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Oracle Sun Microsystems Hardware

Oracle Releases SPARC T5 Servers; Too Late? 175

First time accepted submitter bobthesungeek76036 writes "On March 26th, Larry Ellison and always with fashionable haircut John Fowler announced the new line of SPARC servers from Oracle. Touted as the fastest microprocessor in the world, they put up some impressive SPEC numbers against much more expensive (and older) IBM hardware. Is the industry still interested in SPARC or is it too late for Larry to regain the server market that Sun Microsystems had many moons ago?" El Reg has a pretty good overview of the new hardware; the T5 certainly looks interesting for highly threaded work loads (there's some massive SMT going on with 16 threads per core), but with Intel dominating for single-threaded performance and ARM-based servers becoming available squeezing them for massive multi-threading, is there really any hope in Oracle's efforts to stay in the hardware game?
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Oracle Releases SPARC T5 Servers; Too Late?

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  • by eyegor ( 148503 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @12:28PM (#43293331)

    We're running away from SPARC as fast as we can.

    Our unix shop used to be primarily SPARC-based, but with limited IT budgets, we're able to do far more with much less money using HP blades running CentOS.

    For most purposes, SPARC hardware is far too expensive and Oracle seems to be doing all they can to kill Solaris.

    We still run a handfull of SPARC systems that run specialized applications and a few Solaris zones, but nearly all other services have been pushed to natively hosted Linux systems, or virtual machines running Windows or Linux.

  • Re:Probably not. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @01:47PM (#43294129)

    Assuming a few years ago means 2010 or there about (also "SSD raid" suggests that kind of time frame), so you are comparing a server last sold in 2005 against a five year newer system. Moore's law alone suggests a 6x performance increase. Add in lower latency storage and I'm surprised the processes were only took 1/6th the time.

    I admin for an enterprise with a large Sun/Oracle hardware base, and I have serious complaints with Oracle's support procedures, but beyond a few notable missteps, their hardware is quite good. And Solaris is very nice if you know how to use it.

  • by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @02:03PM (#43294283)

    Their "small" T5-2 has 32 cores running at 3.6 GHz with 256 threads and 256 GB of RAM. A similar and cheaper x86 system doesn't even exist.

  • Re:Probably not. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @02:32PM (#43294585)

    A v880 hasn't been current for over 7 years - wtf are you prattling on about comparing ssd raid storage to a box that ran on 10k spindles only?

    Load up a pair of T5s with Solaris 11.1, and it will run circles around your gimpy lil Linux setup.

    This is doubly true now that OS level optimizations are going in to improve Oracle DB performance...

    If you never see a Sun product again, that's because there are no Sun products anymore, they are Oracle products.

  • Re:Probably not. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mabhatter654 ( 561290 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:37PM (#43295293)

    We STILL get that kind of service with our IBM System I (AS400) support.

    If you are willing to pay, they have 4-hour support where they will get it there FASTER than overnight. And the tecs are super knowledgable.

    Sadly, their blade and x86 support is not REMOTLY as sharp. And with converged hardware it became painful... Fast.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:44PM (#43295405) Journal
    Insightful? No. I have an FPGA dev board on my desk. The dev board costs around $8K, the FPGA alone can be bought in small quantities for about $4K. We use it for experimental processor design. It can run our MIPS64-based softcore at about 100MHz (drawing around 40W) and there's enough space on die for 4-8 cores. You can't run a processor on one that is competitive with a cheap ARM processor (except if you configure the FPGA for a single algorithm, then you can't run general-purpose code on it), let alone one with 'all the power and capabilities we want'. FPGAs are cool, but they're no substitute for ASICs.
  • Re:Probably not. (Score:4, Informative)

    by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:47PM (#43296299) Homepage

    I'd argue that the entire move to Linux is mainly people leaving SPARC because of performance concerns. In the mid 1990s through early 2000s Linux/x86 was a low end system and Solaris/SPARC was the big brother. The lack of performance is what made Linux thrive. If Sun workstations were still say 20-100x faster than x86 workstations and in the $10k range I'd be they would still be selling. If a $40-200k Sun server would crush a rack of x86 boxes they would still be selling.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard