Thursday Oct 02, 2008

The New Sun Microsystems

It is the start of the last quarter of 2008 and we engineers in ISV Engineering are still baffled when we hear from new Startups when they say "Oh we are startups, I don't think we can afford Sun Microsystems" or sometimes even from old partners. It's like  Flashback to 1999! Yes we were selling $4million servers based only on SPARC in 1999. However in 2008 we are selling many servers for much less than $1000. (HINT: Join Sun Startup Essentials) In fact now we sell systems based on various CPU architectures like  AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon, UltraSPARC T2, SPARC64 VII. We also have one of the biggest OpenSource offerings right from MySQL, Java,, OpenSolaris, Glassfish, Netbeans, etc. (I for one cannot even remember all our OpenSource projects). So what we figured that essentially it is hard  for non-Sun folks to distinguish  the current Sun from the Sun of 1999. Essentially our biggest competition in 2008 is the lingering image of Sun from 1999 as seller of expensive Sun SPARC systems.

It is hard to push that message out when you don't have advertising budget. But we have to get the message out.  So what am I going to do about it?

Just to show the fact that we have changed from last decade, next time when I have to introduce myself,   I am going to say:

"I am Jignesh and I work for The New Sun Microsystems"

to highlight the fact and push the message out. I am changing the introduction in my blog and my email signature to reflect the same. I am hoping people will  read or hear the "New" moniker and ask their favorite Sun contacts "What's new?" and that's the exactly the question that I want those potential customers to ask us.

Update on Nov 6, 2008: Check out the New website

Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Financial Crisis & Proprietary Expensive Software Re-evaluation

Nobody like to see their portfolios being devalued as fast as it has been in these last few months. While I do not work for a financial company, I do work for a company which does consider financial sector as one of the markets that it caters. However that's not the point of my blog entry.

 My point is at this time many financial companies are trying to figure out the true value of many securities and assets that it owns. Also at the same time they are trying to offload assets to generate cash to be viable. Well most companies are selling off assets to gain cash in returns. IT  Departments will also impacted or "told" to re-evaluate their Asset Value to figure their worth.

So what are the assets that you put value in the IT Department in times like this? I put the value as the best price that I can sell it to a buyer in current condition. (After all there are bargain hunters in this economy who are putting in billions of dollars in deals right now)

Anyway things assets that IT Departments typically have are as follows

  • Skills (in terms of People)
  • Shelves (in terms of hardware racks with server, switches,etc)
  • Software CD & Licenses

Fortunately Skills and Shelves (Hardware) have a re-sale value and depending on how much you have you can still a generate cash from it.  However I am not sure on how the IT put value on the Software CDs & Licenses that it owns. Does it have a resale value? After all you did pay millions for these  licenses in the first place? It better have some resale value.

I hope the financial institutions are already re-evaluating their strategies on investing something that has a resale value instead of Proprietary Expensive Software which cannot be resold in times like this to stay in business.

Tuesday Sep 19, 2006

Tuning Alfresco on Sun Fire T2000

Alfresco 1.4 (preview) is an open source alternative for Enterprise Content Management. Alfresco's architectures is based on a full service oriented architecture using Spring, Hibernate, Lucene, MyFaces, JSR 168, JSR 170 and JSE5.

Recently we had tried it out on Sun Fire T2000. With out of box settings of Solaris and Alfresco we found some perofmance bottlenecks. After a series of tunings we overcame the bottlenecks. The deployment details through which we obtained optimum performance (atleast for this round of test) are as follows:

Solaris root drive was on one of the disk of Sun Fire T2000. Since the database was on a different server we just had to use this system for the repository primarily. The remaining three disks were stripped using the LSI RAID controller onboard the Sun Fire T2000. This three disk volume was then sliced into two 150GB, 50GB which were then mounted respectively as contentstore and the 50GB slice was used for lucene-index. This splitting of file systems seemed to help the index-creation threads of the lucene-index. Since the product does lot of operations with files we also tuned UFS. The /etc/system was modified to include the following additional tunables

\* Tuning UFS
set segmap_percent=30
set ufs:ufs_WRITES=0
set ufs:freebehind=0

This increases about 30% of RAM available for file system buffer cache instead of the default of 12%.

(If you have the database on the same system (and on the internal drive if not external) then I would recommend three slices to use one slice for the database)

So with separating the filesystems for contentstore and lucene-index and setting the parameters for UFS in /etc/system, the alfresco application was ready to be used on Sun Fire T2000.

Wednesday Jan 25, 2006

Online Sites where you can buy Sun Products

This Blog entry will basically be ongoing entry where I will update all the online sites that I find which sell Sun Products (Servers, Storage, Software, etc) apart from . Who knows there might be a better deal out there?

If I have missed sites that do sell online Sun Products, please let me know with the URL pointing to its Sun Catalog.

Wednesday Oct 20, 2004

$100 PC ... better yet get a Sun RAY

For once I agree with Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft . Better yet get a Sun RAY 1G (prices bound to get down once volume goes up). The advantage, no upgrades needed, no patching. Plus you can get both Sun Java Desktop System as well as Windows if you like using Citrix Metaframe or Tarantella. Sun RAYs will soon support USB Storage also.


Jignesh Shah is Principal Software Engineer in Application Integration Engineering, Oracle Corporation. AIE enables integration of ISV products including Oracle with Unified Storage Systems. You can also follow me on my blog


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