The latest tidbits on Sun deals and product news
Find out about Sun's four-phase Full Moon roadmap, "webtone," Sun's HPC systems, the E4000's latest record TPC-C benchmark results, and more
San Francisco (March 14, 1997) -- Aiming to prove that it will keep its technology lead over NT in the clustering space, SunSoft has unveiled a road map for what it is billing as "next-generation clustering architecture." The technology, called Full Moon, will be integrated into SunSoft's next realease of its High Availability (HA) 1.3 failover product, and will "complement" Sun's Ultra Enterprise parallel database (PDB) cluster. Full Moon will eventually be able to provide a single system image of up to eight nodes, administered by a "comprehensive Java-based" management tool. All SunSoft has to do is write the code; 1999 is the target date.
As for the present, or at least the near future, Solaris Marketing Manager Sanjay Sinha says that HA 1.3 will ship with special cluster APIs, disaster recovery, and Internet capabilities this April. The APIs, says Sinha, will be used by in-house developers to plug existing applications into HA and write, for example, their own fault monitors. Apparently, Sun feels its processor performance story is already strong enough, as Sinha says the point of Full Moon will be to provide greater availability rather than performance improvements.
Given the Full Moon branding, SunSoft seems to be targeting Microsoft's delayed Wolfpack clustering technology, which Sinha calls nothing more than "a very rudimentary two-load failover" in the hope of exploiting its own clustering technology lead and, ultimately, selling more copies of Solaris. Of course, Sun merely has to call on its buddies at Netscape if it would like a lesson on how quickly Microsoft can evaporate a competitor's technological advantage.
Sun has laid out the following four-phase roadmap for Full Moon:
San Francisco (March 14, 1997) -- Solaris Marketing Manager Sanjay Sinha gives his company credit with coining the latest industry buzzword, "webtone." Indeed, his boss, Solaris general manager Steve MacKay was tossing it around last week as SunSoft, along with IBM, Oracle, and Netscape announced an initiative that, according to the participants, will create a "software infrastructure that is the equivalent of a dial-tone for the Web."
The idea is to enhance CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) and IIOP (Inter-ORB Protocol) with new interoperability standards, which would be submitted to the Object Management Group sometime this year. With these standards, back-end network applications written with different object-oriented development tools would simply work -- thus creating MacKay's "webtone."
Because Microsoft is not part of the initiative, it will have little effect on desktop interoperability, but it is also unclear what effect this move will really have on the Internet's backend. After all, the Object Management Group's efforts have not exactly created something Sun would call "CORBAtone." And if CORBA applications have not yet been made fully interoperable, there seems little reason to believe that this initiative will change that.
San Francisco (March 14, 1997) -- This week Sun announced its intention to, along with about 15 computing centers worldwide, to form a High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium. The consortium, whose members will include the San Diego SuperComputing Center and the University of California at Berkeley, will be chartered with fostering the exchange of information and ideas on high-performance computing. It will meet twice a year.
Of course, in order to have a HPC consortium, you have to have a high-performance computing product. And to that end, Sun Microsystems has announced that it is now shipping its Ultra Enterprise SMP servers bundled with a variety of third-party HPC software. Key to the newly branded-Ultra HPC line is Platform Computing Corporation's Load Sharing Facility (LSF) 2.2 workload management software as well as message passing interface (MPI) and parallel virtual machine (PVM) message passing libraries for developing parallelized applications.
By the end of the year, Sun says it will have HPC cluster servers, scalable parallel I/O as well as version 3.0 of Platform's LSF software. The HPC servers mirror Sun's Ultra line, from the Ultra HPC 2 up to the Ultra HPC 10,000, but all that bundled software means that they cost more. Pricing ranges from $43,745 to more than $2.5 million.
Sun has begun shipping the Java Developers Kit Ver. 1.1. The kit, which can be downloaded from Sun's JDK site, includes several added features.
The new features include:
The complete JDK requires two downloads: the software and the HTML documentation. Sun recommends that developers download and unpack both files in the same directory for the HTML links between them to work. The Macintosh version of the JDK 1.1 is due during the second quarter.
The JavaOne developers' conference is slated for April 2-4 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. This year there will be four Tracks: Java Computing (13 sessions), Technical Track (31 sessions), Java in the Real World (13 sessions), and The Java Industry, a collection of presentations from third-party vendors.
Keynote speakers include James Gosling, Java's creator; Alan Baratz, JavaSoft's president; Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO of Sun; and Bill Joy, a Sun founder and JavaSoft's vice president of research.
Registration is available online for JavaOne at http://java.sun.com/javaone/. Telephone registration phone numbers are (800) 668-2741 in the U.S. and +1-415-372-7077. Pricing for registrations during March is $1,095; registration at the door is $1,195.
London (02/19/97) -- Sun Microsystems announced last night that it has acquired a startup called LongView Technologies, which develops technology aimed at improving Java performance.
Financial terms and details concerning exactly how Sun will incorporate technology from LongView were not announced. Sun officials did say the acquisition will focus on Java performance, but that LongView does not develop a just-in-time compiler.
"The performance will be a significant improvement over current technology from any source," a JavaSoft official said. Officials indicated they expect at least a doubling of speed.
Palo Alto, California-based LongView develops a virtual machine technology called HotSpot which the company claims doubles the performance speed of Java applets. HotSpot works with Java virtual machines (the run-time engine that allows Java applets to run on browsers and operating systems across any platform) to make Java applets run more efficiently and quickly, according to LongView.
The LongView technology, which will be integrated into the Java virtual machine will be available to all JavaSoft licensees, a JavaSoft official said.
LongView's seven employees will immediately join the engineering staff at Sun's JavaSoft division, according to Sun officials.
Sun plans to detail its plans for LongView's technologies at its 1997 Worldwide Java Developer Conference which will take place in San Francisco on April 2-4.
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