Archive for March, 2007

Desktop Engineering: Sun Ultra 40 M2 — Mission Accomplished

March 28, 2007
Desktop Engineering posted a very positive review of the Ultra 40 M2 workstation.

The reviewer, Mark Clarkson, was very impressed with the overall packaging of the Ultra 40 M2, particularly highlighting how easy it is to open the case and make changes.  His evaluation also points out despite its power, the Ultra 40 is the “quietest system currently running in [his] basement.” He also praised the graphics and clarity of the Sun monitor that was shipped with the workstation.

Photo of Sun Ultra 40 M2 Workstation

Mark compared the applications and performance of the Ultra 40 M2 versus the system he reviewed in July. In all instances the Ultra 40 M2 outperformed the original Ultra 40 — as expected. However, he was very impressed with how much the new Ultra 40 M2 outperformed. Mark highlights various tests he performed where the Ultra 40 M2 outperformed the original Ultra 40 anywhere from 15 to 100 percent. He states: “Once you figure out the best way to load up the processors and memory, this machine can really fly.

A really good one!!!


NetBeans 5.5 praised in comparative InfoWorld review

March 26, 2007
In a comparative InfoWorld review, Andrew Binstock gave NetBeans 5.5 a score of 7.4 (or “Good”) out of 10.

Evaluating NetBeans 5.5, along with Borland JBuilder and IBM Rational, Andrew kicked off his NetBeans 5.5 review by pointing out that it is the only completely open source product in his comparative review. He also highlights that it’s available at no cost and requires a little assembly. He goes on to describe the packs that come with NetBeans 5.5 and notes that the product has good tooling for services-based enterprise development and was the only product reviewed with full diagramming and modeling capabilities for BPEL. Additionally, Andrew praises NetBeans 5.5’s collaboration features and its GUI layout tool, which he claims is the “best” of its kind and the “choice for sites that do a lot of Swing-based interfaces.”

Andrew does ding the product’s lack of support for some products, as well as the fact that its use of Ant files allows it to support only a single runtime configuration. However, he counters these downfalls by mentioning that Sun is preparing version 6 of NetBeans, which fixes many of his complaints.

Overall, Andrew’s evaluation of NetBeans within the review was positive and on balance, despite the relative score.

To conclude, he very positively states that NetBeans 5.5 is “Not only is it free, but it is more responsive than the Eclipse-based products and easier to navigate, as it forgoes the “views” design embraced by Eclipse and simply uses windows. Also, NetBeans is frequently revved, enjoys a very active community, and benefits from a plug-in inventory second only to that of Eclipse.

My favorite ones from last week…

March 24, 2007
Selected Sun product conversations in blogosphere last week:

1. Solaris 10 11/06 (Update 3) Review – Kaiwai’s Blog, 3/16
Kaiwai provides step-by-step details on the installation and configuration of Solaris 10 11/06, and highlights the “degree of stability which one comes to expect from Solaris.”

2. The Year Of OpenSolaris – eWEEK, 3/23
In discussing the likelihood of OpenSolaris pushing Linux aside in 2007, Jason highlights that OpenSolaris could thrive if more effort was pulled in for the software tools.

3. Projects In Solaris –, 3/20
Durga discusses how Solaris Projects are used to control resources used by processes and links to several documents from the Sun page for more information.

4. Installing Solaris 10 – Widen Your Unix Experience –, 3/17
Working often with Linux and Unix, this blogger plans to install the commercial version of Solaris 10 to take a look at Sun’s Unix offering.

5. Measuring System Call Time With Procsystime – Blog O’ Matty, 3/18
Matty highly recommends the DTraceToolkit, and describes how the procsystime script allows admins to analyze system call behavior.

6. Resolved: Vista Hesitation Signals Linux Opportunity – ZDNet, 3/20
Through a discussion of Microsoft Vista, Paul recommends that Linux, BSD and Solaris need to be considered alternatives to updating from XP to Vista, and recalls that Microsoft software can run under Linux and Solaris for x86.

7. Energy Rebates For Some Servers Make Big Savings? – Blade Watch, 3/16
Martin mentions Sun and PG&E’s energy rebates that come with the T1000 and says, “If you’re participating in a server upgrade project, choosing the right platform could reduce your project costs significantly with the rebate.”

NetBeans and SDN Win 2007 Dr. Dobb’s Journal Jolt Awards

March 22, 2007
Yesterday Sun won awards in four categories of the annual Dr. Dobb’s Journal Jolt Awards. These awards recognize the most innovative, trend-making and ahead-of-the-curve development products the industry has to offer.

NetBeans 5.5 was awarded a Jolt Award in the “Best Development Environment” category, while the Sun Developer Network was recognized as the “Best Web Sites/Developer Network.” In addition, NetBeans was recognized as a Productivity Winner in the “Collaboration Tools” category; NetBeans Mobility Pack and Sun Java Wireless Toolkit as a Productivity Winner in the “Mobile Development Tools” category; and NetBeans Visual Web Pack as a Productivity Winner in the “Web Development” category.

You can check the Jolt Award announcment here:
CMP Technology Announces Winners of the 17th Annual Jolt Product Excellence & Productivity Awards

Overall, these awards are great wins for NetBeans and SDN! Congratulations to the teams!!!

My favorite ones from last week…

March 17, 2007
Selected Sun product conversations in blogosphere last week:

1. Solaris Vs Linux Document – Unix Admin Corner, 3/14
Jamesd links to a detailed article comparing Solaris to Linux and covered the major areas of deployment in workstations and servers.

2. Solaris 10/x86 Gcc “Segmentation Fault (Core Dumped)” – Nominet Techblog, 3/13
John came across a fix for an issue with compiling openssl-0.9.8e on a fully patched Solaris 10 x86 server.

3. CSI:Munich – The English Version – HeldenSchule, 3/13
Helden includes the link to a video called, “Build Your Own X4500 Data Server with ZFS and USB-Sticks.”

4. Comparison Of WAFL And ZFS –, 3/12
Scott  references another blog that compares the features of Zettabyte File System (ZFS) and Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL). The blogger remarks that, consequently, operating systems like Solaris are also taken into account in the comparison of the file systems.

5. Sun Opens Logical Domains 1.0 Beta –, 3/9
Alessandro discusses the availability of Sun’s Logical Domains (LDom), and describes how it is a different approach to virtualization than Solaris Containers.

6. Sun Offers Energy Rebate -T1000 – Blade Watch, 3/15
While Martin was downloading drivers for the Sun X4600, he came across the T1000 and praises the energy rebate.

7. Locating Disk Drives In A Sea of A5200s – Blog O’Matty, 3/13
Matty manages around a dozen Sun A5200 storage arrays and discusses how to correctly replace failed disk drives.

8. Desktop Matters: Announcing Nimbus – Ben Galbraith’s Blog, 3/9
Ben refers to the custom Nimbus design for the Java Desktop System and includes screen shots of application mock-ups.

9. OpenOffice – Future Lawyer, 3/15
Erik links to one of his past blogs referring to when he first started using OpenOffice and is impressed that it works on Windows, Linux or Mac, and looks and feels like Microsoft Office.

Positive Sun Ultra 20 M2 review in Cadalyst

March 16, 2007
Today, Cadalyst Magazine posted a positive evaluation of the Sun Ultra 20 M2 Workstation. The review is a presentation of the new features of this workstation including the design and the overall performance of the machine while running the Cadalyst C2006, the MAXBench4 and SPEC ViewPerf 9 benchmarks.

The reviewer, Patrick Davis, tested an Ultra 20 M2 running 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP. He notes that while Windows is not shipped pre-installed on the Ultra 20, the workstation does support Windows with no problems.

Overall, Patrick is quite positive on the workstation. Specifically, he is very impressed with the structure of the workstation and the quietness of the fans:After roughly two seconds [after start up], the fans power down and the Ultra 20 M2 makes less noise than my Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop…It’s definitely the quietest workstation I have used.

NetBeans 5.5 Praised in Comparative Review

March 15, 2007
In a comparative review of NetBeans, IntelliJ IDEA and Eclipse, NetBeans 5.5 fairs very well, excelling in overall stability and performance, Swing development and JPA support. Reviewer Jacek Furmankiewicz evaluated each product’s basic, common features, as well as its strength in four common areas of development: Swing, JSP/Struts, JavaServer Faces (JSF), and J2EE/EJB 3.0.

Kicking off the review with NetBeans 5.5, Jacek notes that the product is easy to install, has a “very logical and easy to use” menu layout, and excellent overall stability and performance. With regards to Swing development, Jacek praises NetBeans’ Matisse GUI designer by saying its resizing and anchoring functionality make it “the best GUI designer I have seen for any language on any platform.” He goes on to detail NetBeans’ “good” JSP editor and JSF support, while highlighting its “top-notch” J2EE 1.4 and Java EE 5 support.

Overall, Jacek “really liked” NetBeans 5.5 and felt “it has delivered some amazing features in its latest release (and much more to come in NetBeans 6.0).” He did call out a few drawbacks as it relates to Visual Web Pack, however follows up by saying, “if the NetBeans team addresses these deficiencies in the next release, I can’t imagine any tool being as productive as the Visual Web Pack for JSF development.

To conclude, Jacek named a winner for each of the four testing areas mentioned above. NetBeans 5.5 won both the Swing Development and Enterprise Development categories (per Jacek, if he took NetBeans’ Visual Web Pack into consideration, the Sun product would win the JSF Development category, as well.)

Overall, a very positive review for NetBeans 5.5!

Project Blackbox visits Boston

March 14, 2007
Project Blackbox truck made a stop to the Boston area this week. Finally I got to tour the data center in the box. It is really awesome!!!

Some pictures I took while hanging around with Dave Douglas, VP of eco-responsibility, and the press and analysts who came over to see this wonder on the truck.

Blackbox presentation by Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas presenting the Project Blackbox
overview to the press and analysts.

Dave Douglas giving the blackbox tour to press and analysts
Dave, the Project Blackbox tour guide.
The blackbox truck
Project Blackbox — on the truck.
Press and analysts listening to Doug -- Sun Burlington Campus in the background
Press and analysts listen attentively (Sun
Burlington campus in the background).

DTrace and Java SE 6 get praise from

March 13, 2007
In a very positive review, DTrace and Java SE 6 are tested together, giving “an unprecedented view across all layers of software that are involved in business applications.

DTrace and Java SE 6 are said to make it easy for developers to “gain tremendous insight into [their] Java application, the JVM, or any other aspect of the software upon which [their] business tasks depend.

The review concludes by noting, “With systemic observability, performance problems have nowhere to hide. Pretty amazing that all the requisite components are completely free of charge. Oh happy day!

My favorite ones from last week…

March 10, 2007
Selected Sun product conversations in blogosphere last week:

1. Spring Clean And Upgrade – The Trouble With Tribbles, 3/8
Peter recently upgraded his Sun workstation from OpenSolaris build 55 to build 59 and another system from Solaris 10 to the latest Solaris Express release.

2. Logical Domains 1.0 Early Access Now Available! – Rodrick’s Web Log, 3/8
Rodrick describes Sun’s new server virtualization and partitioning technology, Logical Domains (LDoms) software, and mentions that it, “complements Solaris Containers by providing application level separation and brings partitioning capability to entry level servers.”

3. Re-labelling Sun Ray To Sell – ZDNet, 3/8
Paul discusses marketing around the Sun Ray and suggests that if it was bundled as an “enterprise something,” it might be more successful.

4. Solaris Express Community Edition Build 59 Is Out! – Sparks and White Noise, 3/5
Octave announces the release of Build 59 for OpenSolaris and plans to test the resource enhancements for zones.

5. Niagra – Apocalypse For Intel? – Opensourcia Blog, 3/4
“Opensourcia” praises Sun products including several servers, Solaris 10 and Solaris Containers. The blogger notes that “Sun has uniquely positioned itself to be everything to everyone (best price/performance, best performance, only completely open source stack, superb proprietary software support, and solutions from thin client, to desktop, to workstations, to server, to mainframe.)

6. Viewing Busy Code Paths With DTrace – Blog O’ Matty, 3/3
Matty discusses how to use DTrace to view the busiest application and system code paths on a system.

7. WebSphere MQ With Solaris Zones – A Hursley View On WebSphere MQ, 3/2
Folks at IBM highlight best practices of using WebSphere MQ in Solaris Zones environments.

8. T2000 Apache/PHP/MySQL – A Look Into Solaris, 3/2
Derek mentions that he has compiled Apache 2.2.3, PHP 5.2.1, MySQL 5.0.27 and APC 3.0.13 with many of the same options CoolStack uses with Sun Studio 11.