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back to article Solaris shops bunged cash to upgrade old duffers

If you have an old Sparc-based system from Sun Microsystems or Fujitsu in production, Oracle wants to pay you some cash to trade in that old box for more modern Sparc Enterprise T or M gear. Oracle slipped out the Trade In, Trade Up promotion a month ago, targeting its installed base of musty tech as well as that of sometime …

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Dear Oracle, we've got a SparcStation 5 running as a (very) low traffic FTP server. Can we get some cash for that? (It runs NetBSD and includes a few oddities, such as a quad ethernet card and an the rare "Leo" 24bit framebuffer).

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Anonymous Coward

Looking at the deal, yes, provided you buy an M8000, M9000 or SPARC Supercluster to move it to. Given the price point and power draw of the M8000/M9000, it's not particularly economically attractive. Last I checked, there was a significant uplift in cost per socket between an M5000 and an M8000 (1.5-2x more expensive) and power draw was something like 50% higher per socket. When you add in the fact that M5000s are already relatively over-priced for the power provided, it's not a great deal.

I haven't seen any pricing on the supercluster, but I'd assume "reassuringly expensive" to be the rule...

You'd be cheaper overall moving to T4-x systems based on the prices I've seen for those.

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Anonymous Coward

No problem

I'm sure Oracle will quite happily give you $4000 off so long as you purchase one of these monster systems.

All the prices are "ring us for a quote" on their shop site.

But one T4-4 of the largest config is $120,000, the "supercluster" is four of those plus storage and switches, and a rack to put it all in,

I dont imagine the M8000 or M9000 is much different in pricing.

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Anonymous Coward

Have ultra5, will trade...

... for a workstation with one or two sparc IXfx thingies in it, and some GPU goodness. Those don't exist? Not even without the GPU bit? Not even with mere VIIIfxes? Think I'll pass on the offer then.

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FAIL

How the mighty have fallen

Can I buy a rack or two of 1RU netra 210? I guess not. I don't want bug-laris 10 or 11 which will never go into production at my site. SMF can't be audited even for the lame PCI-DSS standard let alone PA so I can't even consider your Windows Registry based startup junk. Go back to real Unix, get me a short 1 RU appliance and I'll consider buying your hardware. Otherwise you get can lost. The scary thing is you could redo the chip in the X1/v100 at 25 microns and have better core than you have now for 99% of internet loads but you don't understand that since all your greybeards took the money and ran.

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Anonymous Coward

so 2 years since they bought Sun and almost continuous shrinking revenues The Lawnmower is desperate to try and make something of the aquisition.

He would probably make more money if the support costs were not so punitive. Customers should be able to choose the level of support they need on their systems, not every machine in an organisation needs to be at top level business critical support level. Some systems are only used for testing purposes - testing of patches for example and with the quality of Solaris patches seemingly to have dropped over the last couple of years then testing of patches is even more important but they can be tested on older machines that either don't have a support contract or a low level 5 day response support contract. Trying to put those old machines onto support so that they can be used can be more costly than a new machine.

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Happy

A large Investment bank I talked to

said that one T4 cpu, equals 6-8 SPARC cpus in terms of performance. This means one T4-4 server gives performance equal to 24-32 SPARC cpus. Good for consolidating smaller servers.

Later this year the T5 cpu will arrive, which is a die shrink of T4 cpu, but T5 has 16 cores and scales to 8 sockets. Thus, one T5 cpu would roughly equal 12-16 SPARC cpus. And one T5-8 server with eight T5 cpus, would correspond to 96-128 SPARC cpus. Even better for consolidating smaller servers.

And because Oracle will tune the Database, Solaris and the hardware, the T5-8 server will excel in database workload. Optimizing the whole stack is better than optimizing each individual part separately, and then collecting every piece. And Oracle owns the whole stack. Let us look at the coming TPC-H benchmarks. They will surely be interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

Numbers I've seen suggest a T4-4 has more throughput than an M8000 in a much smaller footprint, lower power draw & much lower purchase cost. I suspect that is for a fully multithreaded workload using all the multithreading in the T4, but it's still a bit of a kicker for the high-end systems Oracle are punting.

Interesting part will be if the T5 supports Solaris 10 or not; there were mutterings that the T4 would be Solaris 11 only, I told our contacts that they'd hardly sell any tin if it didn't support Solaris 10 natively. Solaris 10 branded containers on Solaris 11 isn't viable for some applications due to vendor support.

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Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

"...Solaris 10 branded containers on Solaris 11 isn't viable for some applications due to vendor support..."

LDOMs will not do?

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Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

LDOMs would be fine, but requires the tin to run Solaris 10 natively. If T5 doesn't run Solaris 10 natively, you're still SOL unless vendors support Solaris 10 branded containers on Solaris 11.

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Go

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

anon> Numbers I've seen suggest a T4-4 has more throughput than an M8000 in a much smaller footprint, lower power draw & much lower purchase cost.

The [2 socket/16 core] T4-4 in multithreaded mode, perform better than the [8 socket/16 core] V890's we have, in our real-world applications (with no tuning.) They are really amazing.

Can't wait to pop in T5 boards, if it are compatible with the various half-populated T4-4 chassis we have.

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Holmes

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

@King1Con

I'm glad that this works for you. But the problem for Oracle is that where as they can replace servers with higher socket count, that appeared 7-8 years ago with servers that have 1/4th of the number of sockets. The competition are doing replacement of their own servers with servers that have 1/8th of the number of sockets.

And back then, Oracles competition was already faster than them by almost a factor of 2.

So where as T4 have helped greatly on their competitive situation , and is a great product, the competition have managed to pull further away.

// Jesper

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Happy

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

Yes, we all agree that SPARC lost momentum for a while. When you do a switch to a new solution, you loose momentum. Niagara was a radical new design which was not similar to any other cpu. For instance, it had a tiny cache and could still keep up and surpass other cpus, in some benches (massively threaded). Without a cache, it was still fastest in the world in some benches for massively threaded. That is radical, because all other cpus relied on large caches and high Hz to get performance. Not so Niagara. But that was then.

Now, Oracle is investing more money and resources in SPARC(Niagara) than Sun ever did. Today T4 has several world records. On the SPARC roadmap we see that Oracle projects 2x performance every second year. Now THAT is aggressive and beats every other large cpu vendor I know of. No one expects x86 to double performance every other year, neither do we expect POWER to double performance every other year (especially as there are no SPARC roadmaps out there).

The HP cpu roadmap does not look impressive, and we know Itanium is doomed. Regarding POWER, why is there no roadmap? Thus, SPARC is pulling far ahead the competition. SPARC has the most agressive roadmap with the largest performance gains of any large cpu vendor. Double the cpu performance every other year. Beat that Intel! :o)

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20110928221122_Oracle_Plans_to_Speed_Up_Release_of_Next_Generation_28nm_SPARC_T5_Chip.html

Now T5 is early, too. The eight socket T5 will have massive throughput and brutal performance. It will excel in database load, for sure. Oracle will see to it.

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Holmes

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

@Kebabbert

I think you are being way way to optimistic, on Oracle's behalf.

I mean if you look at the TX processor based line of servers, then going from T1 based servers to T2 based servers was a huge improvement. You saw an improvement of almost a factor of 4 going from T1 to T2, both on a per core and a per chip throughput, on most benchmarks.

Going from T2 -> T2+ .. well nothing on a per chip level, and the same from a per core level, actually the throughput decreased a little.

Now going from T2+ -> T3 again cost on the per core level, but you gained almost a factor of 2 on the per chip level.

Going from T3 -> T4 you gained almost nothing on the per chip level but a huge boost on the per core level.

So sure you had a huge improvement from T1-> T2 but from there on you've only managed to get around a factor of 2 on per chip throughput in general compute power going from T2 over T2+ over T3 to the T4. And that is in 5 years. So sorry the history of the T SPARC's does not imply a game changing marked winner of a processor for the future.

So it might be that Oracle is able to turn the Tx Sparc architecture into a processor that runs Oracles own software really really great with various accelerators that is tailored at their own products. But again the business model of IBM in the 70ies and 80ies is a risky one, it almost killed off IBM.

And to be honest not many clients today like Oracle.... again it's like people felt about IBM back in the 80ies and 70ties. But you are most likely to young to remember that.

// jesper

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Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

@Jesper

Have yor studied the official roadmap I linked to, SPARC will double the performance every other year? Now, if Oracle succeeds in keeping that goal, then do you agree that the goal is more aggressive than any other cpu?

There is no roadmap for a cpu vendor which doubles performance every other year. I mean, Ivy bridge was 20% faster or so. And Haswell might be 20% faster. It is not like Intel is doubling performance like SPARC does.

If the SPARC roadmap is true, then SPARC gets the most improvements in performance, more than any other cpu vendor. And already today, T4 beats POWER7 in some benches. The eight socket T5 servers will give four times the performance the T4-4 servers.

Do you know of any other cpu vendor that doubles performance every other year? No?

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Headmaster

Re: A large Investment bank I talked to

No. I haven't seen the SPARC roadmap you've linked to.

But I guess it's this one:

http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/servers/sparc-enterprise/public-sparc-roadmap-421264.pdf

It's not a SPARC roadmap. It's a SPARC based SERVER roadmap. That is a vastly different thing.

What we are going to see next year for SPARC is a shrink from 40nm -> 28nm, and an enabling of the T4+, or T5 as they might call it, to go to 8 sockets, while being in a T-series. Then the ageing Mseries is going to get rid of the obsolete SPARC64 and replace it with the T4+/T5.

Now T series going for 2,5 in throughput while doubling the number of sockets is bold, and I have my doubts there, unless new accelerators are introduced to lift throughput on certain benchmarks.

On MSeries, it's going to be a cold day in hell before replacing the SPARC64 VII+ with a T5 will give you a boost of x6 on all benchmarks.

They Will IMHO be able to pull it off on TPC-H where the SPARC T4 results are stunningly good, but on something like SPECINT or general purpose industry standard benchmarks.. Forget it.

On something like TPC-H the T4 is aprox x4 faster per core than SPARC64 VII+, where on something like SPECINT (judging form the T3 results) they are more or less equal.

So sorry but you are eating the marketing cake a bit to happily after my taste and not really trying to understand what is being said.

// Jesper

Now this is a processor roadmap:

http://regmedia.co.uk/2009/09/11/sun_sparc_roadmap.jpg

And as you can see Oracle is basically just delivering on what SUN started, there really haven't been released any new info since this roadmap on the processor side.

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