Friday May 01, 2009

Sun Delivers Performance Boost to University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida offers more than 220 degree programs to 50,000 students and is served by more than 5,000 faculty and staff who have relied on Sun servers, storage, software, and services for more than 10 years.

In 2007, UCF sought to increase the capability and scalability of its Oracle/PeopleSoft platform to meet growing computational and storage demands. This upgrade required a high-performance storage area network in addition to related system upgrades, all of which needed to be in place for the Fall 2008 semester to facilitate class scheduling and registration.
Sun Customer UCF
Logo Courtesy: UCF
UCF ultimately selected the Sun StorageTek 9990V system and said they chose it because it was "best of breed" in its product class for both performance and reliability. For its PeopleSoft application servers UCF chose eight Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 servers, and five Sun Fire T2000 servers.

UCF is pleased with the fast operation of the new solution, which offers a 10-fold improvement in overall performance. Robert Yanckello, Chief Technology Officer at UCF says "Even during peak loads of the semester's first week, when many students are adding and dropping classes, everything moved smoothly. The systems are simple to manage and use, and Sun has been easy to do business with."

Check out the complete details here.

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Customer of the week: Liverpool Direct Limited

Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) is helping transform the way citizens in Liverpool access public services. A public/private enterprise of its kind, LDL's vision is to offer "joined-up government" whereby everybody has access to new technology for communicating with Liverpool City Council and its Business Units. Among LDL's responsibilities are contact centers, benefits services, human resources and payroll, and revenue services.
Liverpool Direct Limited
The organization was aiming to increase computing power and capacity, reduce operational and management costs, cut power and cooling costs and increase space available for scaling hardware platform.

Sun Professional Services provided LDL with a turnkey solution that included a high-performance, cost-effective platform based on Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 servers running the Solaris 10 OS, Solaris Cluster, and Sun Interim Operations Management to ensure a successful adoption of the new technology.

"Liverpool Direct Limited couldn't deliver Solaris-based shared services without the Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series servers running the Solaris 10 OS," noted Frank Oakley, Solutions Architect, LDL. "The platform has reduced our costs and doubled processing performance."

Check out the complete details here.

Thursday Jan 22, 2009

Sun receives recognition from and The VAR Guy

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server received SearchDataCenter's Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year. The article notes that the T5440 server packs enough memory and CPU power to deliver up to four times higher performance per watt at about one-fifth of competitive servers, which is part of the reason the judges gave it the Bronze award for 2008 server product of the year.

One T5440 user, a massive, European-based Web hosting company called Strato, reported, "After testing the new quad-socket Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server, we discovered that only one T5440 is sufficient to handle the whole load and can replace 10 of our existing Sun Fire T2000 servers."

In other news, The VAR Guy looked at the top open source companies disrupting and redefining the IT channel. Their "Open Source 50" list was released recently, with Sun being ranked #2 overall. We received many recognitions from The VAR Guy: Best of the Best (Sun ranked #2 of 25), Percentage of Revenue From Partners (Sun ranked #8 of 24), Company Size Based On Employees (Sun ranked #1 of 24), Partner Ecosystem (Sun noted in comments as not providing exact figures).
SearchDataCenter Award

Monday Nov 03, 2008

InformationWeek: "Sun's T5440 Server Is Built To Multitask"

Over the weekend, InformationWeek has published a very positive review of Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 server. The review is also running in this week's print edition of InformationWeek.

In his evaluation, Jeff Ballard of InformationWeek stated the "T5440 server will excel anywhere throughput is more important than CPU speed -- in those areas, the T5440 is rewriting the record book. Database workloads--in particular, Oracle and SAS environments -- are well-suited to the T5440's CMT technology."

His positive review examined Sun's latest CMT offering noting the unit "runs rings around more expensive devices when performing a lot of tasks concurrently. It's ideal for databases and virtualization and excels at encrypting and decrypting data thanks to on-board security co-processors."

Jeff noted that the UltraSPARC T2 chip's performance "blurred the distinction between traditionally lower-end T series and higher-end M series devices" and that it "turns in performance above its pay grade thanks to its higher concurrency of operations."

Jeff also examined the T5440's virtualization capabilities, specifically LDoms. "We found the all-purpose "ldm" LDom-controller command easy to use, and we had our first LDom up and running within minutes. Adding and removing them also was a snap," he noted.
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5440 Server

Monday Jul 07, 2008

Customer of the week: Saudi Airlines

Saudi Airlines, the national carrier for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, started with a single aircraft in 1945. The airlines have undergone huge growth since then, and today they operate 139 aircrafts serving more than 13 million passengers every year. To manage growth and ensure business continuity, the airlines has turned to Sun for a complete systems upgrade that includes new Sun SPARC Enterprise M8000, T5120 and V490 servers as well as storage and back-up solutions.
Sun Customer -- Saudi Airlines
(Image courtesy: Saudi Airlines)
Muhammed Al Bakri, ERP Project Director and Chief Systems Engineering and Technology, Saudi Airlines, commented, "Sun's solution for SAP was convincing; Sun provided an integrated tested solution that can be deployed quickly enough to help reduce cost and risk, improve availability, scalability, security, flexibility, and manageability. The solution is performance-driven, ensures business continuity and has the capacity to accommodate a wide variety of business applications."

Check out the details from AMEInfo...

Tuesday Jun 10, 2008

Awards, awards, and... MORE awards!!!

Recently the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 server was given an eWEEK Excellence Award in the Infrastructure Hardware category.

In this prestigious eighth annual compeition, the judges placed utmost importance on a number of criteria including innovation, cost effectiveness, potential for helping companies create business efficiencies and develop competitive advantage to determine the winner.

On why Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 server beat out the competition, the eWEEK award committee noted, "The T5120 leverages Sun's work in server manageability and reliability to earn our top marks as a server platform that will support computing workloads for years to come, without forcing IT pros to compromise on performance. ... Speaking of future-proofing, Sun equipped the T5120 with 10 Gigabit Ethernet network cards, to ensure that high-capacity workloads don't slow down in the data center infrastructure."
eWEEK Excellence Award Winners

Third Annual ServerWatch Product Excellence Awards
Sun products were all across the board in the Third Annual ServerWatch Product Excellence Awards.

The Sun SPARC Enterprise T5220 server was the mid-range server category winner.

Sun's Eco Initiative for products/services took the second place (only behind Green Grid, a consortium of which Sun is a key member).

Sun xVM was in a dead-heat second place finish with Citrix behind only VMWare for the virtualization category.

And Sun MySQL was mentioned as a key component in the small biz server category.

To round up the award news, The SD Times 100 awards for 2008 were announced and Sun had a mention in several categories, including Application Servers, Embedded, IDEs and Influencers. In addition, JRuby was mentioned in the Tools section and MySQL was highlighted in the Database category.
SD Times 100, 2008 Award

Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

Multi-socket CMT servers running wild...

Today is the day!!!

We are going multi-socket with Niagara-based systems.

2 CMT CPUs X 8 cores/CPU X 8 threads/core = 128 threads/system.

In simple terms, TONS of horsepower to run LOTS of applications.

As Wall Street Journal reports, found out early how these systems can change their business...

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5240 Server
"We have added SMP [symmetric multiprocessing] capabilities so you can add two of them into a single system, so within one rack unit or a two-rack-unit-high enclosure you are going to have 128 simultaneous compute threads," notes Sun's Mat Keep in a eWEEK interview. "What that means in comparison to other compatible systems is that you'll have two-and-a-half to five times the performance compared to a two-socket, Intel-based system and price performance that is five times better."

And Alan has a nice post on the reactions from the amped up engineers.

Let's cap it off with the best news -- our Try & Buy users can save up to 45% if they purchase trial units before June 30.

UPDATE: InfoWorld published a preview of the system today with the full review to come in the next couple of weeks.

Monday Mar 31, 2008

InfoWorld's positive review of the Sun SPARC T5120 server

Last week InfoWorld posted a very positive review of the Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120, featuring the UltraSPARC T2 processor. The server scored 8.3 out of 10, a rating of "very good."

The in-depth review discusses the new features that differentiate the T5120 from previous SPARC servers. The reviewer, Paul Venezia, discusses why the T2 processor is significant, stating, "this architecture is a significant departure from the rest of the industry, and positions these servers to fill specific, highly transactional roles, foregoing the rest. In that capacity, they do quite well."
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

Paul also highlights the (local) storage benefits of the T5120, which he cites as unusual -- given that the T5120 is built for computing not storage -- but that it is not unwelcome. He discusses running the T5120 with Solaris ZFS as it provides more storage options. He says, "it's easy to see the T5120 supplanting many physical SPARC-based servers by collapsing their workloads into Solaris Containers that feed from the T5120's 64-thread trough."

Finally, Paul provided a quick comparison of the T5120 running both Solaris and Ubuntu 7.10. For everyday tasks, he found the performance on both to be very similar, but stated that running Solaris resulted in better FPU and crypto performance.

Overall, this is a positive review for Sun that demonstrates the strength of our server products.

Sunday Mar 16, 2008

OpenSolaris and other reviews of the week

1. OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2 (Indiana) under VirtualBox on MacBook Pro... -- Rodney Campbell's Blog, 3/9
Rodney recently learned about VirtualBox. Since it could run on OpenSolaris, he decided to try and test both VirtualBox and the latest release of the OpenSolaris Developer Preview 2 (Project Indiana). In a follow-on posting, he describes his installation and set-up process, along with a few issues he needs help with. He ends by saying that one "very cool thing" about Sun's Indiana Developer Preview is that the root filesystem uses ZFS by default.

2. How to start rlogin in Solaris 10 -- Lux.Et.Umbra, 3/6
This blogger discusses the benefits of installing Solaris 10 from scratch -- such as having plain text pass wording like telnet -- and notes that there are instances when users might need to have it implemented and turned on. He explains to his readers that, to do this, they will need to use the svcadm command to assist in enabling and disabling the appropriate service in Solaris.

3. 16-core Intel System vs. Niagara-2 -- Milek's Blog, 3/5
Robert Milkowski runs several sysbench tests, and includes different graphs displaying various test results. In terms of the CPU and threads tests, he finds that the Niagara-2 and the 16-core Intel box deliver about the same performance with 32 threads, but Niagara runs quicker when using more threads. Robert concludes by stating that the Niagara-2 box can rival 4-CPU 4-core Intel boxes if the application can utilize all of these cores.

Monday Feb 11, 2008

Positive comprehensive review of Sun 5x20 servers from "Sparks and White Noise"

Octave Orgeron, Sparks and White Noise blogger and contributor to various USENIX publications, today published his full review of the T5120 and T5520 servers.

Titled "The SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220," Octave opens the review by explaining that these products represent a huge advancement in server technology for SPARC customers and calls the servers "amazing."

Octave explains that the UltraSPARC T2 processor is the second generation of the CMT processor design from Sun and notes that the processor is really a "system on a chip." Its built-in components, explains Octave, allow for higher throughput and reduced I/O overhead that would normally require external ASICs or option cards.
Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 Server

Octave covers virtualization as well and notes that one of the unique features of the UltraSPARC T1 and T2 servers is the ability to virtualize the server intro discreet virtual machines called logical domains through an integrated hypervisor, which provides additional layers or privileged access. He explains that this type of virtualization can increase the utilization of a single server in ways that previously were not even possible. It opens the door to consolidating development environments, infrastructure services, QA environment testing and production applications.

Octave summarizes the review by explaining that the Niagara servers offer many unique and exciting features that set it apart from the competition. He believes that the UltraSPARC T2 processor with 8 cores, 64 threats, 10Gb Ethernet, PCI-E, and cryptographic features are revolutionary in the computing industry, and ends by saying that it's amazing to think that not long ago, it would have taken a much larger and more expensive solution to equal the features and benefits of these servers.

A very nice comprehensive review!

Monday Jan 14, 2008

UltraSPARC T2 Processor-based Servers Take Gold in Product of the Year Awards

Sun SPARC Enterprise T5120 and T5220 servers were named's "the best data center products of 2007" in the category of servers with four processors or less.

These UltraSPARC T2 processor-based servers double the number of processing threads and increase floating point capabilities eight times over the previous generation, and are the first servers to integrate 10 Gigabit Ethernet technology and I/O directly on the chip.

Judged on criteria including ease of integration into existing environments, innovation and value, notes the energy efficiency and performance per watt of the systems as well as the "free virtualization capabilities with Solaris Containers and Logical Domains (LDoms) that help keep IT costs low."

Additionally, highlights the systems for using "the same chassis, power supplies, disks and fans are used on the Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel Corp. processor-based variants of the servers, and the remote management capabilities are compatible with Sun's x64 family of servers, with standardized interfaces that are backwards compatible with the previous generation of SPARC remote management facilities."

This new year is turning out exceptionally good for Sun products... :-) Gold medal for Sun in 2007 Products of the Year

Saturday Jan 05, 2008

Blogs reviews: Niagara 2 server, Solaris, ...

1. T5120 First Impressions -- Sparks and White Noise, 12/20
Octave Oregon posts around the holidays boasting about the T5120 that is now set up in his home office. He explains that it came pre-loaded with Solaris 10 Update 4, JES, and teh LDM 1.0.1 software. He points out that the sound of the machine powering on is "like a jet getting ready to launch off an air-craft carrier."

2. A Peek under the Hood of the T5120 -- Sparks and White Noise, 12/20
In this blog, Octave Oregon explains several pictures that he has taken of the T5120. Some features that he likes best are the new look and the latch mechanism. He also explains that the machine offers a panel that allows you to access the fan modules without having to take apart the server. This blog by Oregon was very detailed and any reader who reads this blog can immediately sense his excitement.

3. Building 32-bit openssl libraries with the Sun C compiler -- Blog O' Matty, 12/30
Matty shares his experience while installing OpenSSL 0.9.8g on one of his servers. He noticed that 64-bit libraries are produced by default but to build 32-bit shared libraries he had run Configure with the "shared" and "solaris-x86-cc" otions.

4. More articles.. -- Sparks and White Noise, 12/28
Octave Oregon writes about how he will be writing his fourth and final article for ;login; on LDoms. He explains that he had massive amounts of material and sued Solaris 10 and Solaris Express on the T5120 for his tests and examples in his articles. He also concludes that these articles would not have been possible without the wonderful machine (the T5120).




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