Sun hardware bloggers weigh in on Niagara

Sun hardware bloggers weigh in on Niagara
December 8, 2005 5:07 PM PST
When Sun launched OpenSolaris, its open-source version of the Solaris operating system, it unleashed a gaggle of bloggers to give tours of the software project. Now that Sun launched its T2000 server, based on the 72-watt UltraSparc T1 “Niagara” processor, hardware specialists are getting a turn.

Dennis Sheahan pointed out that Sun switched the T2000 server from using 550-watt power supplies to 450-watt models after discovering even a full load wouldn’t require that much electricity. The 450-watt power supplies are more efficient, consuming less power when running in the T2000’s usual 340-watt range, he said.

Sheahan also said Sun called the initial Niagara prototype servers “Fireball”, calling the first system he sad “without exception one of the ugliest I have ever seen.”

Hugo Rivera debunks some myths and shows that Niagara’s relatively small 3MB cache is big enough.

In another blog, Ravindra Talashikar discusses how well the Niagara systems respond as more work is added–in industry terms, how linearly the system scales. His conclusion: very well.

Dave Dagastine gloats over top Java software benchmarks, results that stem in large part from the T2000’s hardware-based encryption that’s 10.7 times faster than an IBM p5-510 Unix server.

It’s not all about the hardware, though. Ruud Van Der Pas describes programming tricks using OpenMP software to move applications to a world with many parallel execution threads.

Posted by Stephen Shankland