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4-Way Sun Fire V40z Reviewed

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the compile-faster dept.

Hardware 315

Hack Jandy writes "Anandtech has a pretty thorough analysis of Sun's V40z 4-way Opteron server that fits in a 3U. Among some of the more noteable benchmarks include a 2 minute, 30 second Linux 2.6.4 kernel compile! Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"

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315 comments

Imagine.. (0, Offtopic)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762244)

Could you imagine..

No..

But what about Doom3 benchmarks? I mean, people WILL buy it if it gives 1fps more on Doom3.

Re:Imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762298)

Imagine a world where fps didn't matter and all the freaking love fairies made fairy love all day long..

Man..

I wish I had Doom3 right now

Re:Imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762311)

Doom sucks.

Zoo Tycoon* is "teh rox0r" (as we in Redmond say).

[*] 1, not 2

Re:Imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762321)

What ev.. Like Doom totally rocked the first person shooter market back in the day.. old school for life!

And in other news Dell remains INTEL Only shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762308)

Slap me silly, and mark this post a troll, but here it goes: Dell does Intel [reuters.com]

Who says they are? (5, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762246)

Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"
They're doing what they have to do to survive.

If they had their way, it'd be Solaris/Sparc all the way.

Re:Who says they are? (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762501)

you confused "survive" with "grow and maximize profit". As if Sun is going anywhere anytime soon. They're going to die just like novell, BSD, and Microsoft are.
Sun realizes that the opteron provides nearly the performance of their sparc at a cheaper price... why not bundle it up and make MORE money since the cream of the crop for them is service. And more systems sold==more people buying service contracts. And lord knows cheaper prices==more systems sold.

Re:Who says they are? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11763054)

nearly?

show me, dollar for dollar, which sparc out performs an opteron processor.

if you tell me "well use this sparc costing X dollars" and it's some mind numbing number...then you've failed it.

assuming that said opteron is appropriate for a given job, peformance-wise, there IS NO SPARC that could compete when cost is a consideration.

fewer and fewer computational tasks require OR CA N AFFORD 200 processor sparc boxes.

when your client base shrinks to a few first world governments and high fallutin companies.....it's time to branch out.

sparc cpu WILL go away. yea sure, eventually they will all go away...but I MEAN SOONER, rather then later.

in 5 years or less, we'll see the writing on the wall, in 8 years, sparc will be a memory.

wow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762249)

i like how slashdot gave me a 404 when i clicked on the link

Re:wow (1)

secretsquirel (805445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762444)

why do you like it? it would seem more logical to not like it when that happens, as the page may have been interesting. You must be slow.

I suspected (2, Funny)

geekee (591277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762250)

"Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"

I knew that the ultraSPARC was dead a few years ago. Not surprised at the current Sun situation.

Re:I suspected (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762353)

I knew that the ultraSPARC was dead a few years ago.

The next-generation Niagara and Rock CPUs will be SPARC. Not quite dead...

Re:I suspected (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762371)

Sparc isn't dead...Sun just realized that they can't keep up with Intel and IBM in the chip wars by themselves. They've teamed up with a Japanese company (Fujitsu?) for future Sparc development. Sparc will be for high-end customers only. They're positioning Opteron for the cheap end.

Here's a pic of the V40Z CPU (-1, Troll)

arothstein (233805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762254)

SHOVED UP MY ASS!

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_<===>_|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

What happens when you try to install windows on th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762256)

What happens when you try to install windows on this? Are there even drivers?

Re:What happens when you try to install windows on (1)

SunFan (845761) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762367)

Sun won't sell you Windows, but these servers are "Windows Certified". This is just fine if your company happens to have a site license.

Re:What happens when you try to install windows on (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762842)

It blows up or becomes an instant zombie. Just like every other box Winblows is installed on.

I love the combination... (-1, Troll)

ajaf (672235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762261)

... Linux and Opteron...
Better, Gentoo and Opteron...

The combination is killer.

Re:I love the combination... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762269)

OH MAN, CRANK THOSE O FLAGS UP TO 10 MAN, WE GOT AN OPTERON YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Fucking Computer Ricers.

Re:I love the combination... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762291)

Stop spreading the Gentoo disease. We're talking about servers. Go Compile with your flags elsewhere and be leet and a ricer "HEY SHIZZLE MY NIZZLE I GOT THE +O3 FLAG!"

Re:I love the combination... (2, Informative)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762309)

Ummm...what do you think Gentoo is? A *BSD distribution?

At any rate, this is supposed to be a server. This thing could handle lots of SQL transactions, send and receive mail, serve webpages, and even, as you might have guessed, compile stuff. All of these can be done on any distribution.

Re:I love the combination... (0, Troll)

ajaf (672235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762384)

Yeah yeah, but you don't compile any distribution from scratch, do the test with gentoo, then with another distribution, and come back later.

Re:I love the combination... (2, Interesting)

tealtalon (714179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762349)

I wonder how long to kompile KDE. That's the worst part of a Gentoo install for me.

Re:I love the combination... (1)

TheKarateMaster (810628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762476)

Maybe it's a sign... don't use KDE.

Ah, it's not that bad, I'm just jealous because I've only got a 333MHz, which can *not* run KDE. (Well, it *can*, but only if you like your browser to take 45 seconds to open :P)

Re:I love the combination... (3, Funny)

TheKarateMaster (810628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762456)

Yeah... umm... I'm *pretty* sure Gentoo *is* Linux...

Don't want to start a disto war here or anything, but I think we can all agree that Linspire is by *far* the best, anyway.

P.S.(Don't shoot me, I'm just kidding, I use Debian.)

Re:I love the combination... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762488)

I'm not a troll. I'm an orc.

More like an idiot... Spend your life compiling Gentoo kernels for that 0.1% performance gain... You know that you can actually slow down an executable by chosing poor combinations of compiler flags, right?

Re:I love the combination... (0, Troll)

ajaf (672235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762545)

"Spend your life compiling Gentoo kernels for that 0.1% performance gain"

Gentoo is not a kernel, and you gain much more than 0.1% of performance compiling a linux kernel. You stupid anonymous.

Re:I love the combination... (0, Troll)

Justin205 (662116) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762585)

Yes, it will finish compiling in a reasonable amount of time... Maybe about as long as it takes a normal system (say, Debian) to install on a Pentium...

Re:I love the combination... (2, Interesting)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762755)

No... gentoo != good server distro. I am a satisfied gentoo user on the desktop, and I run a very small server (alongside my desktop, just for light personal use). I don't use gentoo for the speed, I use it for the customizability. Portage is a great tool. Ideally, the Gentoo project would make portage a tool which can be put on top of other distros, as they do have advantages. Portage, at the moment, is more or less tied to gentoo, so gentoo is what I use. There are binaries for things like KDE, and besides, it's not like I need everything now. I can be patient unlike some people. That being said, these qualities do not make a good server. You might want something like Debian or slackware for that.

Why in the hell... (0)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762313)

... is there a gigantic-ass picture of the Sun name and logo linking to an even giant-ass-ed-er (what?) picture of ... the Sun name and logo.

Solid review.

Yes, i'm kidding and going to read the review now.

Solaris and AMD (4, Informative)

uid100 (540265) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762316)

I have been running six V20z in production for about ten months now. They have - and will continue to - run Solaris. These servers have been as stable and predictiable as the V480's I manage, but compile Apache in 1/5 the time. They are definitly a sweet hardware platform, but why discount Solaris on them (in the title of this "news", by omition?)

My new AMD64 powered Gateway 7405GX is running Solaris-10 - works great! And a 64 bit kernel.

Re:Solaris and AMD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762333)

My Super Mario 64 has a 64 bit kernel too
big deal

Re:Solaris and AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762380)

All the N64 games run in 32 bit mode :-(

Re:Solaris and AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762464)

We have a few V20zs as well and are very happy with them. We're currently demoing a V40z with 32G of RAM and will be buying it. The Sun systems are lightyears ahead of the other "2nd tier" manufacturers like AAPRO (which we also have, but will be replaced by a V40z).

We have Redhat EL 3.0 AS on ours however and have been pretty happy with it. At the same time, I wish I had an extra one to throw RHEL 4 on to see how the 2.6 kernel scales. Our 'older' AAPRO came with Suse Enterprise 8 installed (with reiserfs - BOOHISS for bad stability). Since installing Redhat EL 3.0 its been very stable.

And yes, we put all of the processors and RAM to use... in fact we've run out. 80GB data sets can do that once you start crunching numbers...

Re:Solaris and AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762536)

Sun doesn't make those machines... they are rebranded.

Re:Solaris and AMD (2, Informative)

Jeff.Schramm (861272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762523)

I hadn't noticed the Solaris Linux Application Environment in Solaris 10 before. Sun has some interesting things to say about it at http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/ds/linux_inter op.jsp [sun.com] . I wonder how well it works.

Sun is taking Linux interoperability to the next level with the new Solaris Linux Application Environment feature in the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) for AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon x86-based systems. The Solaris Linux Application Environment (LAE) allows Linux applications to run unchanged on the Solaris OS when coupled with a Linux distribution. This enables businesses to take advantage of the innovations in the Solaris 10 OS without sacrificing investments in existing Linux applications.

Re:Solaris and AMD (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762637)

>They are definitly a sweet hardware platform, but why discount Solaris on them (in the title of this "news", by omition?)

I think that when you talk about running other architectures, people are more used to thinking of NetBSD or maybe Linux, both of which have been ported to more platforms than Solaris has (afaik).

Rebadged Newisys 4300? (5, Interesting)

Master Bait (115103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762318)

Not that that is a bad thing, but I cannot see any difference between the V40z and this [newisys.com] .

Re:Rebadged Newisys 4300? (1)

NaruVonWilkins (844204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762379)

Mod parent up. I've been using one of these as a footrest at work for over a year (albeit with slower chips).

Re:Rebadged Newisys 4300? (1)

Mistah Blue (519779) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762382)

That is really interesting. I thought Sun was building these themselves. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

Re:Rebadged Newisys 4300? (3, Interesting)

ArkiMage (578981) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762393)

Yeah.. We have multiple Newisys 2100's and recently bought Sun 20z's which are the same thing. Cheaper as Sun than Newisys as well. The 4300 and 40z are identical as well. Oh, and Newisys will NOT offer firmware on their website. Sun does...

Re:Rebadged Newisys 4300? (1)

jpmoney (323533) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762478)

Support, support, support...

At least they are all much better than the APPRO 4-ways (and the other copies of the AMD reference platform).

Yes, we have a V40z at work, so I'm a bit biased...

Re:Rebadged Newisys 4300? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762551)

That's because there is none. [theregister.com]

Not exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762601)

The v40z has a number of Sun-specific changes to it that differentiate it from the plain Newisys 4300 system. But you are correct that it's the same basic mechanicals.

Re:Not exactly... (1)

sarahemm (707486) | more than 9 years ago | (#11763107)

Other than obvious things (logos, the word 'Sun' in firmware, colours of plastic, etc.), what Sun-specific changes have been made? Just curious :)

Hmmm (4, Funny)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762320)

Reading through the benchmarks, I see they compiled KDE under gentoo in just under 17 weeks. I'm impressed.

Re:Hmmm (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762643)

You think that's bad? You notice the benchmark is for 2.6.4, but kernel.org is at 2.6.11-pre4-mm1. That tells you how long it took to do the download on this box.

compile time (-1)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762326)

I just did a quick check of the article and I didn't see a compile time of 30, second, only of 160 seconds, which is still good but not nearly 30 seconds.

other than that, doesn't seem to be revolutionary at all, just another 4 way server. I've seen these advertised for quite a while, even with the 4 way opteron.

Re:compile time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762492)

Learn to RTFS. 2 minutes, 30 seconds = 150 seconds.

Fast Kernel Compile (4, Interesting)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762328)

2 minute, 30 second Linux 2.6.4 kernel compile!

That's pretty fast compared to what I've done: compiling 2.4.27 in Gentoo on a Sun Ultra 2 (2 x 300 MHz UltraSPARC). It took over 90 minutes, and that was without the USB and Bluetooth sections of the kernel, since there's no way the Ultra 2 can make any use of either.

Re:Fast Kernel Compile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762359)

Well now that you know this difference, you can drop twenty grand and have some more modern Sun hardware.

It must take some serious patience to use Gentoo on that sucka ;-)

Re:Fast Kernel Compile (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762495)

Yeah, I had to devote an entire day to installing Gentoo, and the box didn't have an Internet connection. I had to boot the Gentoo CD with the "docache" option at the SILO prompt to allow the ejecting of the CDROM, and dump the entire package CD onto the hard drive. Even then I couldn't get a number of packages.

The box isn't running Gentoo normally, though; I basically wanted to go through a Gentoo install successfully so I could do it all again in less time when I have the box situated in a semi-permanent, usable place. It's running Solaris 10 now, which is pretty cool, but Java Desktop runs pretty slow. Still very usable in CDE though. This computer isn't used regularly; I just do my *nix experimentation on it now and then.

Some may ask "Why not use Debian instead if you have no Internet?" I already tried; Debian Woody doesn't interface with the hardware RTC chip or the power interface, so I couldn't reliably change the system clock, and I'd have to manually shut down the box. I have the same Debian running in a Sparcstation 5 though, and it doesn't have any those incompatibility problems.

Champion of Linux? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762329)

Maybe if Sun hadn't given a ton of money to SCO, but they did so no, Sun is not a champion of Linux.

Re:Champion of Linux? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762402)

Sun had to buy IP from SCO for OpenSolaris and some device drivers. Get over it, because the deal wasn't to drive SCO's lawsuits.

This SCO-Sun conspiracy theory has just got to die. It is really annoying.

Since when... (0)

rd4tech (711615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762336)

the kernel compilarion speed is a benchmark factor for a server hardware.

Ram?

Re:Since when... (4, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762419)

Since when... (Score:1)
the kernel compilarion speed is a benchmark factor for a server hardware.


because it is something that many home users as well as server admins have actually performed on various machines and gives a better measure of performance to people than some arbitrary benchmark score.

Specs (5, Informative)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762343)

From Sun's site:

http://www.sun.com/servers/entry/v40z/index.jsp

* Linear Processor Scalability
* Lights Out Management (LOM) with integrated service processor
* Redundant, hot-swap power and cooling
* Supports existing 32-bit x86 OS and applications

* Up to 4 AMD Opteron 800 Series processors
* Up to 32 GB
* Up to six hot-swap Ultra320 SCSI disks

- Solaris 10 on x64
- Solaris 9 HW 4/04 OS or later for x86 Platforms
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 for AMD Opteron
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
- SUSE Linux 9 Professional (Community Edition)
- Microsoft Windows 2000 (WHCL-certified)
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (WHCL-certified)

The price, listed at http://www.sun.com/emrkt/opteronpromo/product.html
shows the server @ $5945, which imho is quite a reasonable price for this kind of heavy hitting hardware.

I've always had a thing for sun hardware. It's just... sexy.

~Wx

Re:Specs (2, Informative)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762374)

shows the server @ $5945, which imho is quite a reasonable price for this kind of heavy hitting hardware.

Not that I looked or anything, but I am sure $5945 most likely gets you 1 weak processor, the onboard ram and an ide drive. Max it out and you could be looking an $20K or more.

Re:Specs (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762458)

The link that grandparent provides has the following specs:

Sun Fire V40z Server Special
2 AMD Opteron Model 844 Processors
2-GB Memory
1 73-GB 10000 RPM Ultra320 SCSI Disk Drive
1 DVD-ROM/Floppy Drive
2 10/100/1000 Ethernet Ports
1 USB Port
1 Serial Port
Lights Out Management (LOM) Software
Solaris 9 4/04 x86 Operating System

Doesn't seem too bad, considering they charge an extra $3300.00 (US) per processor. After adding 2 more processors, 4GB RAM, (2) 146GB Hard Drives, and upgrading the warranty to 3 Years Silver Support, the total went all the way up to $17,620.00.

Re:Specs (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762396)

That specsheet says "2 Model 844", which would imply only two Opterons. While that's not too shabby, this is a quad CPU server; why not smoke 'em if you got 'em (or just go buy the V20z)? I haven't read through the whole article, so I don't know what the $20K reviewing sample has in it, but it still sounds enticing.

Re:Specs (2, Interesting)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762968)

That price is lowball, not fully equiped. In serious drool mode I priced out a Tyan K8Q type mobo (quad Opteron), 4 Opteron 850's, and 32 gigs of memory. On pricewatch thats over $12,000. You still need a case, PS, drives,... and thats not from vendors I would buy from based on their ratings either. Reputable vendors have higher prices. Sun of course gets the volume discount if this takes off for them.

Curious (1, Troll)

iamnotacrook (816556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762346)

In terms of multi Opteron processor support, FreeBSD would have been a more sensible choice. Its a shame that Sun didnt consider that option, simply because Linux has better value as a sales pitch.

Re:Curious (2, Insightful)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762425)

its free marketing.

the purpose here is too move product after all and make their shareholders money.

im not surprised at all

Is 150 second Kernel Compile really that fast? (1)

GGardner (97375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762406)

OK, it's a lot faster than my machine. But how many lines of code is that? And how many lines per second? I know that gcc isn't optimized for compiling speed, far from it, but shouldn't we be getting 100klines per second out of our compilers these days?

Re:Is 150 second Kernel Compile really that fast? (2, Interesting)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762556)

I really dont think it is. My Athlon 1700 compiles a kernel in under 5 mins. I think my P4 is 3 - 4 minutes.

I suspect that kernel building does not run in parallel very easy.

Re:Is 150 second Kernel Compile really that fast? (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762934)

I suspect that kernel building does not run in parallel very easy.
The kneejerk response here is, "just use make -j 10" But in practice, I don't think make will parallel compile files in different directories, and linking is a serial bottleneck. In a kernel tree I expect linking is performed in many different directories to produce modules.

Sybase ASE 64-bit Opteron? (2, Interesting)

rngadam (304) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762408)

Grrr, any Sybase engineer could tell when the HELL they are going to deliver Sybase ASE on Linux 64-bit for Opteron???

We're just waiting for this at work to move to all this cool hardware! Geez... chalk one more for moving to Oracle!

WAY WAY WAY..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762435)



Overpriced! Sun needs to wake up to reality. The 90's are over. If they want to compete with Dell these AMD boxes need to come way down in price!!!!

Get a clue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762746)

Sun doesn't build servers from crap commodity components from the cheapest Taiwanese vendor they can find.

And it's Dell that wants to sell machines other than the toy computers that their product line is currently limited to. Maybe something like this [sun.com]

Oh, those 72 UltraSPARC-IV chips on that box are the equivalent of 144 single-core CPUs. And unlike the crap that Dell sells, those CPUs scale damn near linearly.

And please do the math on the IO bandwidth those SunFire boxes can support. It's a helluva lot more than the single PCI bus on that little Dell turdball.

I smell ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762445)

I smell rice cooking, and it's Gentoo flavored.

What servier admin gives a *flying fuck* about Linux kernel compile times? Hell, what server admin runs Linux, the lowest common denominator of Unix and Unix-workalies, on a real server?

Re:I smell ... (4, Insightful)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762673)

Hell, what server admin runs Linux, the lowest common denominator of Unix and Unix-workalies, on a real server?

Take a trip to NYC, walk out of the Wall St. 4/5 station, pick a tall building, go up on the roof, unzip your fly, and take a piss. Inside the building you hit you will find a company that transacts hundreds of thousands of dollars of business per MINUTE.

On Linux.

Better be quick though, as there's TONS of jobs moving across the Hudson :/

Re:I smell ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762919)

Now, on the same building, you'll find even cooler machines, doing hundreds of Millions of Dollars of business per SECOND.

On Z/OS.

Take your time, the real iron's keeping it just that. Real.

4-year-old dupe :) (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762457)

4 years ago slashdot posted a story [slashdot.org] introducing the first Dual-processor athlon system and used the linux kernel compilation time as a benchmark.

A little over 4 years ago, a Dual Processor Athlon System compiled the kernel in 2 minutes flat. The kernel was version 2.4.0ac12.

I'm no software/hardware developer, so I'm not going to comment on the significance of this result, but nonetheless I find it interesting that the kernel took less time to compile on a much more modest system 4 years ago. Has the kernel really grown THAT much?

Think about it --- they were using two 1.2ghz 32-bit processors with 256mb of ram opposed to the four 64-bit processors with 8gb of ram in this test, and it still took 20% longer to compile!!!

Re:4-year-old dupe :) (1)

fitten (521191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762520)

Welcome to software... coders can't resist adding that *one more feature*. Some features are nice, others aren't so much. The Linux in-memory image (including X because Windows has a GUI) is more resource intensive than Windows these days.

Re:4-year-old dupe :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762565)

Linux-2.4.0.tar.gz - 23M Linux-2.6.4.tar.gz - 33M Thats just code size, I don't think either article mentions what kind of config they used when compiling the kernel.

Re:4-year-old dupe :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762795)

Yikes, that's not a bright thing to say.

Take a look at the 2.4 versus 2.6 kernel size. The compressed tarball has a ~10 MB difference in size.

The compile time for 2.4 would likely be incredibly fast.

Re:4-year-old dupe :) (3, Informative)

BillKaos (657870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762846)

Check the compiler version. New gcc versions got very slow.

Andrew Morton uses gcc 2.95, because it's 2x faster compiling the kernel.

Re:4-year-old dupe :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762921)

With 64 bits instead of 32, there's twice as much to compile ;)

Seriously though, the kernel has come a long way since 2.4.0: (working) usb, firewire, pci express, SATA drivers, 10Gbit ethernet, about 30 new iptables ebtables arptables and ip6tables modules, LVM, preemptible kernels, even cryptography and ipsec in the kernel!

if you did a make allyesconfig now, thats a lot of new stuff that wasn't there back then.

2.4/2.6 compile times compared -- v/s whitebox (2, Interesting)

unixwin (569813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762655)

Before the Sun lovers go chanting ga-ga-ga about how this will save Sun's sorry ass or how it outperforms their "other" systems , I'd like to put forward some numbers running similar tests against whitebox systems.

Config: On my 8GB 246 (single processor, whitebox) opteron I get (make distclean etc between steps)
Time / Kernel / Make option
2"12s / 2.4.21 (time make -j5)
3m33.081s / 2.6.4 (time make -j5)
3m31s / 2.6.4 (time make -3)

From anandtech for the 2.6.4 kernel.
2"43 sec V40Z -j5
3"30 sec V40z -j3
4" 34 sec W2100Z -j3

Hmm.. for the 5K I paid for it. I'm happy waiting 50 seconds more.. ( 5K v/s 17K and 3"30' v/s 2"43')

Misc info:..
gcc -v
Reading specs from /usr/lib/gcc-lib/x86_64-redhat-linux/3.2.3/specs
Configured with: ../configure --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --infodir=/usr/share/info --enable-shared --enable-threads=posix --disable-checking --with-system-zlib --enable-__cxa_atexit --host=x86_64-redhat-linux
Thread model: posix
gcc version 3.2.3 20030502 (Red Hat Linux 3.2.3-42)

make --version
GNU Make version 3.79.1, by Richard Stallman and Roland McGrath.
Built for x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu

Re:2.4/2.6 compile times compared -- v/s whitebox (1)

byronmiller (861060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762770)

Compiling is hardly a server benchmark. What you need to look at is benchmarks in regards to transactions per second in an RDBMS, JVM, Apache server or Mysql and such. The real beauty of a solid engineered system is the stability, bandwidth and capacity. Try running Oracle 10g on your whitebox as spec'd with 500 concurrent users doing OLTP and let me know which one works (and doesn't stop working) the best.

Re:2.4/2.6 compile times compared -- v/s whitebox (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762992)

Your comparison is invalid without knowing the kernel options they had enabled. You would need to set the exact same configuration to make any comparisons because disabling options makes the kernel compile faster (a whole lot faster in some cases).

In fact, your times seem impossible. I would like to know your kernel options because I just compiled a 2.6.4 kernel in 6m 21s. This is on an Opteron 250 (UP) machine with my normal kernel options.

Re:2.4/2.6 compile times compared -- v/s whitebox (1)

unixwin (569813) | more than 9 years ago | (#11763100)

cd to the directory with the kernel src
make clean / make distclean
yes "" | make config
make -jX

exactly as described in the article.
There is no build modules stage in this (or atleast I didn't do that)

somebody had to say it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762679)

its peanuts compared to the cell! whooah! peanuts!

Just been wondering about this (2, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762686)

If Apple continues to make MacOS X Server more and more robust, and if they could reduce the price on the XServes, then for many environments why not run MacOS X? From looking through guides to OSX Server, it seems really straight forward to setup and maintain compared to even most Linux distributions and looks like it just might be something that if marketed correctly could at least clobber Windows Server for many small business server needs.

I remember taking a networking class a year and a half ago where we did Red Hat 9 and Windows 2000. Even though I already was comfortable with Linux, it just seemed to be a lot easier to configure than Windows. In fact, I was actually quite amazed at how much harder it was to get Windows to do something server-related through all of the GUIs than it was to do it on Linux. Combine the fact that OSX is a UNIX clone at its core and that it's GUI is well-designed and terribly slick, I just can't imagine why most companies don't even look at it. If kept safely behind a good firewall it should be easy as hell for non-geeks to keep running for basic things like file/printer sharing.

Re:Just been wondering about this (2, Insightful)

byronmiller (861060) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762789)

OSX doesn't have the capacity yet to make use of "big iron" (ie large memory systems). Sun has a decade + of experience in midrange computing.

Plus the price for this sun box outdoes the price i imagine we will ever see from the likes of apple

Re:wonder no longer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762824)

Good points. But the answer is clear:

It's just too easy. Grey whiskered ancient sysadmins and their young scamp whipping boys want to cling onto their hacked together, buggy messy operating system. It makes them feel cuddly and warm inside to mess about with CLIs configuring ancient decrepit config files in Emacs and such. Oh and it costs nothing to stick Linux on a PC beige box.

Quite honestly why they bothered compiling the Linux kernel as a test I do not know. Why not compile something useful at least.

Face facts guys Linux is the living dead. It is functional as a server, usually, but has no further application. There never will be a 'year of Linux' on the desktop. It's just one big stupid mess that has no meaning for average joe out there. While it has found it's place in the hearts of anal retentives and masochists who like to tinker and install it in places it has no business being like iPods and Mac Minis it ain't going nowhere.

Heck if I wanted a free Unix to run a server I would use *BSD. Tried, test, stable and with a good licence to boot.

How does this compare with HP? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11762906)

What about this ProLiant DL585 [hp.com] server from HP. It seems very comprable (4 Opterons, 8 or so PCI-X slots, configurable with lots of memory and storage, not to mention a similar price point). There are links to a few benchmarks on that page. Anyone have any experience with the DL585 or similar HP servers or know how they compare to these servers from Sun?

Dual core? (0, Redundant)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11762974)

What I want to know is whether I can put 4 dual-core CPUs into this thing sometime soon.

Re:Dual core? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11763087)

OK, I admit I didn't RTA:
Obviously, a dual core V40z - which is already dual core ready - will give Sun the only 3U, 8-way Opteron that we've heard of. Between dual core Opterons and continual improvements on the 90nm Opteron steppings, server administrators have a lot to look forward to this year.
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