Are you wondering which Sun Fire servers have reached their EOL? Many servers belonging to the Sun Fire brand, launched by Sun Microsystems in 2001, are no longer supported by their manufacturer, but still continue to power datacenters globally. At Acclinet, we carry a broad range of Sun Fire legacy servers that are new and refurbished.
The HP C8000 Workstation (AB629A) has reached its EOL and is hard to find, but we're offering them here at Acclinet as well as parts and maintenance. Featuring a rackable minitower design, the HP C8000 Workstation scales to four PA-8900 processors, 32 gigabytes of main memory and 64 megabytes of Level 2 shared cache. It supports 80-gigabyte Ultra/ATA 100 IDE and 300-gigabyte Ultra320 SCSI drives.
If you already own an HP C8000, we also offer workstation support plans that can lower your system's total cost of ownership (TCO) considerably by extending its life. Often times, aging workstations are replaced with newer machines when they still have years of quality service ahead of them.
All too often, IT professionals replace aging hardware with newer machines when they could perform for years more with proper maintenance. At Acclinet, we offer incredibly cost-effective service plans for Oracle/Sun Microsystems servers, workstations and storage arrays. By investing in an Oracle service plan, you'll be lowering your system's total cost of ownership (TCO) considerably by extending the life of your hardware.
At our facility, we can repair your 541-0645 rear fan trays. They are compatible with the Sun Fire T2000 Server. These blower tray assemblies are nearly impossible to find today, and we can repair them for just $295 apiece. Advanced exchanges available.
We are still looking for sales professionals who have experience selling entry-level, mid-range and enterprise-class servers, workstations, storage arrays and other hardware. We're especially looking for people who've sold Oracle/Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and EMC products.
IBM's upcoming POWER7 processor will be impressive. It manages to bring a much larger number of cores and threads while maintaining a higher clock rate of about 4GHz than anyone else. Although, not as high as POWER6's 5GHz.
It will ship in a few different packages varying the number chips per MCM (multi-chip module): a blade version with a single chip, a dual-chip MCM for the majority of the Power Servers, and a quad-chip MCM for POWER7 IH node, which are currently intended only to be used in the Blue Waters supercomputer. It's temping to think that the quad-chip modules will make it into the high-end Power 595 but a need for liquid cooling at any reasonable clock rate will probably prevent this. This will certainly cause people to be confused about the performance stats of these processors because the number of cores and threads are not the only thing that varies with the three versions. Just to confuse things further, it looks like IBM will offer the single chip and dual-chip MCM with not only 8-core chips but 6-core and 4-core also. The dual-chip "rejects" will most likely only be used in the entry level systems.
A single chip contains a maximum 8-cores with support for 4 SMT threads for a total of 32 threads per chip. Most systems will contain dual-chip MCMs which offer 64 threads per socket. Assuming that IBM offers them in dual-socket books like the POWER6 chips, it will allow for 2048 threads in the top end Power 595 system. Quite a jump from the current max of 128. Perhaps more importantly to most, the Power 520 entry level systems will now have a maximum of 64 threads versus the current 8. That is assuming they are not too expensive to offer in a low end machine. Don't let the list price fool ya: You will most likely need to pay a lot more to turn everything on and then there is OS licensing, etc.
POWER7 is the first chip to use eDRAM (embedded DRAM), which allows for a greater cache size with less transistors and also power savings compared to SRAM (typical processor cache). It is a bit slower but it seems to be worth it, especially because it allowed them to bring the cache onto the chip, which counteracted this side-effect. POWER6 had its L3 cache in separate chips on the MCM. POWER7 will have 32MB L3 cache per chip. For most people, this will translate to 64MB L3 cache per socket, which is by far the largest cache seen so far in any server. The design also has 32KB L1 instruction cache, 32KB L1 data cache, and 256KB L2 cache per core. If IBM used SRAM for the L3 cache instead of eDRAM, 32MB would have required a 2.7 billion transistor design (assuming you could), more than doubling the actual 1.2 billion for the complete POWER7.
There are now 12 execution units per core including the following:
- 2 fixed-point units
- 2 load/store units
- 4 double-precision floating-point units
- 1 vector unit (supporting VSX)
- 1 decimal floating-point unit
- 1 branch unit
- 1 condition register unit
The pipelines have also been revamped to deal with the new execution units and increased thread count.
A feature missing from POWER6 but used in previous POWER chips, out-of-order execution, is being put back into POWER7. This is not only a performance boost but may allow some people stuck on POWER5 for software reasons to migrate to the POWER7 systems.
As for memory, POWER7 has two dual-channel DDR3 memory controllers per chip. IBM has stated that these controllers can sustain 100GB/s of bandwidth per chip. This would translate to an aggregated sustained rate of 6.4TB/s (8TB/s theoretical peak) of memory bandwidth.
These numbers aren't confirmed yet but they appear to be off the charts compared to previous generation systems from anyone. Unfortunately, it is also likely their total price tag is too.
The iSCSI provider has been rewritten for Solaris family and has considerably changed the performance. Detailed results can be seen in this blog entry, iSCSI before and after. Some of the performance gain is actually from a change in the processors and effective interprocessor communication but the software was previously the bottleneck. Here is a quick summary:
Sun Storage 7410 (Barcelona, 2008 Q4 software)
37,056 IOPS (512-byte)
Sun Storage 7410 (Istanbul, 2009 Q3+ software)
318,099 IOPS (512-byte)
Sun Microsystems is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle Corporation. All of the current hardware is still being sold and all the older hardware continues the support it had from Sun. More importantly, it ensures Sun's viability. Some people had doubts due to money troubles but Oracle has put an end to that.
SPARC is actually getting a bigger investment and so is Solaris. Virtually every software product, even those that overlap with Oracle's past offerings, is being continued for the foreseeable future.
Good news all around for those who use Sun and the industry as a whole.
The Blue Waters supercomputer being built by IBM is a game changer, especially in the area of bandwidth. It has 2+ million threads, 2PB of memory with 8PB/s of aggregate memory bandwidth, and over 32,000 2nd generation x16 PCIe slots with 640TB/s aggregate bandwidth.
I based this information on a article written by Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Register, and a little math about how the bandwidth in the switch/hub chip is dedicated. I'm sure there will be more to say when the system is actually installed in 2011.
|per Switch/Hub Chip||per drawer||per supernode||per Blue Waters (512 nodes)|
|192 GB/s of bandwidth into each Power7 MCM (what IBM called a host connection)|
|336 GB/s of connectivity to the seven other local nodes(MCMs) on the drawer|
|240 GB/s of bandwidth between the nodes in a four-drawer supernode||
|320 GB/s dedicated to linking nodes to remote nodes||2560GB/s||10240GB/s (10TB/s)|
|total external inter-node (not including PCIe cards)||4480GB/s|
|40 GB/s of general purpose I/O bandwidth (PCIe)||320GB/s||1280GB/s||655360GB/s (640TB/s)|
Empty spaces in the chart are values which shouldn't be aggregated
128GB/s per chip
512GB/s per MCM
4TB/s per drawer
16TB/s per supernode
|DIMM Count and Memory Size|
|per Blue Waters||2PB||262144|
Why split a CPU core into multiple hardware threads? Same reason as always: more power! Now there is another reason. Pricing. Most companies have ignored multiple hardware threads and charged their licensing fees based on core or socket. Assuming they charge anything. So two threads per CPU cuts your price in half, four threads is only 25% and eight is 12.5%. Who offers multiple threads? Well, basically everyone offers Intel's newest chips which allows for two (half price), but who does four or eight? Sun. It looks like it will be years before anyone else does even though Sun has offered four hardware threads since 2005.
Now what is a hardware thread? It's a little extra hardware that allows a core to process multiple software simultaneously or appear to do so. It appears to software that each hardware thread is it's very own CPU (just like cores). There are various ways to implement the feature and some work better on certain workloads than others but there is no single winner. Now if your workload works well with hardware that does 4 or 8 threads (most do) and you pay per core or socket or even system for your software, then wouldn't you like to save 75% to 87.5% on your software? By the way, there are a lot of other attractive features to the systems that support this but they aren't the focus here.
Now if you are buying Oracle, they also give a discount for multiple cores on these Sun systems, 50% discount for the machines with 4 threads and 25% for the machines with 8 threads on top of not charging for the extra threads. That turns out to be 87.5% per thread for the 4 thread machines and 90.625% per thread off for the 8 thread machines. You can also get up to 128 threads in a 1U chassis or a single blade. 256 in a 4U. Now almost 91% less per thread is handy when you have 128 or 256 threads per server. That could be 232 threads for free!
Some of you may have heard Andy Becholstein mention a flash device at one of the Sun events. This device will allow for 80 Sun Flash Modules in a 1U and will do over 1 million IOPS. This level of performance will destroy the competition in almost all workloads.
For those that don't knowm Sun's Flash Modules are basically a SATA SSD in a laptop size SO-DIMM form factor. The initial options will store 32GB(up from estimated 28GB), have a 64MB cache and consume 2.5 watts when active. All the specs match or exceed current SLC SSD offerings. The sleep power is only 100mW, so all 80 in the new array could only use 8W total in sleep power mode. I'm not sure how the term sleep compares with what I would call idle.
You may be thinking, "Big deal. I'll never be able to get one." They are going to charge insane money for it, right? Not necessarily. The flash modules are also being used in the entry-level X2270 and blades so their price is not likely to get too out of hand. The chassis is a JBOD, so it is unlikely to be too pricey. Now it probably won't be the cheapest product fully loaded. Multiplying anything by 80 has a tendency to add up. You'll get a lot for your money though. Phenomenal performance, low power, truly non-volatile, and compact size just to name a few.
For those of you who know how to leverage ZFS, imagine using this as your read and write cache. Along those lines, we will most likely see a 7000 series product that does just that.
It is to be known as the Sun Storage F5100 Lightning Flash, assuming that the Sun name is still around when it comes out. I also think the Lighting Flash part may be dropped but I think it's kinda catchy.
Initial modules will allow for raw storage of 2.5TB per unit and 107TB+ per rack.
People once (and still do) use something else and turned to Linux because they were being overcharged. So is there anything else that is free? Yes, there are other operating systems that are free. There are various ones, but the one I find notable is Solaris. Why? Because it has been widely used in mission-critical applications since the 80s and has had a large focus on scalability. Solaris is a Unix operating system that found itself abandoned by many for Linux. The main underlying problem was price. Well, after some controversial internal politics and legal maneuvering within Sun they released Solaris as free in 2005 and even placed development in a community-run project named Opensolaris. Problem solved. Thanks to Linux.
Some of you may be concerned with speed or compatibility but Solaris has done much to address this since it became free with numerous world records in performance and a bigger compatibility list than any single distribution of Linux.
Now why not AIX or HP-UX?. Two reasons really. They aren't free. They don't run on x86 architecture, which is by far the majority of the market.
Why not Windows? Let's go with it's not free, although there are many, many other reasons.
There is also hardware backing for Solaris from IBM, HP, Dell, Fujitsu, and of course Sun/Oracle. So will Linux end up being just a price check for Unix?