Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

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kramlq
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Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby kramlq » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:57 am

I was just browsing Sun's site, and noticed that on the Ultra45 page, the 'next generation product' link brings you to an Intel Core based system. And on their workstations page, the UltraSPARC workstation line (all 2 machines :) ) is no longer represented. Is this the final nail in the coffin for the once legendary Sun SPARC workstation market?

Perhaps the fact that their most recent many core processors (T1, T2) are only really only for integer apps meant it had to happen.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:26 pm

A sad day!

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby kramlq » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:46 pm

noisetonepause wrote:A sad day!

Yeah, but we could all see it coming I suppose. The SPARC workstation line hadn't even migrated to the 4 year old UltraSPARC IV, so it clearly wasn't much of a priority anymore at Sun.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby SupremeCmdr » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:46 pm

Surely a SPARC based workstation is needed for application development.

But maybe not. :(
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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby josehill » Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:31 pm

So the only new sparc workstations are...Tadpole laptops? Interesting.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby noisetonepause » Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:02 am

SupremeCmdr wrote:Surely a SPARC based workstation is needed for application development.


I think it's relatively easy to do cross-compilation from Solaris on Intel.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby kramlq » Sun Aug 24, 2008 7:37 am

josehill wrote:So the only new sparc workstations are...Tadpole laptops? Interesting.

Most of Tadpole's laptops seem to be stuck in the UltraSPARC IIIi era as well, so it doesn't look as if they have been updating their product line either. Their focus seems now to be on thin client laptops instead.

SupremeCmdr wrote:Surely a SPARC based workstation is needed for application development.

Not necessarily. We used to use X-Terms and Windows boxes running Exceed and do development while remotely logged into the HP-UX servers. Only a few people in engineering and testing used to actually use a HP workstation, and that was only because they wrote code that needed serial communications. And with Sun, you also have the option to run Solaris on your X86 desktop.

noisetonepause wrote:I think it's relatively easy to do cross-compilation from Solaris on Intel.

Yeah, Sun has always had excellent compatibility across its systems. Its never foolproof though - I would personally be a bit concerned about using a little-endian X86 (which is ok with data misalignment) to develop code that will run on a big-endian SPARC with strict data alignment requirements. It all depends on what kind of apps you are developing of course.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby Gray Fox » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:05 am

Hello Joshua,


I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. However, the SPARC line of workstations have gone End of Life and to date we do not have a replacement for them. For more information please contact our Sun Store at 800-786-0404.


Best Regards,


Tabitha Jackson
Account Executive
Sun Microsystems
888-516-9362

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby noisetonepause » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:59 am

Hmm - so that means that there might be in the future?

There won't, obviously, but at least they're not ruling it out..

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby josehill » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:17 pm

It does fit into a pattern, though, and I don't blame Sun at all. I suspect that most of the demand for Sparc workstations is coming from hobbyists or single box users, which is a pretty high cost / low profit (if any) area for a company like Sun. If even a niche profitable market exists, then I'd expect that some small manufacturer/reseller would start making Sparc clone boxes, but I suspect the market isn't there any longer.

The last large shop that I was at had a big IRIX/Sun workstation footprint, and even there, the workstations were generally used as glorified X terminals, with almost all development done on the server side. The only folks using the workstations for something else were people with Fuels or Tezros, who were doing molecular visualization where the codes hadn't been ported to Linux yet. For the others, might as well just get a commodity Mac or Linux PC and skip the costs of a traditional non-x86 workstation.

Does HP still make PA-RISC workstations, or is IBM Power the last game in town for non-x86 workstations?

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby dc_v01 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:53 pm

josehill wrote:I suspect that most of the demand for Sparc workstations is coming from hobbyists or single box users, which is a pretty high cost / low profit (if any) area for a company like Sun. If even a niche profitable market exists, then I'd expect that some small manufacturer/reseller would start making Sparc clone boxes, but I suspect the market isn't there any longer.

I doubt there were that many hobbyists paying those prices - just folks who were still paying a premium for the stability of their machine, when stability matters more than anything else. For Sun, I thought it was the financial services market. The IBM Power systems are still sold for Catia, probably not much longer. I miss this. The stability of the $$ app we run is incredibly bad under Windows, and they've dumped linux support as well.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby D-EJ915 » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:10 pm

Down in Charlotte the engineering department got some new Ultra 45s last year or the year before, they were used for ENGR apps obviously, really nice systems, too bad they wouldn't let me take one when I left :lol:

Theirs were single processor.
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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby noisetonepause » Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:15 pm

I didn't understand why the sparc workstations were four times the price of the AMD ones... is it really that much more expensive to make them? The x86 workstations are all custom motherboards as well, aren't they?

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby anotherlin » Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:38 am

noisetonepause wrote:I didn't understand why the sparc workstations were four times the price of the AMD ones... is it really that much more expensive to make them? The x86 workstations are all custom motherboards as well, aren't they?


I heard the x86 were using Tyan motherboards.

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Re: Suns UltraSPARC workstation line...

Unread postby noisetonepause » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:27 am

anotherlin wrote:
noisetonepause wrote:I didn't understand why the sparc workstations were four times the price of the AMD ones... is it really that much more expensive to make them? The x86 workstations are all custom motherboards as well, aren't they?


I heard the x86 were using Tyan motherboards.


Ah, that would explain it.

Like Fake Steve Jobs put it, I miss the days when people in the Valley actually made products...


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