Thursday Feb 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day Austin, TX

We're at the University of Texas today in Austin, TX, home of that great Austin City Limits on PBS and a wonderful music scene from which Shawn Colvin, Charlie Sexton, and many, many other groups have come from.

I need to catch you up on tour dates coming up. Recall we are multi-national at this point. The oversea's tour moves much slower because of all of the borders and water that we have to cross ;-)

Febuary 20-21st we are in Sao Paulo, Brazil and we are in Rio de Janeiro on February 26th. It is "Carnaval" in Brazil so everyone is partying away (from what I hear ;-). Sao Paulo itself is the largest city in South America, the fourth largest by population on our tiny globe, and the center of commerce for Brazil. Surely a place that could use some densely packed CPU and Storage.

March 4-9th we are at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. CeBIT is a HUGE show. You want to know how huge? In 2007, there were 480,000 attendees (you saw that right).

Here in the U.S., we just came from San Antonio, where Dan the driver is feeding me with a liberal amount of pictures that I faithfully keep in the gallery at SmugMug, you can subscribe to the RSS Feed if you want.

From San Antonio, we moved onto Austin today and Dallas, TX is coming on February 20th.

Thursday Feb 07, 2008

Good Morning AFCEA West Conference

The AFCEA West Conference attendees should be just waking up and having their morning rations before going down for the days activities. So... Good Morning from the Sun MD Blog!

I have a few notes and a load of pictures in the SmugMug Gallery. First of all, attendance has been exceptional. The first day of the conference we exceeded 100 folks on tour, I believe the official number was 112. BUT, we know some of you are sneaking past our bean counters...you know who you are...

Here is the first picture I have of the additional tables we have up around the SunMD Tour as people wait for their timeslot:

What are you seeing on the tables? None other than our Sun Fire x4450 system on the left and a Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server on the right. Note the liberal number of drive bays (2.5" SAS) in the Sun Fire x4450, this makes the same chassis ideal for storage servers, CPU grid servers, or a combination of both.

Something to remember when you look at the Sun MD, we have designed a liberal set of services to accompany the system. Many of these overlap with our non-SunMD services (like Remote Monitoring), some of them are unique to Sun MD (like Site Planning / Leveling). The complete set of services and processes around Sun MD are now on Sun Modular Datacenter Suite of Services web site.

So, if you are AFCEA West today, stop by and have another look:

If you already stopped by to have a look and you snuck past our bean counters...go back and get counted, you give me something to brag about on the blog ;-)

Tuesday Feb 05, 2008

Sun MD Tour Truck vs. Sun Sponsored Race Car

Irvine, CA and San Diego, CA hosted the Sun MD Tour on 1/22 and 1/23 along with its Smokey and the Bandit side-kick, a Sun-sponsored Ford Mustang race car. You'll remember that Smokey and the Bandit had a '77 Pontiac Trans Am...did I ever want that car back in the day. It turns out 7 of them were used during filming and destroyed.

Well, the Sun MD tour is not carrying an illegal shipment of Coors across state lines and, hopefully, Sheriff Buford T. Justice (respects to Jackie Gleason) is not chasing down the driver.

In terms of raw speed, obviously I'd take the race car. In terms of bandwidth, I'm going with the Sun MD S20 on the truck. Using the Sun MD Data Warehouse Solution (containing 63 Sun Fire X4500s), you can house around 3 Petabytes of storage (click through to find other interesting configs):

Driving with my trusty side-kick (the Sun-sponsored Race Car shown above), I can transfer those 3 Petabytes of storage from San Francisco to Boston in about 48 hours. Now, this may take a few corrections from the "community" ;-) But, I believe that gives me 1 3,000,000,000,000,000 bytes / (48 hours \* 60 mins / hour \* 60 secs / min) = 5,787,037,037 17,361,111,111 bytes per second which is about 5.8 17 gigabytes per second. As far as bandwidth goes, not too shabby. You may even be able to squeeze that above 620 gigabytes per second if you throw a couple more Sun Fire x4500s in the back seat of the race car.

You know where to find me if my math is wrong ;-)

NOTE: Yes, I caught the FIRST mistake...I went with 1 petabyte instead of 3, what the Sun MD can hold in terms of Sun Fire X4500 storage.

Tuesday Dec 04, 2007

Saludos desde Mexico

Buenos días mis amigos,
Todo va bien en la Ciudad de México.
Giddyup caballos...
Tener un gran día,

Dan Campbell, on tour with Project Blackbox, started forwarding pictures from our stop in Mexico City this week (as well as fragments of Spanish...). This is our third country on the North American tour with Brazil coming up early next year.

Here is a picture from the early look session before the tours started:

Today is the last day in Mexico City, the truck gets bundled up this evening for a 600 mile journey North to Monterrey, Mexico. Monterrey is the second largest population center in Mexico.

Buenos dias mis amigos.

Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

Project Blackbox = Supercomputer #412 + CEC Photo of the Day

Top 500 Supercomputer Sites tracks the top 500 (duh) supercomputer sites across the planet. When you sift down through the list and work your way to number 412 in the June 2007 list you will find...yupp...a Project Blackbox configuration.

This particular configuration contains 1,088 processors, 4,480GB Memory and has a theoretical peak of 5,658 GFlops! This particular installation is built with our own Sun Blade 8000 system line with an Infiniband interconnect, here's the stock photo of one of the Sun Blade 8000 chassis that fits into a Project Blackbox rack:

What is interesting about the ranking on the Top 500 Supercomputer chart is that the Project Blackbox is being treated as a compute node, rather than a bunch of racks of single node equipment. Welcome to the world of the grid.

Remember though, we don't confine you to one of our system types, we have a list of qualified servers and storage that we keep up to date. You aren't even confined to Sun equipment. Project Blackbox is a modular datacenter...how many datacenters are completely homogeneous?

On a separate note, I received this excellent shot from CEC in Las Vegas (you can tell by the CEC backpacks they are wearing). These two attendees are looking into the corridor of the container standing in the inner hatch doors.

Remember, this is a very early unit and if you look at the left outer door you will notice there is no insulation on the doors. Our newer units added insulation here to increase efficiency and our ability to maintain the inner environment.

Keep the pictures coming.

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Tuesday Oct 09, 2007

CEC Attendees! Send snapshots!!!!!!!

The new leg of the U.S. tour kicked off in style at the Customer Engineering Conference (CEC) in Las Vegas. In this snapshot, you can see the Project Blackbox tour unit provides an elegant backdrop to go with the boxed lunches :-)

Also, we received this picture of the connections between the Project Blackbox tour unit and the generator. I promise, I didn't bundle those...you should see the mess of power cords underneath my desk.

Now, here's what I need from the CEC attendees. We know you are there with your digital cameras and camera phones. Could you take a minute and either


  • Send a link to your blog about Project Blackbox with your pictures
  • Send pictures directly to my Sun Account (paul dot monday at sun dot com)

I will get as many posted as I can along with credit! Remember...unique, artistic, mechanical, all score extra points. Feel free to send any technical write-ups or details that would go well with the picture...it doesn't have to be the marketing stuff either...talk about Sun Spots, the machines in the box, what you would do with cabling, your labeling solution, or even give a shout out to your friends from the PBb blog with a picture of yourself!

Monday Oct 08, 2007

Singapore - Asia Pacific Launch is Complete!

The Asia-Pacific leg of the Project Blackbox Tour started off with a bang last week in Singapore, here's a picture to prove it.

At first glance, you may expect to see Michael Jackson with a can of Pepsi or the lead singer of Whitesnake strutting out from between the sparks but, instead, you get a glimpse of our tour unit cabled up and ready for business.

Here is a picture backstage at the event as folks tour the unit:

In total, approximately 600 attendees toured in the three day engagement in Singapore. Most of these events create a balance between private sessions for partners, sessions for press and analysts and more open sessions for those that may have heard the buzz and found the registration button (see previous posts on the blog).

Without a doubt, this looks like one of the hippest and best dressed crowds yet!

Next stop is Beijing for this unit while the U.S. Tour unit is ready to go at CEC in Las Vegas this week!

Thursday Oct 04, 2007

Registration Information in Asia-Pacific Tour Leg

I was doing some legwork to get some information on registration for the Asia-Pacific region. We are currently in Singapore with the tour. There is no online registration location for the Beijing tour stop...at least not yet. The Beijing stop is 10/22 to 10/24. Perhaps there is a way to get the Project Blackbox Tour a cameo on Survivor China...the contestants could race to deploy a data center capable of doing rapid calculations of seismic activity (just an idea...).

At any rate, here are the registration locations I have for
\* 11/12-11/4 - Tokyo
\* 11/21-11/23 - Seoul
\* 12/18-12/20 - Sydney & Canberra - No online registration yet

While you are waiting for the tour to come to your city, read the Here Comes the Sun article at xchange magazine. There is some great information on Project Blackbox and some time with our own Darlene Yaplee (VP of Marketing for Project Blackbox) in the article. The article even has some information on this unit (our A9) that I can't talk about!

Have a great evening and GO ROCKIES!

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