Archive for April, 2009

Sun Fire X2270 Server Review in IT Pro

April 30, 2009

Sun Fire X2270 Server
IT Pro’s Dave Mitchell reviewed the Sun Fire X2270, the new Intel Xeon 5500 processor based server, giving it a four out of six star rating and noting Sun’s support for the processor ahead of HP and IBM. Dave said, "Sun’s new 1U rack server delivers a good specification for the price, which includes Intel’s latest Xeon 5500 processors and a good helping of DDR3 memory."

Dave noted that the "X2270 targets a wide range of applications and projects such as HPC and web services," as well as "some other interesting storage possibilities for this server as the embedded ICH10R controller provides six SATA channels."

The secure web interface and remote server management were highlighted as positive features in the review, with Dave saying the interface was "easy to use and opens with a status report on all critical components and their status," and the remote management was called "up with the best as the X2270 comes with Sun’s embedded ILOM (integrated lights out management)."

In conclusion, Dave’s review was positive for overall value and it highlighted X2270 as a strong product offering ahead of HP and IBM.

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The Storage Architect’s take on Amber Road

April 29, 2009

Amber Road
Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage System
Chris Evans of "The Storage Architect" blog posted part one in a series of reviews of the Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System, saying, "Over the last month, I’ve been reviewing the 7210 array (the mid-range offering) and as an early product release, I can say I like it."

Chris framed the review against the increasing trend of centralized storage in the datacenter, and said the most unique part of the system is Sun’s use of "solid state to drive performance out of the commodity SATA drives in the array."

As part of an introduction to the product line, Chris discussed the use of highly scalable storage solutions built on commodity hardware and open software components. Compared to other vendors, Chris noted that Sun is "taking the approach of offering all current and future software features as part of the standard hardware cost. This extends to the lifetime of the technology, so as new software features are made available in future releases, the customer can simply upgrade the USS and take advantage of them at no extra cost."

Overall the reviewer was quite positive about the Sun Storage 7210, noting that Sun has differentiated its offering from other "server as a storage array" solutions. "From a hardware perspective, what’s more interesting is the use of solid state to drive performance out of the commodity SATA drives in the array," he stated.

Chris concluded by noting in his next post, he’ll be examining ZFS in more depth.

I am eagerly looking forward to the rest of the series…

JavaFX how-to articles from developers

April 24, 2009

1. Is August Lammersdorf a Propller-Head? (JavaFX meets Java 3D animation) – James Weaver’s JavaFX Blog, 4/17
James Weaver revisits the work of August Lammersdorf of InteractiveMes.org, who is "developing infrastructure that connects Java 3D and JavaFX, in which the 3D canvas is rendered in a lightweight component." James says that August’s work will make it easier for developers to create applications in JavaFX that feature a Java 3D universe, and takes a look at a piston and propeller in a virtual space rendered on puzzle pieces in JavaFX.
JavaFX
2. Project Goliath: Part 3: SoundKit – JavaFX BBC Micro Sound Emulation Demo – Peter Pilgrim Java Champion Enterprise Weblog, 4/17
Peter Pilgrim has been working hard on part three of Project Goliath, which is a "shoot-em-up" arcade game written in JavaFX. For this part of the project Peter has recreated a BBC sound emulator in JavaFX, and gives a complete rundown of the demonstration, and how he utilized numerous JavaFX components in its development.

3. Deploying Swing and JavaFX applications to the masses – JavaWorld, 4/21
Blogger Java Jeff writes that JavaFX’s success depends largely upon how easily the user can install JavaFX on their platform and launch JavaFX applications with ease. So, he tested several deployment exercises and discusses his ease-of-installation and reliability findings for four different browsers in addition to an oddity he found in the JavaFX 1.0 and 1.1 compilers, where he was able to invoke functions that do not exist.

4. JavaFX, it has merit – LEXECORP, 4/20
Alex Garrett, who last reported on his struggles with the JavaFX language, started trying out the graphics this past weekend and has determined that "graphics is certainly JavaFX’s forte." He compared a mock version of his application created in Groovy to one in JavaFX and said the Groovy version is "ugly as sin" while the mockup in JavaFX has "sparkle."

Recent OpenOffice How-To Articles from ZDNet, Linux Magazine and bloggers

April 23, 2009

1. Linux Mint and OpenOffice – ZDNet.co.uk, 4/16
Jamie Watson provides a tutorial in his article specifically aimed at those using Linux Mint 6, which still only has OpenOffice 2.4.1, but want to upgrade to the latest OpenOffice 3.0 release so that they will benefit from not only being able to open MS Office 2007 files, but the additional security fixes as well. He gives specific and detailed instructions for changing the software repositories in Linux Mint to update to OpenOffice to the 3.0 version.
OpenOffice.org
2. How To: Install OpenOffice 3.0.1 in BT4 – Remote Exploit Forums, 4/17
The blogger writes that several friends have asked for help with installing OpenOffice 3.0.1 on BT4. The blogger provides instructions on how to install OpenOffice, and also warns that BT4 users should not use the apt-get install, as that will lead to the 2.4 version.

3. Using OpenOffice.org as an Outliner – Linux Magazine, 4/17
Dmitri Popov has written an article on how to turn OpenOffice’s Writer application into a lightweight outliner. He describes how to create a custom style or modify an existing model, in addition to using Writer as a two-pane outliner.

4. Logical Notation in OpenOffice 3.0 – Wide Scope, 4/20
Andrew Cullison writes that he has found a simple way for philosophers using OpenOffice to insert logical notation into their papers by adding special commands in the AutoCorrect Feature. Andrew’s blog post gives a complete tutorial on how to do so.

Finally, check out Maijaliisa’s blog for this week’s OpenOffice user reviews.

eWEEK’s positive VirtualBox 2.2 review

April 22, 2009

This week eWEEK has published a positive VirtualBox 2.2 review. Additionally, eWEEK provided a slideshow demo of VirtualBox 2.2 as well.

The reviewer, Cameron Sturdevant, praised the desktop hypervisor and noted, "VirtualBox now offers support for the emerging virtual appliance standard Open Virtualization Format, host-only networking that broadens how virtual machines communicate, folder sharing, and OpenGL and 3D graphics support. With these new features, the free xVM VirtualBox is an even more compelling alternative to the $189 VMware Workstation."

Overall, Cameron is quite positive about this release and stated, "Sun Microsystems’ xVM VirtualBox, the no-cost virtualization tool that enables guest virtual machines to run on a desktop computer, continues to improve its position as a potential challenger to VMware Workstation."

Sun VirtualBox

MySQL 5.4 Announcement Details…

April 21, 2009

MySQL

Today we announced MySQL 5.4 at the seventh annual MySQL Conference and Expo. The new version is designed to deliver up to 90% faster response times and scalability. The InnoDB storage engine can now scale up to 16-way x86 servers and 64-way CMT servers. Sun MySQL
Robin Schumacher, Director of Product Management for MySQL, joined me to discuss what is new and exciting in MySQL 5.4. Listen to the short segment below for the details.

At a Glance: Last week’s JavaFX, OpenSolaris and MySQL reviews

April 20, 2009
JavaFX

JavaFX continued its strong introduction to the developer blogs. IBM developer/blogger Bob Balfe called JavaFX the "most pervasive platform in the world," and discussed it being an Adobe Flash killer. He concluded saying, "I am sure we will be hearing more about JavaFX in the near future." The blogger from Softified gave a thorough introduction to JavaFX, as well as tips for downloading, coding, and sample applications. JavaFX

OpenSolaris

OpenSolaris OpenSolaris and ZFS received positive praise from bloggers this week. The blogger from Me, Myself and I said that the Solaris version of the Cg Toolkit was a "nice Solaris package" that worked "flawlessly" in OpenSolaris. He also noted he "can’t wait for the native Skype port, especially for OpenSolaris." Blogger Teodor Milkov discussed operating systems supporting DTrace, highlighting Solaris and OpenSolaris. After installing he said that "everything was smooth… I was thinking about playing with ZFS these days anyway."

MySQL

MySQL use in the enterprise was the focus of a post from Enterprise Systems this week, discussing the scalability of MySQL for business use. Author Richard Cooley said that "MySQL is scalable if you look at the entire architecture and not just at the database tier," noting that prominent MySQL users include Yahoo, YouTube, AOL, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and WordPress. "If these companies can run portions of their companies on MySQL so can you." Sun MySQL

EasySpeedy Deploys Amber Road for Cost-Effective Growth

April 19, 2009

EasySpeedy, a Danish hosting company, wanted to offer a data storage service that scaled quickly across multiple protocols. Their goal was to offer customers a flexible solution, which is inexpensive to manage and easily meets growing demand.

After evaluating several alternatives, the company selected Sun Open Storage featuring Sun Storage 7410 Unified Storage System and Sun Storage J4400 array as their solution.

EasySpeedy

Logo Courtesy: EasySpeedy
Peter Lerche, CEO at EasySpeedy, noted, "Sun Open Storage was a perfect fit for our open concept at the heart of EasySpeedy, where the customer has the power. With Open Storage, we are not locked into one product line and proprietary protocols. Sun gives us the ability to build the architecture that suits our needs. With Open Storage we have freedom, rather than being bound hand and foot."

He added: "Thanks to Sun Open Storage, EasySpeedy can cost-effectively scale data storage on demand to meet the needs of customers. What is more, the platform helps minimize power consumption and makes day-to-day management simple."

Check out the complete details here.

Lin Lee on Education and Global Communities

April 17, 2009

Yesterday it was my pleasure to talk with Lin Lee, who is the vice president of Sun’s Global Communities group. Lin is a 20-plus year technology industry veteran who has worked on both the product side and the business strategy side. She currently splits her time between China and Sun HQ in California as she leads the globally-dispersed Global Communities team.

Listen to the short segment below to learn her view of transforming education and IT in the face of a down economy as well as get details on next week’s Education Research Conference.

Lin Lee

Lin Lee

Amber Road receives “Editors Choice” award in IT Pro review

April 16, 2009

Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage System Series
Sun Storage 7410 Unified Storage System
IT Pro’s Dave Mitchell reviewed the Sun Storage 7410 and gave the unit 5 out of 6 stars and as well as an Editor’s Choice award. Dave stated, "Sun delivers a unique network storage solution with more standard features than the rest and no hidden charges."

The reviewer examined installation, configuration and noted some observations about the quad-core 2300 Opteron architecture, "this server is quite unique as it can accept an extra mezzanine tray with two more Opteron sockets making it the only 2U quad-socket AMD server on the market."

Further, Dave discussed the file system, protocol support for shares and performance. "We found real world speeds particularly good as copying a 2.52GB video clip to and from an iSCSI target returned read and write speeds of 89MB/sec and 72MB/sec. Using the FileZilla client showed FTP speeds to be even faster with it reporting impressive read and write rates of 103MB/sec and 92MB/sec. CIFS usually puts the brakes on speed but even here we saw file copies returning rates of 66MB/sec and 59MB/sec," he noted.

Overall, Dave stated, "Add up the standard features on the Sun Storage 7410 plus its hardware specification and it looks good value – especially when compared with much of the competition at this level of the market. Furthermore, along with NAS and IP SAN support, it offers a massive expansion potential and good performance across a range of protocols."