Archive for February, 2006

Sun’s N2120V and T2000 honored as finalists in Network World’s 2005 “Best of the Tests”

February 28, 2006
Sun Secure Application Switch N2120V and Sun Fire T2000 server have been honored as finalists as part of Network World‘s 2005 Best Products program, featured in the publication’s 2/27/06 issue. Hosted by the Network World Lab Alliance, their seventh annual ‘Best of the Tests‘ issue  recognizes the best of the more than 200 products Network World reviewed in 2005 across a wide range of technologies. Sun’s N2120V and Sun Fire T2000 were distinguished as finalists in the Network Infrastructure category.

Sun Sections from the article on the finalists:

Sun earned two finalist rankings in this category. The Sun N2120V content switch picked up kudos from tester David Newman for its good performance, with support for as many as 1.25 million concurrent connections and as many as 230,000 new connections set up each second. This makes the Sun box a fit for all but the very largest data centers. The key differentiator is the N2120V’s ability to let users define multiple switching and routing domains on a single box.

Sun’s SunFire T2000 server is powered by the first-ever eight-core UltraSPARC chip, based on Sun’s reduced instruction set chip UltraSPARC T1 architecture all packed into a 2U-high, 385-watt server. Lab Alliance member Tom Henderson found the T2000 to be unusual (in a good way) in that it gave performance numbers unmatched for the power and space it consumes.

Congratulations to the Sun Fire T2000 and N2120V product teams!


Get This: Java SE 6 First Impressions: A Desktop Winner

February 28, 2006
This review is pretty hot on Per the subtitle,  “A veteran Java developer takes the Java Standard Edition 6 beta for a test drive and declares it has the potential to be revolutionary to the desktop.

The conclusion says it all — “Java SE 6 has the potential to be as revolutionary to the desktop as Java 2 was to the server. It’s best to be prepared for this storm now, and position yourself to cash in on the potential rewards available to the early adopters.

“Sun On Fire With New Multicore x86 Servers” — CRN review

February 27, 2006
The rave reviews of Sun Fire X4200 server continue. This time CRN is praising the system.

In the CRN review, Marc Spiwak notes the performance and power consumption advantages of AMD Opteron-based servers versus Xeon-based servers as well as the dual 32/64-bit support, reliability/redundancy and advanced manageability features offered with the X4200.

Among the highlights: “Powered by AMD Opteron processors, the Sun Fire X4200 server reaches new levels of performance and efficiency and offers enterprise-class reliability…On the compute-intensive SPEC CPU2000 benchmark, the Sun Fire X4200 server achieved a SPECfp_rate2000 result of 53.8, which set a record for two-way x86 systems…The Sun Fire X4200 is faster than two-socket Xeon-based servers in transaction processing and secure Web serving. It is well-suited for use in application servers, databases, network services, security and Java development.

Marc weaves in related perspective on Sun’s N1 System Manager and Grid Rack System before closing his review with an overview of Sun’s x64 channel partner program, where he concludes “partners will have control over determining their own margins [earned via X4200 sales] based on incentives offered by Sun. Requirements to join the program are based on minimum participation criteria—all of which seem like fair metrics for VARs pursuing the high-end server market.

Thanks Marc — we are glad that you liked the system very much…

InfoWorld Review: Muscular Sun Fire X4200 Feels the Burn

February 24, 2006


You gotta read Paul Venezia‘s review of Sun Fire X4200 server in InfoWorld. You’d see why there is so much buzz around  our Galaxy (and Niagara, but that one for another blog) servers. There are definitely more that we’ll be showing off in not-so-distant future, but I can’t talk about those, yet. Back to the review

Sun Fire X4200 scored an 8.7 out of 10 possible points to earn the publication’s ‘Excellent‘ designation. Fabulous!!!

This review follows InfoWorld’s September 2005 review of a preproduction Sun Fire X4100 test unit. The outcome of this first review was generally positive, but InfoWorld’s testing team did encounter some issues during that evaluation. So this one is specially sweet .

Paul begins his X4200 review by detailing the X4200’s components and design architecture before addressing the advanced management features offered with the X4200, noting that “As many server manufacturers are discovering, it’s not just performance that makes a server successful; it’s also management. With the server market largely consolidating to a common pool of chipsets and CPU structures, performance across several similar servers from different vendors generally doesn’t fluctuate greatly. The management aspects of those servers are what can set them apart. In this arena, Sun has been working overtime.” Sure we did, and great to know you liked them, Paul.

Paul is also very upbeat about the X4200’s remote management functionality and notes that the X4200 did very well via most of the performance testing. He concludes his review in this way: “As far as commodity Opteron-based servers go, the Sun Fire X4200 is near the front of the pack in design, performance, and management. I could easily picture myself building out a datacenter with X4200s. A better disk I/O subsystem would complete the picture, but even with that caveat, the X4200 is an attractive, solid workhorse server and a good value for the money.

Hats off to the Galaxy team and a very special thanks to Pierre and Pradeep for all the help they provided for reviews…

Now Showing: NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 and Java EE 5 SDK

February 21, 2006

Preview versions of NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 and Java Enterprise Edition (EE) 5 SDK are now available.

Of course, NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 offers a consolidated bundle of all tools and functionality in a single install, but my personal favorites are the SOA visual design tools (Orchestration Designer, XML Schema tools) and UML modeling tools. Check them out now…

The preview of Java EE 5 SDK (that includes the Application Server Platform Edition 9 beta as well) supports Enterprise JavaBeans API 3.0, Java Persistence API providing a POJO based persistence model,  JavaServer Faces 1.2, Web Services Metadata for the Java Platform 1.0, Java API for XML-Based Web Services (JAX-WS) 2.0, Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 2.0, and Streaming API for XML (StAX) 1.0.

Whew, that’s quite a long list!

Application Server is developed through the Glassfish open source project and community. You can stay connected with open source development of Application Server 9 on Project Glassfish via The Acquarium.

As always, we are working on the product reviews of these important Technology Preview releases. Stay tuned…

IBM “responds” to competition

February 15, 2006
IBM is surely feeling the heat from our CoolThreads Technology. As I mentioned before, the Sun Fire T2000 servers are flying off the shelf, and you can check out what reviewers are saying.

But here is an interesting article in TechWeb. Snippets:

In a statement released before IBM’s announcement, Sun Microsystems Vice President of SSG Marketing Fred Kohout said it looks like IBM is “on the run – responding to our new products.”

As the two companies claim superior performance and market leadership, Freund said IBM does respond to competition.

“What do they expect us to do, fold up our tent and go home?” he asked.

Don’t you love when your innovations put your competitor on the defensive and they admit it publicly? 🙂

Peter Coffee: NetBeans 5.0 makes “free” look good

February 15, 2006


NetBeans 5.0 was announced on Jan 31, and I gather that the volume of downloads are exceptionally high. Peter Coffee, technology editor of eWEEK, recently reviewed this new version of NetBeans, and he is very upbeat on this important release. His eWEEK review starts with opening statement, “NetBeans IDE 5.0 is a substantial step toward bringing open-source, multiplatform Java tools up to the standard of toolmaking that is arguably defined by Microsoft’s Windows-only Visual Studio.” I completely agree with him that Eclipse will be “challenged” by NetBeans 5.0’s improvement in the “key area” of GUI building.

In the review, Peter mostly covers Matisse (“Matisse greatly eases the design of a graphical interface whose components’ arrangement and size adjust automatically, whether to suit varying device constraints or in response to actions such as resizing windows“), and improvements to the source code editor (“In the manner of the best such tools, it now gives immediate warning of errors that would make code unable to compile“). I am happy to see that he likes NetBeans 5.0 performance — “NetBeans 5.0’s interactive speed and its general fidelity to platform user interface conventions should satisfy most developers.

Peter’s ratings included “Excellent” and “Good” across the board. His bottom line is as follows: “NetBeans 5.0 proves that Java-based tools can no longer be quickly distinguished from native applications: The result is nothing but good news for developers, who consequently enjoy growing ease of multiplatform development with tools that it’s hard to believe are free.

Kudos to the NetBeans Team for a job very well done…

PS: There are excellent tutorials in the NetBeans website, and here is an excellent tool report on the NetBeans profiler.

PPS: O’Reilly has been running a technology futures market with Yahoo! Research where participants try to predict the “buzz” around technology in a fantasy stock market. The results are measured against the actual search volume on Yahoo! and during the past year Netbeans has passed Eclipse. Check it out here. Lovely…

Ladies & Gentlemen, Let Me Introduce You To…

February 13, 2006


The Sun PR Team!!!

I spent the entire last week at various Sun campuses in the west coast. Lots and lots of meetings with product teams to plan for reviews of the cool products we have lined up for release in the next few months (Ok, that’s about it as far as the scoop goes)!

But I got to meet some of my PR colleagues as well while I was out there. So let me (virtually) introduce you to some of our great PR team members who silently work behind the scene to make all of our coverage happen.

Carolyn, Sumaya, Brett, Kathy Russ, Chhandomay, Stacey, Candice Candice, Stacey, Rebekah, Rebecca, Chhandomay

First picture, left to right: Carolyn, Sumaya, Brett and Kathy.
Second picture, left to right: Russ, yours truly, Stacey, Candice.
Third picture, left to right: Candice, Stacey, Rebekah Johnson, Rebecca Smith, and yours truly.

Of course, we are distributed all over US, plus many were traveling, so I could capture only part of the team. Details of all of us are here.

As you might have guessed, quite a few engineers help us with review related technical support. Heck, the reviews program will not be anywhere without them. So, let me introduce you to those who were around in our Menlo Park offices last week.

Peter, Bill Pierre Jon, Cari

First picture: Peter (of Sun Fire T2000 review fame) and Bill (he takes care of ALL reviews units)
Second picture: Pierre (Specialist in Sun Fire X4100/X4200 server line)
Third picture: Jon (Workstation expert) and Cari (NSG technical marketing team manager)

Needless to say, I couldn’t get hold of everybody. Some other time, folks…

InfoWorld review of Sun Ultra 20 and Ultra 40 workstations

February 3, 2006
Earlier this morning, Alan Zeichick’s review of Sun Ultra 20 workstation posted in InfoWorld. It’s worth calling out a factual error in the accompanying Ultra 40 sidebar.

Alan commented, “Although the initial Ultra 40 systems will ship with single-core Opteron processors, dual-core chips should ship before the end of the year.” We began shipping Ultra 40 systems with both single and dual core Opteron processors on January 18, 2006. I’m working with Alan and Doug to get this corrected.

A side comment. Alan, I loved your earlier DevX.Com review of Sun Ultra 20 workstation, the one titled, “Sun’s Ultra 20 workstation: A heck of a deal“…

Dick Wall on Java Studio Creator 2

February 3, 2006
Dick has posted an excellent review of Java Studio Creator 2 in In this review, Dick gives a fairly in-depth run down of some of what he believes are the key new features in Creator 2, as well as highlights other enhancements. Check out his comments regarding AJAX support in Creator.

BTW, Creator 2 was one of the picks from eWEEK Labs as top products of 2005.

From my end, a lot of thanks to Shar and David for their assistance on Creator reviews…