Archive for February, 2008

ZDNet: “Catching X86 Between Rocks and Cells”

February 29, 2008

ZDNet’s Paul Murphy continues to examines our forthcoming Rock hardware and compares it to Intel, Windows and the x86 infrastructure.

According to him, “Sun’s Rock is pretty cool hardware too — a machine with the potential to side step the scaling issues that have traditionally limited SMP system expansion. As I understand it, the Rock hardware is sufficiently backward compatible that existing Solaris binaries for SPARC work — but the big potential gains won’t be realized without significant kernel, library, and application simplification … If Linux continues to evolve as everyone’s preferred solution for grid computing and IBM shifts much of the focus there to PPC and Cell — while Sun rocks the SMP world with highly scalable solutions built on Solaris, then where does all that leave Windows and x86?

Where else? In the dust!!! 🙂

Sun's Rock chip

NetBeans developer blogs of the week

February 28, 2008

1. Playing MP3 Files in JavaFX — Javalobby, 2/27
Developer Sergey Surikov provides the Javalobby community with a rundown on how to modify code in an MP3 file using JavaFX and NetBeans. He walks through the key steps of modifying the applications to read MP3 tags and adding the resulting JAR to a NetBeans project before creating a JavaFX form to play the file. He then lists the JavaFX code to use.
Download NetBeans 6.0

2. Still using NetBeans — Johan’s blog, 2/27
Developer Johan Vos writes about his experience since starting to use NetBeans 6 two months ago. He states how he always has switched back to his preferred tool, Vi, after one week of using a new IDE, but he has been impressed with NetBeans enough to use it for certain tasks. In particular, he prefers to use NetBeans to write code against APIs he doesn’t know well.

3. NetBeans Eclipse Keymap Improved — David Heffelfinger’s Notes on Software Development, Technology and Life, 2/21
David Heffelfinger, who is a converted Eclipse developer, discusses how the NetBeans team responded to a bug he filed recently to improve the NetBeans Eclipse keymap. He reports that the Eclipse shortcuts now work as expected, and he feels that this will be important for other Eclipse developers wanting to make the switch.

4. Jon Udell makes a good case for a simple db-to-web tool — Van Couvering Is Not a Verb, 2/22
David Van Couvering makes a note to a blog post by Jon Udell that discusses the issue of "data friction," or how data that’s widely available through the web is not readily usable unless someone employs screen scraping. Udell feels that there needs to be an access layer on top of databases for better access and reuse of data, and therefore tools to enable this. Van Couvering cites the NetBeans DB-to-REST tool as a great example of what Jon talks about, and says that "it is a very good start."

5. NetBeans: Your first plugin — SilveiraNeto.Net, 2/24
Silveira Neto walks his blog’s readers through a short tutorial on using NetBeans’ Plug-in Manager. He takes readers through the exact steps to create a new plug-in and illustrates those steps with screen shots.

6. Getting Comfortable with NetBeans — Idea Factory, 2/24
Mark Fortner, an open source developer, discusses his recent transition from Eclipse to NetBeans. He states that the switch has been smooth and that most features in NetBeans are easier to use than in Eclipse. He highlights his favorite features, which include the ability to create desktop and web applications that use EJB3 classes and the ability to bind GUI components and models. He notes some "hiccups" that include problems with the keyboard mapping, problems with dialogue box rendering and lack of support for a Mylyn-like interface.

PC Magazine Posts A Very Positive Review of Sun Fire X4150 Server

February 27, 2008

PC Magazine has posted a very positive review on the Sun Fire X4150 server as side bar to a round up review of other SMB-focused x64 servers.

The review praises the powerful features and functions that are included in such a small box — stating that “Sun has kept its new Sun Fire in a 1U enclosure but has sacrificed absolutely nothing in the way of hardware or management features, building a box capable of competing with servers twice its size.

Try X4150 free for 60 days

Oliver Rist, the reviewer, goes on to list the CPU and driver components that are included on the system he tested, such as two quad-core Intel Xeons, 16GB of RAM and four 136GB 10,000-rpm SAS drives attached to an Adaptec RAID controller. He then positively highlights that the X4150 has “enough memory and disk space to run a heavy virtualization load in half of the space you’ll find in most other server solutions …[positioning] the Sun Fire as one of the greenest servers of 2008.

The review wraps up mentioning “… the Sun box would have blown the doors off anything else here” and Sun “deserves kudos for managing all this in a box this small.

PS: Had we known this opportunity in time, we would have sent a similarly configured and priced Sun Fire X4150 server that would have blown the doors off others anyway. 😉

PPS: If you don’t believe it, try it out free for 60 days via our Try & Buy program. You pick the configuation (and price range, we’re sure you’re going to buy it once you try… 🙂 )

InformationWeek on data compliance and fixed content storage

February 26, 2008

InformationWeek has an interesting article on data compliance in this week’s print issue.

Due to government regulations and internal policies, organizations need to retain data and be able to track and verify that this data has not been modified or deleted. This is particularly important in the finance and health-care industries.

The InformationWeek article by Howard Marks focused on fixed content storage solutions that allow IT to store file data in a form that prevents end-users from modifying the data. This is where WORM (Write Once, Read Many) tapes come in play.

Per Howard, "All popular tape formats, from LTO in the midrange to Sun Microsystems’ T10000 at the high end, have firmware in the drive that identifies special WORM cartridges, and once data is written to them, prevents overwriting or erasure. With capacities of 800 GB per cartridge, WORM tape, especially if used behind a RAID cache, is the lowest-cost, and greenest, solution for very large archives where IT can deal with file access times measured in minutes. RAID, or even MAID, uses power when not being accessed."

Honeycomb Open Edition Software

The same problem can be solved using another approach — by having WORM functionality via software on NAS appliances. We can add Sun StorEdge Compliance Archiving offering’s software-managed WORM feature to our NAS appliance, and voila — we get another solution to the data compliance problem!

And finally… Don’t forget Honeycomb — Sun StorageTek 5800 system is the first integrated, fixed-content archiving system built using open source software, and is excellent for preservation and digital archiving. From the product page: "The system includes extensive metadata facilities, extreme data protection against data corruption and data loss, and enhanced reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS)."

So what are you waiting for… 🙂

“Ray of light” for… Kuwait’s Savings and Credit Bank

February 25, 2008

Kuwait’s Savings and Credit Bank (SCB) is the first financial institution in that country to roll out a large scale deployment of Sun Ray thin clients, as a part of a wide ranging effort to centralize its desktop operations and support. SCB has seen a dramatic reduction in the volume of support calls, from nearly 30 a day to close to zero at present.

Performance has increased more than 200 times. A job which previously took more than two or three hours now takes four to five minutes. Even, backup which would take two hours previously, now takes just 20 minutes. It’s a big difference,” concludes SCB’s Fawzi Al Asfoor.

Check out the complete story here

"Ray of Light" article

NetBeans developer blogs of the week

February 23, 2008

1. RailsBeans — Bioinformatics on Rails, 2/20
In need of a good editor to help with work on Rails apps, this developer tested three editors to determine which he would prefer. He tested Kate, Anjuta Editor and NetBeans. In the end, he preferred NetBeans due to auto completion of functions and commands, the built in support for Version Control Systems and finally, he enjoyed the window design which made it very easy to manage and control all aspects of his project.
Download NetBeans 6.0

2. Restarting the Platypus and the Lessons Learned — Binstock on Software, 2/19
Andrew Binstock updates his blog’s readers on the fact that he has decided to re-start his open source project, Platypus, because of architectural flaws. He shares lessons learned so far that helped him make this decision. One of the lessons is that IntelliJ IDEA, which he’s been using for the project, has become very slow as the number of classes grew to close to 200. He plans to use NetBeans 6 for the restart because it is a "hugely improved IDE."

3. Mobile & Embedded SOA using MDSD Approaches — Wolfgang’s Blog, 2/17
In this post about the value of MDSD for mobile SOA, Wolfgang Frank cites Sun’s MSOA platform unveiled at JavaOne last year and how it is using it to promote "advanced network-based services to customers." While he recognizes NetBean’s role in the platform, later in the post he discusses how Eclipse developers can leverage it as well.

4. Draggable and Glowable Ball in JavaFX — SilveiraNeto.Net, 2/16
Developer Silveira Neto showcases his JavaFX programming using NetBeans by demonstrating in embedded YouTube videos two animations. He includes the code he used to create these animations using JavaFX Pad and NetBeans together.

5. My DevX article: "Real-Life Rails: Develop with NetBeans, Deploy on Linux" — Mark Watson’s opinions on Java, Ruby, Lisp, and AI, 2/15
Mark Watson shares a pointer to an article he wrote for about how he arrived at the ideal Ruby on Rails development environment and server deployment strategy. He discusses how he has tuned his NetBeans environment for MacBook and other settings he has made to his Linux server to get it "just right."

6. NetBeans for Ruby on Rails on Mac OS X —, 2/14
Shazron advises his readers on how update NetBeans to work with JRuby. He suggests updating NetBeans to 6.0.1 and walks through how to do so. He then outlines specific steps to take when using NetBeans on Mac OS X’s included Ruby. He then asks his readers to post a comment if anyone runs into problems, so he can help resolve them.

High honors for Sun this week

February 22, 2008

We have won several honors this week…

Sun is ranked #19 in CRO Magazine’s 2008 100 Best Corporate Citizens. We are recognized for our transparency and the philosophy of “Innovate, Act, Share,” as well as our continued practice of openness through innovation while driving economic and social progress worldwide.

In other news, Sun was named to Fast Company magazine’s list of the “Top 50 Innovative Companies.” (Note that this was a listing of Top 50 and not a ranking among them.)

Fast Company's Top 50 Innovative Companies

DevX publishes positive tutorial on NetBeans for Rails development

February 21, 2008

Mark Watson, a Ruby and Java developer who frequently blogs on NetBeans, writes a comprehensive tutorial on how to use NetBeans to build medium-scale Rails applications. Download NetBeans 6.0

In the introduction, he states how his “preferred Rails development IDE” is NetBeans 6.0.

The first section of the article details how to set up NetBeans 6.0 for Ruby and rails development. Specifically, he guides readers through how to change the Ruby setting from JRuby to another Ruby system. He then explains how to use the Rails Generator in NetBeans to make development “as convenient as possible.” He wraps us his section on NetBeans with a number of specific tips on how developers new to NetBeans can shorten their learning curve.

The remainder of the article focuses on deployment of a Rails application on a Linux server.

ZDNet on Rock’s Transactional Memory and Solaris

February 20, 2008

ZDNet’s Paul Murphy discusses two CPU features — thread scouting and transactional memory — only found in our forthcoming Rock chip. His blog post notes, “The most obvious implication here is that Rock and its successors will allow Solaris kernel developers to make most these lock processes go away – and for applications that will initially mean simple re-compiles to take advantage of new libraries but in the longer term spark new designs eliminating many of the cycle absorbing complexities of present day multi-threading.

An interesting read.

Sun's Rock chip

Sun expands grid offerings

February 19, 2008

Last week, we announced addition of 14 new applications in the Catalog, a collection of online grid-enabled applications that are available from’s Sun Grid compute utility service on a pay-per-use basis. In addition, we announced a new partner program, “Sun Connection,” for ISV to create and expand on-demand service offerings and also expanded’s international availability.

With overviews of the history since it was first announced, IT Jungle commented, “… utility computing is still something that the company believes in as a long-term prospect for the IT industry.” HPCWire highlighted the ISV support, and BetaNews liked’s support of open source technology with applications like Blender, Zeus and GAP.

My favorite one came from InsideHPC, who wrote that Sun “sent a Valentine to potential customers” with the expanded catalog.

Yes, indeed! 🙂