Common knowledge dictates that fashion comes in cycles. That rule applies inside Sun Microsystems, although one could argue they're spinning in their own separate mobius when it comes to workstations. Hey, remember Intel? Sun just did. Sun announced today it will release its first Intel-based workstation since the late 1980s …
Sun386i was rather nice
The 386i was something of a revelation for its day. It was wicked fast for a 386 workstation when it first appeared and had the cleanest design I'd seen to that point: a bare minimum of cables, even the chips were arranged in a visually pleasing manner and not a patch wire in sight.
Only 4 drives
Too bad it hasn't carried over the 8 drive capacity of the Ultra 40M2. Combined with ZFS, that makes for wicked fast local disk I/O. It's still better than the Ultra 20's measly 2 internal HDD bays, though.
Looks nice and Solaris is
as stable as they come but I'll stick with my 8 core Mac Pro thanks.
Even if it does come with the annoying Fanboi attachment (so named because of the constant hi-speed whining noise they make).
Was the old 386i one of the early pizzabox Suns? - From memory I think so.
Re: Looks nice and Solaris is
The Sun 386i (apart from sounding like one seriously fast BMW 3-series) looked like a bog-standard beige tower PC, if I remember correctly. Except with lots of lovely full-length vertical ventilation slots on the front for that "go faster" look. No blue neon tubes or furry dice, though. I thought that Google would be able to dig up a picture from the dusty archives of yore but it has failed me.
No - the 386i was a white midi tower. As was typical at that time, there were no optical drives, just a 3.5" floppy for use as the removable media.
Yes they were extremely fast (or perhaps they just appeared faster than they were when compared with Windows at that time....)
386i - Roadrunner
No the Sun 386i (aka Roadrunner) was not a pizza box rather a mini tower. They were designed by the Sun "East Coast Division" to be easy to configure out of the box. ECD did a great job and came out with what they called Plug and Play which meant you took one out of the box, stuck it on a network with other Roadrunners and they all justed worked together. No Unix command lines needed to manage them just a set of gui tools - way ahead of their time in a lot of ways.
Sadly ECD were out on a limb in Sun and all the great stuff they did worked well between Roadrunners but they did not play well with other Suns (or other Unix workstations for that matter) and most of the stuff they did got lost in Sun politics. A real shame as the dynamic configuration stuff they did was very innovative.
No sign of the Intel workstation on the sun site anymore. Guess it wasn't supposed to be announced yet.
Looks pretty good actually, and the prices aren't bad. Anyone know when it will be available?
386i (for the record...)
If you care to remember how did it look like...
My 386i still runs, or did last time I booted it... Must try it again.
Problem with Sun's AMD & Intel Offerings
My problem with Sun's AMD & Intel offerings is that they do not offer a writable optical drive as a build-to-order option. Your choices are DVD-ROM & DVD-Dual, and as far as I can tell the DVD-Dual is not writable. Sun's standard way of distributing Solaris x86 is for you to download & burn ISO images, yet they don't sell workstations that come with a way to burn the images.
IT COSTS HOW MUCH!!!???
I mean seriously, considering they give i86 Solaris away for free - this aint cheap. Also I run solaris on my HP/Companq Dx5150, it cost me 300quid new! (Plus a bit for maxing out the RAM)
The DVD-Dual is a DVD/CD rewriter. As far as I can tell all the workstations can be ordered with DVD-RW drives, or you can just swap-out a CDROM for a strandard DVD-RW.
Any know what motherboard sun are using for this? I ask as I seem to remember reading that the Ultra 20 and 20M were build using ASUS boards.
Case is ugly. Liked Java Workstation w1100z more...
What has made Sun drop the beautiful Sun w1100z / 2100z cases in favor of these white, blocky things with the sexyness of a truck radiator?.
See the Uglification of Sun Workstations
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