. :)-)
    Paul Eggert, Feb 13, 2004
  18. You mean, you download it for free and buy no maintenance? Solaris/Intel
    is a damn sight cheaper than Red Hat.

    Casper H.S. Dik, Feb 13, 2004
  19. Yea. Still haven't seen any replies to the question I posed at the start of
    this thread:

    |... "The Solaris Operating System (x86 Platform Edition) will be
    |available in 32-bit (April 2004) and 64-bit (support available soon)".
    |So, when's "soon" likely to be? And will that day come with Sun
    |Workshop/Forte/One/Name-du-jour compiler support, especially Fortran?

    And don't go telling me that's been discussed in alt.solaris.x86 either :)
    Roger Williams, Feb 14, 2004
  20. Roger Williams

    Markus Gyger Guest

    The Software Express for Solaris Subscription program includes
    a Solaris Express features roadmap that might give you a hint
    for the minimum time of "soon" (but probably not exactly the
    info you are looking for). http://sun.com/solaris-express

    Markus Gyger, Feb 14, 2004
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