* Posts by Andrew Pickles

2 posts • joined 25 Jun 2008

Sun's Niagara 3 will have 16-cores and 16 threads per core

Andrew Pickles

Mr Angry

"Sun Marketeering droids" if only Sun had a marketeering department then perhaps the stock would be better. Getting back to the point .... the technology does the talking.

Niagara is pushing the envelope with built in with 10 Gigabit, line speed encryption and virtualization built in as standard in most cases. Even the PCI Express IO is on the silicon. All that means fewer parts and points of failure, lower costs, and vastly reduced power consumption.

Again to reiterate - this is Sun's ENTRY level SPARC range and focussed on massively parallel network centric workloads. It is also suitable for many standard application workloads up to a point. For 80% of the time it does the job very well. For the other 20% you have other products in the SPARC range.

Just one last point - if the thread speed was upped to 2GHz then the low power advantage would be lost. The 2GHz + version is called Rock.

The technology is different - heresy to some even - but it gets the balance right between price / massive throughput and very low power consumption and is very popular as a result for those who care about such problems.

Andrew Pickles

Bang on the Money

With more that 100% growth in a $1b business the Niagara series is solving real customer problems and migrating to this technology is easy with Binary Compatibility guaranteed by Sun for any Solaris 8 or higher application. The real value is that you do not have to continuously change applications and processes over time with the introduction of new OS or hardware revisions.

That makes it a very low cost platform to stay on.

CPU speed is no longer the major bottleneck in many applications - Oracle for example is highly threaded and is a perfect candidate for this technology.

With virtualisation at the heart of many projects - memory, storage and IO is where the battle commences. That is why Sun packs double the memory into their X64 range and is investing in new virtualised IO technologies.

On a last point re:- "The problem, however, seems to be that the UltraSPARC Tx boxes eat up sales of other low-end systems"

These systems are Sun's entry level SPARC servers - you get 4-cores / 32 threads as a minimum with an X64 price tag.