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Oracle's Sparc T5 Chip Evidently Pushed Back to 2013

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the when-visions-collide dept.

Oracle 98

Mark Hachman writes in Slash Datacenter that the Sparc T5 chip Oracle announced earlier this year apparently won't be ready until sometime in 2013. John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems, Oracle, presented at Oracle Open World a chart outlining highlights of Oracle's plans for the future. "But Fowler also skipped over some bad news: an apparent delay for the Sparc T5. A year ago, Oracle’s Sun division announced the Sparc T4—and according to Fowler, Oracle chief Larry Ellison set a very high bar for the next iteration: double the performance while maintaining app compatibility on an annual basis. Apparently, that didn’t quite happen with the T5; Oracle had the opportunity to announce a T5-based server, and didn’t. That’s a bit of bad news for the Sun design team, which already had to watch Intel’s Xeon chief, Diane Bryant, give the preceding keynote. ... As detailed at this year’s Hot Chips conference, the T5 combines 16 CPU cores running at 3.6 GHz on a 28-nm manufacturing process. Continuing the trend of hardware acceleration of specific functions, Sun executives claimed the chip would lead in on-chip encryption acceleration, with support for asymmetric (public key) encryption, symmetric encryption, hashing up to SHA-512, plus a hardware random number generator."

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98 comments

Oracle? SPARC? (3, Interesting)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553403)

Someone is still buying that shit?

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553497)

People are still buying / using Microsoft's products too.

Companies continue to force non-free software onto unsuspecting victims too.

hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (5, Interesting)

Fubari (196373) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553571)

Companies continue to force non-free software onto unsuspecting victims too.

Actually the fine article is about hardware; processors to be specific.
If I was heavily invested in Solaris I would be interested in the Sparc T5. Here are some excerpts from this Register article: [theregister.co.uk]

The Sparc T5 chip is more than just a shrunken Sparc T4 processor, which Oracle revealed at last year's Hot Chips conference and then started shipping in systems as 2011 wound down. The Sparc T4s had eight of the new S3 generation of Sparc cores, and the 3GHz clock speed and tweaks to the instruction pipeline were designed to make it much better at single-threaded work than its Sparc T chip predecessors. The Sparc T4 is manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp using its 40 nanometer processes, and the sixteen-core Sparc T5 chip uses the popular 28 nanometer processes from TSMC that a number of processor and graphics card makers are employing in their latest devices.

Getting back to sixteen cores on the Sparc T5 die, each with eight threads for running heavily threaded work, is a good use of the process shrink. Oracle could have gone a simpler route and double-stuffed the sockets with slightly modified Sparc T4 designs, akin to what IBM is doing with its Power7+ processors in some server configurations, to get to that sixteen core level. But, for whatever reason, Oracle wants to have all of the cores on the same die and running on the same crossbar interconnect.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (4, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554563)

But since I haven't look at the non X86 chips in awhile my question is...what advantage do they give over the AMD and Intel X86 cores? i mean I could understand using MIPS, SPARC, POWER back in the day because X86 was slower at certain tasks but now the amount of IPC on the Intel side is just nuts and AMD is going with an insane numbers of cores for cheap...so what's the selling point?

I mean I can understand those that already have significant resources tied up in SPARC as it'd be cheaper to stay with what they have than to switch, but what do they use as selling points to get new customers?

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (5, Informative)

armanox (826486) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554753)

Sounds like SPARC has really gone nuts on the threading and core count. 16 cores with 8 threads each (per proc) makes for 128 threads per proc, which far outshines Intel and AMD.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (4, Informative)

dj245 (732906) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554873)

But since I haven't look at the non X86 chips in awhile my question is...what advantage do they give over the AMD and Intel X86 cores? i mean I could understand using MIPS, SPARC, POWER back in the day because X86 was slower at certain tasks but now the amount of IPC on the Intel side is just nuts and AMD is going with an insane numbers of cores for cheap...so what's the selling point?

I mean I can understand those that already have significant resources tied up in SPARC as it'd be cheaper to stay with what they have than to switch, but what do they use as selling points to get new customers?

For certain workloads it really shines. A couple of years ago, web servers was given as a prime example. Tons and tons of threads, none of them that powerful, but good for workloads where you have lots and lots of small-tasks running in parallel.

If you don't have that kind of workload, obviously it isn't attractive. But if you have the right kind of workload, you should be interested.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (5, Informative)

sebt3 (923707) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555105)

Oracle SGBDR and options licences price is the key to understand why SPARC still matter.

For the same processing power, T4 cpu need less core than any x86 concurrent.
A client using spatial, partitionning and olap will need to rack up 66k$ per core (list price). Note that the licence requiered for a single core is more expensive than the server.

If you add that you only need to pay the licences you use on solaris thanks to the containers, and you can easyly imagine that a T4 solution usually is 2 times cheaper than a x86 solution.

Do I need to add the greater MTBF of these T4 machines or that it is the oracle developpement plateform of choice (thuss receive patches the first, windows is a 3rd cityzen in that context) ?

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41555411)

Things like the ability to park threads in the OS that are idle. To shift loads from core to core to allow cores to be shifted into hyper single-threaded mode.
The ability to encrypt/decrypt dual 10Gbit communications at wire speed (ie no delays at all).
The ability to do all SSL encryption/decryption with zero delays or CPU overhead.
The ability to handle hundreds of java threads efficiently, each with their own dedicated VCPU.

The list goes on and on. Most of these you cannot get (yet) with an Intel or AMD solution - not at this scale, not with the horsepower to run through at a steady pace, without slowing down.

Power, Flexibility, Stability - key working points to the SPARC lineup over the years - coupled with Solaris and you still have a rock solid datacenter foundation.

I don't see this in the Intel / Windows / Linux lineup.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556425)

At this point, I'd say that all chips are a wash. I mean, once multiprocessing became mainstream among processors, there was nothing that a processor family couldn't achieve just by dumping cores @ the problem. In the case of SPARC, they happen to be better, as others have pointed out, in terms of multithreading applications, which is good for large databases and similar apps. Really good for Oracle.

I however don't exactly get Oracle's product strategy. Supporting Windows server on x86 makes sense, no questions there. But why bother having their own Linux distro - a copy of RHEL - on x86? That one doesn't. If anything, they could have proliferated the SPARC at various price points, from workstations to servers, and offered on them a choice of Solaris, FBSD, RHEL and quite a few others.

I'm just wondering - CAD engineers, who used to buy SPARCstations, HP 9000 workstations, and similar RISC based unixstations - have they all gone to Wintel? What do they use nowadays? How come there are no unixstations any more, by the look of it?

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

BigZee (769371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556827)

I'm sure there are some marketing and political factors. However, one of the reasons why Oracle have spun up their own Linux distro is to they can have a custom kernel. There are several patches in it that are not in the Redhat supplied kernel including some to better support databases running within virtual machines.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557165)

But they have a Solaris kernel already, which they can fine-tune to whatever. With Linux, they are forced to give it away. With a BSD, they may not have had to, but there remains the old school SVR4 vs BSD4.4 issues, and I don't see Oracle thinking that the latter is for any reason preferrable to the former.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

BigZee (769371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41559517)

You're right, they do have Solaris. However, Oracle developed their own Linux before the Sun acquisition. They clearly don't feel it makes sense at this time to focus just on Solaris. In all honesty, I don't think they mind having their kernel patches shared. In fact, I expect what they really want is for those patches to be part of the official Redhat kernel. Maybe once that's been achieved they would drop their own linux distro.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557013)

For cadence probably Linux or Solaris 10 (On x86)

Still surprises me that Cadence has most of its scripting done in csh (This is a 350k a seat list suite)

VMS++ is Goog Enough For Them (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558277)

Unix was only needed on the desktop when Windows was utter crap (ie. Win 3.1 and Win95/98). With the NT line up to 7 Windows is good enough and it comes with the cheapest possible HW. The Unix vendors never tried to attack WNT by selling competitvely priced Unix desktops. HP, SUN, IBM and SGI were never interested in selling a 999$ Unix machine.

So they traded short term profits vor long term existence, essentially.

W/o Linux Support, Oracle would be dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558331)

The most advanced data centers are fully Linux based. Support Linux or die, if you are not MS.

Re:W/o Linux Support, Oracle would be dead (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41565857)

Why, what about BSD, Solaris & others? Seems to me that Oracle could easily target this market w/ its SPARC servers. In fact, Oracle could even load Oracle Linux on its SPARC servers and sell them into this space.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

Urban Garlic (447282) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557727)

This kind of "wide" multithreading of individual cores is excellent for applications which are themselves fairly lightweight but which make intensive use of devices that can have (realtively) high latency. Network file service and RAID control are both applications like this -- any given thread is likely to spend a significant fraction of its time in "device wait", waiting for a hard-drive to seek to the right sector, so its overall "duty cycle" (i.e. the fraction of its lifetime for which it needs to actually use the core's ALU) is low. But you can still increase overall throughput by handling lots of requests in parallel.

So, you want lots of threads, each with a low duty cycle, which is what this hardware does.

It's not a coincidence -- Sun invented both NFS and the SPARC chips, after all.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554633)

The point was that there aren't many choices and we all got to make them as best we can. Obviously Oracle / Microsoft / Apple are a few of many to avoid. ThinkPenguin is one I support. A rarity in this age. But few real choices exist. For any particular product / component there are few companies behind them. Of the dozen or so smaller companies selling computers I can name one that gets it and is working on fixing the larger problems. Doing so when nobody else in the chain does though is hard. Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, AMD, and maybe even those like Cannonical & System76 (small company selling "Linux") are working against it's customers interests.

Re:hardware, not software Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557523)

Having them on the same interconnect makes non-parallelisable "hard" tasks a lot easier. Such things as running PostgreSQL, DB2, Ingress or the like (;-))

It also significantly localizes the traffic, so less has to go out onto the bus in a multi-board machine.

All in all, good stuff for running Oracle software.

--dave (ex-Sun guy) c-b

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553597)

Before Fowler became an Oracle employee, he was in charge of the hardware division at Sun. And before that, he was in charage of x64 systems. I was working there at the time, and the word from on high was that putting the x64 guy in charge was a signal about our future direction.

Which of course, didn't happen. Sun's sales channels continued to view x64 systems as a way of migrating people to SPARC vis Solaris-on-x64. Which all our customers, who were already heavily invested in Windows and Linux, had no interest in. My big hope for the Oracle takeover was that Oracle's sales org (aside from being bigger than all of Sun) would be smarter than that and push x64 systems.

But Oracle has dratically reduced the models of x64 systems they sell. Officially, that's about a leaner product line and ending the special relationship with AMD. But I'm beginning to expect that the SPARC koolaid is as popular in Oracle as it was in Sun.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553695)

Sad that they aren't going the opposite direction. As a software vendor, our company is working (granted, in glacial terms) towards phasing out support on SPARC platforms.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553895)

Glacial indeed, if they haven't already done it. Like the other 99% of the industry.

One has to be really dense not to see this trend. ALPHA is gone. MIPS is only used in embedded devices. Itanium and POWER are strictly legacy products. And yet people still believe that SPARC can survive in the server space.

I'd be sad too if I still worked at Sun. But not only does the failure of this product line no longer affect me, even abandoning SPARC completely would not save it. Computers are Dead [slashdot.org].

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554189)

I'm not sure about that, but one big issue with power, itanium and sparc is: NONE OF THEM HAVE LOW END SYSTEMS TO SPUR NEW DEMAND.

I mean fuck, seriously? If each of those archs had a current-generation workstation, nothing fancy, a couple cores, probably with basically no cache and such compared to the high end models (maybe even just reject bin parts from the high end systems), a decent selection of PCIe and maybe a few PCI slots, and run inside a standard 120V 15A circuit, I'd look into buying one for up to a couple grand, just on the priciple of things.

But just like when sun put out the blade 100's: Too slow, not enough expansion, inferior to x86 that costs a quarter as much.

I mean seriously, it's not like they COULDN'T come out with a part to drive demand, it's that thanks to their hubris they think the only market that matters is the ultra high end, without considering where the expertise necessary to drive that demand comes from.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554513)

I'd like to hear about how POWER is a strictly legacy product, especially since POWER 7+ was released today and future generations of the processor are in the design and production pipeline.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555673)

And the new PureFlex systems are actually pretty decent hardware if you are in a market for a scalable "blade" system that is not really a blade.

The power management abilities of the hardware are pretty decent, allowing computing power to spin up and down depending on demand.

Yeah, a lot like a standard PC or laptop right? but on a larger 100+ socket scale. Power and cooling are significantly less than stand alone systems or blade chassis.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (4, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554903)

Five years ago your comment would have made a lot of sense to me, but now you're talking about how everyone's gone X86 during the first massive movement away from X86 the industry's seen... smartphones and tablets are all computers that run on ARM processors, they're cleaning X86's clock in the only rapidly expanding market. And ARM's next core design is aimed at servers.

For the first time, Windows compatibility is mattering less and less as many users only use the web and web apps on their computers - opening the door to competing processors for the first time since the late 80's. At the same time, PC's continue to represent a smaller and smaller share of new CPU's, which are migrating to data centers, smartphones, and pads, which are even less dependent on X86 compatibility.

For the first time, the computational penalty of X86 instruction set translation for RISC cores may not outweigh the compatibility benefit for a significant portion of users. Increasingly, customers don't care about compatibility with existing X86 codebases. Like ARM, anyone with a new processor with compelling performance per watt might actually be able to sell the thing, without everyone assuming it's worthless if it won't run Windows.

Also, I wouldn't quite characterize POWER as a strictly legacy product, since IBM introduced the latest iteration, the power 7+, in August 2012, and is currently selling 15 different systems using Power7 processors. Not to mention the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, and not-even-out-yet Wii U that are all POWER based systems.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555149)

Yeah, my obsession with the x64 versus everything else war is becomming less and less relevant. Mobile devices are indeed about ARM (though Intel would like to change that). And I agree with you that web applications are chiping away at Windows dominance.

But ARM servers? People have been trying to sell those as long as ARM has been around. ARM advocates are insisting that the latest improvements will give them the edge they need, but the factors that keep the data centers full of x64 systems have not changed.

You honestly think that nobody cares about x64 compatibility any more? When cloud providers like Amazon and Salesforce start buying non-x64 systems, I'll believe that. And even if it were true, we'd still have the lower cost of commodity architectures.

So, IBM sells a bunch of different Power 7 systems. Tell me, what OSs do they run? AIX and IBM i. Any system that runs these exists for legacy support. AIX is IBM's Unix for mainframes, while IBM i is the latest iteration in a series of proprietary OSs that began with the one written for IBM's first minicomputer, the System/3. We're talking a system that was released in 1969. When they start selling POWER systems that run Linux, then we can talk.

I'm not even going to consider the CPUs used in gaming consoles. I guess it makes sense that x64 wouldn't dominate in systems that need to be hyperoptimized. But those of us who are willing to wait a year or two for the latest GTA to be ported to the PC just don't care.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555623)

AIX runs on Power7. There also is RHEL for Power7:

http://www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux/for-ibm-power/ [redhat.com]

However, AIX does not run on Mainframe hardware, although you can run Linux on the Mainframe.

So you can run Linux on anything IBM sells, but that is the only OS since OS2 to do it.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555675)

I guess you can probably run Linux on anything designed in the last 20 years. But how many people buy Power 7 systems to run Linux? Very few, I suspect.

Dumb of me to classify AIX as a mainframe OS. But it's still a legacy OS.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557459)

> POWER is legacy
> AIX is legacy
> AIX is mainframe
> POWER systems don't run Linux

You are an utter nincompoop.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41562903)

I like the part where he keeps getting fact after fact wrong, he realizes so, and yet he still thinks his point is true even though the facts he uses to construct it are false. I am fascinated by the cognitive dissonance of people who are so emotionally vested on the tech field.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41563653)

I work for IBM, in the Midrange space, (and if it is not Mainframe or AS/400, it is Midrange, unless it is a embedded system/appliance) so I see tons of it coming through the pipeline, especially when the customer wants an enterprise sized install, like a Data Warehouse.

Fast as x86 CPU's are, if you need I/O speed, it is still RISC systems, including SUN and HP.

AIX is still IBM's premier UNIX based OS for the enterprise. RHEL is Linux solution. from Enterprise to desktop.

Having SA'd using HP, *BSD, AIX, SCO, UNIXWARE, Linux and Solaris since 1992, AIX by far is the most automated and best toolset. What you can't do is customize and tune it like the other UNIX based systems.

HP is somewhere in the middle. I hear TRU64 is too, but never got to use it.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41564781)

AIX is still IBM's premier UNIX based OS for the enterprise.

I'm sure it's a great OS. But is anybody buying it? There's certainly no place for it in the cloud-oriented data center.

Anybody who's worked in the computer industry for any length of time knows that "great technology" is not the same as "stuff people want to buy". Computer history is littered with the corpses of products that were technologically wonderful but which couldn't find a market.

AIX was launched in 1986. This was a very fortuitous time; on the one hand, it was a modern Unix-style (being Unix!) OS at a time when people were beginning to realize how sucky existing OSs were; on the other hand it had those magic three letters at a time when no other computer company could even get in the front door at most companies. (When I first got into computing 90% of all computers were made by IBM. That was only just beginning to change in 1986.) It's most unsuprising that AIX still has a lot of momentum. But does it have anything like the mindshare of Linux or Windows? It does not. And all those cool features aren't going to change that. I say again, it's a legacy OS. Sorry.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41566269)

IBM sells about 5 billion dollars of AIX-running hardware per year.

Next question.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41566321)

Again with the ignorance.

We sell more AOD to customers than other cloud offerings. Application on Demand gives you Power+ running AIX or Linux on IBM's cloud infrastructure, accessed remotely.

The new PureFlex architecture allows you to mix AIX and Linux on Power+ using the same cloud provisioning toolset across both platforms.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41566491)

So IBM platforms are big on the IBM cloud? Why am I supposed to be impressed by that? The measure of a platform's importance to cloud computing is its role in all vendors.

And that "ignorant" is rude and uncalled for.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41566651)

It is not uncalled for. Just about everything you have said is wrong. You obviously don't even bother to inform yourself of any of these (easy to check) facts before you just let the diarrhea flow out of your mouth.

You're ignorant, no doubt about that. But it is not just any kind of ignorance, you're willfully ignorant.

Take this as a learning experience. Do not open your trap if you don't know what you're talking about. You are not "adding" anything to the conversation by throwing in your two cents because you might have some vague idea about it, or you're emotionally invested in it.

IBM OSs (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556631)

What exactly did OS/2 run on other than PCs? POWERstations? Not that I recall. AS/400s? Nope! What else could it run on?

For the POWER line-up, there is Linux, and then, there is BSD - I believe that all the big 3 are supported there. So IBM has a choice of at least 4 OSs to put on POWER, aside from AIX. It's a shame that OS/2-PPC never happened, but maybe osFree could happen, if the L4 microkernel is ported to POWER, and then POWER could run a Presentation Manager based OS.

Re:IBM OSs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558967)

None of the major free BSD operating systems support modern POWER platforms.

Re:IBM OSs (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41563701)

Not exactly the market.

Power systems are overkill for most people, unless you get old ones on the cheap.

Re:IBM OSs (1)

funwithBSD (245349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41563539)

Good gods.

OS2 ran on PC, PowerPC/RS6000 and mainframe.

AS/400 was migrated to RS64 architecture in 96, so you could run AS400 on it. AS400 became an OS, not a hardware line. Under the covers, it was the RS6000 line.

Re:IBM OSs (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41565897)

When did OS/2 run on the PPC or RS/6000? A different OS called Workplace OS - which was Presentation Manager on top of Mach 3.0 was developed, but IBM pulled the plug on it before it was ready. Yeah, AS/400 was migrated to the RS/6000, but unfortunately, never OS/2. Otherwise OS/2 on PPC, w/ full IBM backing, might have been a great hit, and might even have attracted the Mac clonemakers like Power Computing, Motorola CPG and Umax to switch to them once Jobs cancelled the MacOS licensing.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556397)

But ARM servers? People have been trying to sell those as long as ARM has been around.

No they haven't. ARM2 was definitely a mobile / desktop chip. Up until AMR6 they were mainly aiming at this same market, and then focussed almost exclusively on embedded. Cortex A8 was the first that anyone seriously thought about putting in a server, but ARM wasn't pushing it in that direction. Cortex A15 is the first chip that they've designed aimed at servers and we're only just seeing shipping silicon for it now (and most of that is aimed at tablets). ARM has definitely identified the low-power server market as one that they want to be in, but they're only just bringing to market the first generation of chips aimed at it, and then only in a slightly half-hearted way. The ARMv8 designs that should be appearing in the first half of next year are going to be their first serious contender there.

Of course, I suppose it depends a lot on what you mean by 'server'. A lot of traditional file server roles in small businesses have been replaced by ARM-based NAS appliances over the past few years, although MIPS still has a pretty good presence in this market.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560253)

ARM2 was definitely a mobile / desktop chip.

It was used as a desktop chip. (Don't recall a lot of mobile devices in 1987.) What prevented it from going into a rack-mount server? Lack of customers, I should think.

A lot of traditional file server roles in small businesses have been replaced by ARM-based NAS appliances over the past few years,

Yep.. I own a QNAP.TS-110. Sweet little box.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#41562445)

It was used as a desktop chip. (Don't recall a lot of mobile devices in 1987.)

You might remember the Apple Newton. The reason ARM was spun out from Acorn was that Apple wanted to use their CPU, but didn't want to buy it from a direct competitor. Having a spin-out that provided CPUs for both of them was fine.

What prevented it from going into a rack-mount server?

No one tried it? It simply wasn't a market ARM aimed at. The two operating systems that ran on it were NewtonOS and RiscOS, neither of which was aimed at servers. They could have ported something else, but Linux didn't exist for 4 years and wasn't really credible for a decade later, BSD still needed an AT&T license, and since this was the '80s the phrase 'UNIX security' was still followed by a chortle. The server market was owned by Novell at the low end and big-iron vendors at the high end.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

wireloose (759042) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557995)

. But those of us who are willing to wait a year or two for the latest GTA to be ported to the PC just don't care.

Good point, but that's more of a consumer view than a business view. Businesses are usually working on the here and now, or the near future, and cost effectiveness. Your view leans toward less timeliness to gain the cost savings. I have both views, one for my personal equipment, the same as yours, and one for my company, the timely need.

You also make some good discussion about x64 compatibility, but consider services and apps vs. hardware. If you're connecting to my web site or my cloud services, you don't know what hardware I'm running on, but you DO care that it's fast enough to meet your needs. So why would you care whether my hardware is x64 compatible as long as your x64 systems talk to it just fine? It's like caring about the underlayment on the highway, as long as the top surface is good for driving.

Oh, and by the way, IBM Power systems also run Linux. Very well, in fact. Ever since the RS/6000 system shipped in 2000. In fact, the base purchase of any Power system, even a blade, usually includes the Linux CDs. (Or did, I haven't bought one in over a year.) On a personal note, I miss the days when dozens of companies were doing competing hardware designs and so much innovation was going on at one time. With only a few, the innovations come more slowly, and we know that many are stifled because of internal company competition politics. I want more innovation.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560065)

If you're connecting to my web site or my cloud services, you don't know what hardware I'm running on, but you DO care that it's fast enough to meet your needs. So why would you care whether my hardware is x64 compatible as long as your x64 systems talk to it just fine?

Of course I don't care. But I'm not the person who's building the infrastructure that makes this web application work. And that person wants commodity systems: lower upfront cost, lower TCO.

IBM Power systems also run Linux.

As I already pointed out, everything runs Linux. But how many people are buying POWER to run Linux?

Well, at least IBM is trying to push Linux on POWER itself. At Sun, we left Linux on SPARC to Canonical. But I don't see either taking off any time soon.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

wireloose (759042) | about a year and a half ago | (#41569711)

If you're connecting to my web site or my cloud services, you don't know what hardware I'm running on, but you DO care that it's fast enough to meet your needs. So why would you care whether my hardware is x64 compatible as long as your x64 systems talk to it just fine?

Of course I don't care. But I'm not the person who's building the infrastructure that makes this web application work. And that person wants commodity systems: lower upfront cost, lower TCO.

Commodity systems do not always mean lower TCO. TCO is based on a lot more than just hardware, which is normally a small fraction of a system's costs.

IBM Power systems also run Linux.

As I already pointed out, everything runs Linux. But how many people are buying POWER to run Linux?

Well, at least IBM is trying to push Linux on POWER itself. At Sun, we left Linux on SPARC to Canonical. But I don't see either taking off any time soon.

Very well, but you also said of IBM, "When they start selling POWER systems that run Linux, then we can talk." I was merely responding to that, fyi. I'm certainly not putting words in your mouth.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41569889)

TCO is based on a lot more than just hardware, which is normally a small fraction of a system's costs.

Oh, is that why they call it "total cost of ownership"? Gee, that never occurred to me!

The post-purchase costs of non-standard systems are pretty substantial. I found that out first hand when I tried to be a good Sun employee and run my internal wiki on Solaris instead of Linux. Kept running into TWiki plugins that didn't work Solaris because they depended on Perl libraries that had only been tested on Linux.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (3, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556725)

For the first time, the computational penalty of X86 instruction set translation for RISC cores may not outweigh the compatibility benefit for a significant portion of users.

Yes and no.

Yes, in that it's always mattered. Intel can never be power competitive in the low end due to the expense of the x86 instruction decoder. Then again, neither can ARM which is why static 14/8 bitters like PIC dominate the truly low end. In the mid range ARM and others (but mostly ARM) will not be displaced by Intel for exactly that reason.

ARM dominate all the way to the beginning of the high end. However, once one hits the high end, and single thread performance goes up, again the decoder becomes a smaller and smaller fraction of the energy usage. The OoO unint and execution units dominate, as the OoO unit has to expend a lot of energy to keep the energy hungry execution units fed while they're ungated.

Users are now beginning to care about the high end on their phones, just about.

For fun, compare the FLPOS/Watt of an i7 Ivy Bridge to any other general purpose CPU. The Ivy Bridge one does surprisingly well, in fct I think it's pretty much a winner. Certianly compared to ARM. The reason is that as the performance goes up, the instruction decoder begines to pale in to insignificance.

It's the same old argument as always.

Intel will never hit the mid to low end, but the penalty almost disappears on the high end, and Intels better process and expertise in branch prediction dominates.

For now, phones are bumping into the bottom of the top end. In 5 to 10 years they will be firmly in it, and the landscape will be very different. In 10 to 15 years, cheaper smartphones (e.g. spiritual successors to something like the Galaxy Ace) will be comfortably inot the high end.

Arm will continue to dominate the upper low end to the top of the middle because of the decoder. But phones things will be moving well into the top end.

I'm defining low/middle/high by absoute performance and relative power tradeoffs between parts of CPUs.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about a year and a half ago | (#41562801)

they're cleaning X86's clock in the only rapidly expanding market ... And ARM's next core design is aimed at servers.

it's important to qualify that. ARM uses a lot less power, but it's not more power efficient. it uses less power because it's so much less powerful.

as much as mobile mobile has been ARM's domain, servers are intel's domain. making a claim that they are "aiming at servers" is one thing, toppling the giant is quite another.

as much as i'd like to see intel have some healthy competition, in all likelihood they'll end up steamrolling ARM with their superior manufacturing technology and their deep pockets, in the long run.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556605)

Alpha & PA-RISC are indeed gone. Itanium too is almost there, although it could still have a life in supercomputers. SPARC's real strength was in the workstation space, as well as the database server space of Oracles. Indeed, there was a time when SPARCstations were ubiquitious for CAD engineering work, such as Cadence, Verilog and the HDLs.

POWER pretty much owns the games console market, having conquered it from MIPS. MIPS now has the router and tablet markets, the latter where it's a better alternative to ARM. Yeah, the SGI MIPS is dead - the MIPS R10k and above - but the ones based on R4k, R5k and R8k are very much alive. It would be nice if they got back some of the console market, and similarly, it would be nice if POWER returned to Apple as well - both iPads and Airbooks.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41557149)

You probably meant R7k, not R8k. R8k was a realy funky design and wasn't used anywhere else but in a few SGI systems.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560367)

it would be nice if POWER returned to Apple as well - both iPads and Airbooks.

Do you see that happening? Apple must have had a lot of motivation to make the painful transition from POWER to commodity. The transition back would be just as painful, and I don't see their motivation.

x64 owns the desktop and the data center. ARM owns the mobile space. Anybody who thinks that's going to change any time soon as a bad case of the if-onlys.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554391)

But Oracle has dratically reduced the models of x64 systems they sell. Officially, that's about a leaner product line and ending the special relationship with AMD. But I'm beginning to expect that the SPARC koolaid is as popular in Oracle as it was in Sun.

I think LarryE views x86 servers as a commodity now, and it's very hard to compete against others via anything except price.

With SPARC, he/Oracle is focusing on a niche that they think is still profitable.

Muha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558457)

The only real fast Solaris boxes I used were x86-based. Apple is making tons of cash with their own OS and x86 hardware. So your argument is very much non-existent.

Sparc has something to do with Larry getting old. He is trumpeting the song of IBM ("everything vertically integrated"), but Oracle grew only as big as they are by being a "horizontal" specialist who would run on dozens of hw platforms. This all sounds like suicide.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553657)

Could you elaborate your shitting post?

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41555459)

If you labor on a shitting post, you may be doing it wrong

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553859)

Wow. Have you actually used Oracle for a data need that actually requires it? How about a T4 SuperCluster? No? Really? That's probably why you're convinced that your comments like "Someone is still buying that shit" and the like are just hilarious. They're not. In fact they show your immaturity and lack of understanding of just how large and complex some data-sets can get. We've got racks of Exadatas being fed by racks of Superclusters and backing up to racks of ZFS backup appliances. We've also got a couple of racks of Exalogic and Exlytics for Hadoop and front-end apps. In said racks are Intel chips (Intel keynoted Oracle OpenWorld where the above announcement wasn't made), and T4 chips. Solaris and Linux. You get the idea. Mostly it's that you're really just kind of dumb.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#41564663)

No, I haven't used Oracle for a data need that actually requires it. I'm not aware of what a data need that would actually require it would look like. I do work on high speed market data delivery systems. Top end stuff for a internationally relevant company (can't say who, but it's not Bloomberg). Mining databases doesn't really factor into the equation. In fact, all of our stuff is moving away from SPARC simply because we need inexpensive powerful processors, not thousands of threads all running at 1.0ghz clock speeds. The pejorative term we use for SPARC is that "they would make for great web servers". Hell, even most of the analytic stuff I'm aware of that our clients use operates on RHEL (or Windows, of all things) running on HP servers. Literally, the only people in our biz who still use SPARC are the old guard who overspent on their v240s centuries ago and don't have the budget to keep up with the times. Interestingly, they're also the majority of the "problem clients".

And I may be kind of dumb, but you're the one so out of touch with reality that you've mistaken my flippant comment as declaration of a holy war, and retorted to personal attacks in response. Regardless, I wish you the best with your expensive servers, and commend you upon your excellent skill at rattling your sabre in its scabbard.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (2)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554019)

government agencies, all the better to track you. And oracle financials is popular in the business world. next iteration we are probably going to sparc not because we want to but because of crappy oracle contracts. yes it is a shit solution and a shit product, but who's running to great plains now a MS product...????? trapped, that is what we are. :(

Ya I have trouble seeing the point (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554613)

Processors are very much a Yoda situation of "Do or do not, there is no try." For high end servers, there is a market for non-x86 stuff. However to be in it, you need to be up on the curve, you need to invest real resources in development. On the other hand you can just get our of it and buy product form someone else, probably Intel but IBM or Hitachi are options. It is expensive, deciding not to compete is 100% valid.

However half-assing it is going to lead to nothing but wasted money. You can't decide you "kinda" want to do your own architecture which is what Oracle seems to have done. They've cut funding to the UltraSparc development but they won't kill it. Well, all that means is you are wasting money on something less and less people will want. Either accept that it is something you have to sink some serious cash in to, or write it off.

Re:Oracle? SPARC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41556333)

Hatred towards open source on Slashdot?

http://www.opensparc.net/ [opensparc.net]

OK. Just buy proprietary crap from Intel, AMD and ARM.

Sparc T5! (1)

busyqth (2566075) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553611)

T5 combines 16 CPU cores running at 3.6 GHz on a 28-nm manufacturing process

WOOOOO! Impressive!


...
eh, not really...
What can Oracle offer with the "T5" that isn't offered better, faster, and/or cheaper on Xeon or Power?

Oh yeah, I forgot, Oracle can offer "register windows"... Wheeee!

Re:Sparc T5! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553707)

Hey, register windows are a pretty cool feature. Completely irrelevant these days... but cool.

Plus, running stuff on SPARC hardware is a good way to protect yourself from hackers. How many code injection toolkits out there target SPARC? Not that many, I'd guess. (Probably only in the big leagues, like hackers who specialize in corporate or government espionage, not the ones who make your life a living hell by turning your box into a zombie or stealing your database of credit card accounts.)

I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

Re:Sparc T5! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554041)

I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

Or maybe, this glass is 1/1000th full (rather than 99.9% empty) kind of guy...

Was I hacked, or did a sable oracle
Turn forth a silver lining on the sparc?

Re:Sparc T5! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555173)

I'm a glass-half-full kind of guy.

Or maybe, this glass is 1/1000th full (rather than 99.9% empty) kind of guy...

Was I hacked, or did a sable oracle
Turn forth a silver lining on the sparc?

Did someone downsize that glass with a hammer?

Re:Sparc T5! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41555497)

Hmm, I forgot bash scripts were written in assembler.

Re:Sparc T5! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554611)

T5 combines 16 CPU cores running at 3.6 GHz on a 28-nm manufacturing process

WOOOOO! Impressive! ...
eh, not really...

What can Oracle offer with the "T5" that isn't offered better, faster, and/or cheaper on Xeon or Power?

Oh yeah, I forgot, Oracle can offer "register windows"... Wheeee!

How many registers in the x86 set? 6 32-bit. You can get 14 if you're running 64 bit, and 8 double-precision (actually 80-bit) FP.

How many registers in the SPARC v9 set? 31 64-bit general purpose, 32 double-precision/16 quad-precision FP.

And one die of this chip will offer 8 CPUs, each capable of running 8 threads simultaneously for a total of 64 threads/die.

What's Intel up to? 8 CPU/die with 2 threads/CPU for 16 threads/die?

Re:Sparc T5! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554803)

i think you're incorrect on a number of metrics. first, there are intel
chips with 10 cores / 20 threads. and you can have up to 8 of them
in a system, for 160 threads/system. also, current intel fp is sse
(which is 15 128-bit registers) or avx (15 256-bit registers). i believe
you can build even bigger amd systems. i'm too lazy to look this up. :-)

it's also not clear that having more registers than that is a win for
anyone but the poor compiler writer. l1 cache is generally 3-4 cycles
away from the cpu, so it's not always that big of a bottleneck.
(i don't believe i've ever seen the mips compiler i work with spill (29
gp registers, so 64 seems like a bit of overkill.)

Re:Sparc T5! (3, Insightful)

Snorbert Xangox (10583) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555127)

"If you were plowing a field, which would you rather use: Two strong oxen or 1024 chickens?" - Seymour Cray.

The devil is in the details. SPARC has lots of registers, very true. But it needs more user-accessible registers, because its address modes are simpler, and you need to do more address computations in registers. Register windows were like a fully associative cache for a few levels of your call stack... but then you have to save more stuff when you do a context switch, and I suspect they were part of why Sun was late to doing full out-of-order execution in their SPARC implementations.

I was a big fan of the early RISC chips, because that architectural style was bringing forth implementations which got much better bang per CPU transistor than other commercial chips at the time. That lead was eroded seriously by Intel with the Pentium Pro - certainly in terms of bang per buck - which was embarrassing for people who wanted to point out some inherent "elegance" or other timeless quality of RISC that was its great advantage. Whatever that counted for, Intel's designs and better process technology could more or less match with ugly old x86.

The time when you could play Top Trumps [wikipedia.org] with computer architecture specs is really over. Decisions that were clear winners at a particular time, in terms of process technology, memory bandwidths, and compiler quality, can turn out not to be as optimal when the market, or what is cost-effective to produce, changes over time.

The T series SPARC chips came out of work done by Kunle Olukotun at Afara Websystems and then brought in-house by Sun. They represented a great point-in-time improvement for high parallelism, cache-unfriendly, integer server loads over what was under development inside Sun at the same time, especially when cost and power were taken into account. Some of those decisions in the T1 got revised for the T2 - one FPU for the whole chip turned into one FPU per core, for instance - but the per-die core count got halved for the T4, so again the Top Trumps viewpoint doesn't really illustrate whether one processor is better than another.

Bottom line is, does it run the stuff you want to run, for a good TCO?

What for? (1)

Smartcowboy (679871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553621)

What are these chips used for?

Oracle still makes sparc servers but no sparc workstations as I know of. So, do these chips get somewhere else? And the following question is why one would want a sparc server in the first place?

Re:What for? (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553769)

It's a good question but if any market can justify complete vertical integration including customized processors for a specific application, it's Huge Databases. (But I did say if).

Re:What for? (1)

Smartcowboy (679871) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553993)

As someone else said [slashdot.org], "ALPHA is gone. MIPS is only used in embedded devices. Itanium and POWER are strictly legacy products. And yet people still believe that SPARC can survive in the server space."

The cpu markets is headed to support only two kinds of microprocessor: ARM where there is restrictions on power consumption and x86-64 everywhere else. Is there really a viable market for specialised CPUs?

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554617)

As someone else said [slashdot.org], "ALPHA is gone. MIPS is only used in embedded devices. Itanium and POWER are strictly legacy products. And yet people still believe that SPARC can survive in the server space."

The cpu markets is headed to support only two kinds of microprocessor: ARM where there is restrictions on power consumption and x86-64 everywhere else. Is there really a viable market for specialised CPUs?

Ummm, somebody forgot to tell IBM....

Embedded PowerPC does the heavy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554821)

lifting where ARM can't take the load. It's a big space.

Re:What for? (1)

cpghost (719344) | about a year and a half ago | (#41560403)

Is there really a viable market for specialised CPUs?

Last time I've used them, SPARCs were general purpose CPUs... and pretty good ones at that. But yes, there's a market for that. For instance, Fujitsu SPARC64 CPUs are currently being used, among others, in the HPC world [theregister.co.uk] for massively parallel simulations.

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554255)

And iPhones, apparently.

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553781)

My company uses them in servers that run databases and web application servers. But to give a better example, apples iCloud is built on top of sparc.

Re:What for? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41553785)

Think about it. Who bought Sun?

What's Oracle's biggest product?

What's the most cost efficient strategy for scaling Oracle DB?

Compare the cost of a 32-core (supporting 256 simultaneous threads) Sun machine to the competition?

Not so steep, now, is it?

I have a question: (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41553675)

The article is a link to another slashdot article. Seriously, what the fuck? If you cared, shouldn't you just comment in the original article rather than here? Or post the full text here instead of a summary of a link to another page on slashdot?

At least you're not posting comments as stories. Yet.

Maybe the Dice overloads will get rid of this dumb shit?

Re:I have a question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554105)

Oh yeah, Dice is definitely going to make it better instead of maximizing profit.

Screw Oracle (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41554545)

I recently bought a Sun Fire T1000 so I could play with Solaris. I found out the hard way that the default logical domain manager in Solaris 11 doesn't support T1 processors. I went to downgrade to the previous ldom software just to find out that software is behind a paywall.

I could use Solaris 10 instead, but I'm screwed out of using their latest and greatest software because of their paywall. I also can't update my firmware due to the same reason.

Oracle, do you really expect new customers to buy your products if they can't truly try your software before purchasing anything?

Re:Screw Oracle (3)

Snorbert Xangox (10583) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554887)

Yeah, do not buy old Sun hardware thinking that you can get any useful support from third parties, or pick up a cheap support contract suitable for a sysadmin's home box or a dev workstation... or even download firmware for a device that is not covered by your current support contract. That sort of thing went away by or shortly after the time that Oracle bought Sun.

Oracle doesn't really care about ISV support for SPARC, and they probably like it if their big Oracle/SPARC sales included a hefty dose of high margin professional services to cover the customer's inexperience with the hardware platform, so why do they need ordinary people using SPARC anyway?

"You actually don't need to be open-minded about Oracle. You are wasting the openness of your mind..." - Bryan Cantrill, Fork Yeah! [youtube.com]

Re:Screw Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41555191)

> " and they probably like it if their big Oracle/SPARC sales included a hefty dose of high margin professional services to cover the customer's inexperience with the hardware platform"

That IS their whole business model. When it comes to their software business, they'll let you play with their software for free, market to businesses that their licensing is cheap.... and that sucks them in.

BUT.... when you try and actually get the software/hardware to do what it's supposed to do? By golly, the manuals you download just aren't enough. They don't contain magic CLI incantations that actually get the software to work, or fix it up when it's down! If you want that, you need to pay for support so you can talk to a Oracle tech who has the magic whitepapers.

So Oracle isn't forcing you to buy support, but any Oracle shop has been taught to pay for it without Oracle prompting them.

Re:Screw Oracle (1)

eric2hill (33085) | about a year and a half ago | (#41561313)

The firmware thing was what caused me to start recommending other server manufacturers. The Sun hardware was actually really nice, well designed, and very stable. The ILOM was great since it was so tightly integrated with the hardware and yet completely out of band, and was included with the server at no real additional cost.

Then Oracle bought Sun and turned off firmware support unless you had an active support contract. That was a big *fuck you* to everyone who bought a bunch of Sun hardware and only kept support on a few critial units. I know firmware updates aren't free to make, but that's the price of good customer service.

Oracle, you've lost my business.

Re:Screw Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41555469)

I recently bought a Sun Fire T1000 so I could play with Solaris. I found out the hard way that the default logical domain manager in Solaris 11 doesn't support T1 processors. I went to downgrade to the previous ldom software just to find out that software is behind a paywall.

I could use Solaris 10 instead, but I'm screwed out of using their latest and greatest software because of their paywall. I also can't update my firmware due to the same reason.

Oracle, do you really expect new customers to buy your products if they can't truly try your software before purchasing anything?

Why the hell would you buy a six year old Sparc system just to mess with Solaris 11 when you can run it in an x86_64 VM?
By the way, Intel & AMD themselves JUST came out with hardware virtualization extensions around the T1000's time, so how is Sun's lack of virtualization support on that platform REMOTELY surprising?

You're trying to cover up a dumb purchase.

Re:Screw Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41560667)

> Why the hell would you buy a six year old Sparc system just to mess with Solaris 11 when you can run it in an x86_64 VM?

Because you can't use logical domains with x86 hardware. Because I wouldn't have access to an ALOM/System Controller to play with. Because Solaris 11, for the most part, fully supports the T1000, it was just the latest version of ldom that didn't work. And, because the hardware was incredibly cheap.

> By the way, Intel & AMD themselves JUST came out with hardware virtualization extensions around the T1000's time, so how is Sun's lack of virtualization support on that platform REMOTELY surprising?

Do you know anything about Solaris, or are you completely talking out of your ass? The T1000 does support virtualisation, Sun called it Logical Domains.

> You're trying to cover up a dumb purchase.

I made the mistake of purchasing the hardware before verifying that the software was accessible, I admit that, but I'm not trying to cover anything up. If I was trying to cover up my mistake I wouldn't be posting it here.

Re:Screw Oracle (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year and a half ago | (#41557887)

It's not a waste. You should be able to run a Linux or BSD on it. Your choices are limited, but you don't have to run solaris. You may also be able to get an open source fork of opensolaris to run on it.

Re:Screw Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41560693)

Yeah, I'll still be able to use it, just not in the way that I wanted to. I wanted to play with and learn how to use their latest Solaris operating system. Solaris 10 will have to do.

Shocked.... (1)

Nalez (556446) | about a year and a half ago | (#41554723)

Man, after all of Sun's customers got screwed by Oracle buying them I cant believe people are still investing in Sparc hardware. Sun''s marketshare has gone from 16% in q1-2008 to 4.7% in q1-2012 as HP, IBM and Dell's marketshare have increased. With declines like that; its only a matter of time before Oracle turns away the rest of their server customers by killing off Sparc an Solaris.

Re:Shocked.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41556645)

Well, Oracle responded by killing its apps on Itanic, and could easily do the same to POWER if it wanted. In which case, SPARC would be their only non-x86 platform

Re:Shocked.... (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#41564489)

Or tried to. This attempt led to a lawsuit from HP.

Re:Shocked.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#41565871)

Well, they effectively won. Anybody who wants to build their high end solutions around Oracle software now knows not to go w/ Itanium, since Oracle doesn't necessarily have to provide the latest or greatest - they can even provide mediocre support. In the meantime, anybody who does want high end Oracle based solutions is much safer going w/ UltraSPARC or Sparc T5 based solutions than even POWER, MIPS or even Itanium.

iTanic angle (1)

mevets (322601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41555865)

The Itanium division at intel was so overjoyed they ordered a medium pizza, with wings to celebrate...

Does even Oracle use Sparc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41558329)

I thought their public cloud was running Exadata and Exalogic boxes...but they're X86. If even Oracle isn't using Sparc for its big datacenter loads, what customers are going to?

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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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