Seen by some analysts as an alternative to the mainframe, Enterprise 10000 from Sun Microsystems Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., walked away with top honors in the server category of Datamation's 1998 Product of the Year poll.
The Enterprise 10000 server offers businesses a mainframe alternative in a UNIX OLTP box, with many advantages, says analyst Dave Vellante, of Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. "The machine is fast, and customer benefits include making it easy for companies to consolidate application resources, easy management, and cost savings," he says.
The Enterprise 10000 server, also known as Starfire, was designed for large-scale, mission-critical applications. The foundation of the Enterprise 10000 is Sun's Dynamic System Domain architecture, which was designed for enterprise scalability--IT managers can add processors, memory, and I/O. The Starfire utilizes the Gigaplane-XB interconnect, which is designed for fast, uniform, conflict-free memory access and is suitable for transaction processing, data warehousing, decision support, LAN consolidation, and file serving, according to company statements.
Redundancy is great/Redundancy is great
Last year, the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah purchased an Enterprise 10000 server that is used for research and heavy number-crunching. According to Tim Ma, system administrator, the main feature that made the Enterprise 10000 attractive was redundancy. "We can take down various portions of the machine without impacting the entire machine," says Ma, in Salt Lake City. For mission-critical applications, up-time is everything, he adds.
Prior to purchasing the Enterprise 10000, the center relied on an IBM/AIX system. Moving to a Sun platform gave the university a scalable, upgradable, and reliable solution, Ma says. The current configuration of the server--six processor boards--utilizes less than half of the system's capacity, which is 16 system boards, so the center has plenty of room to grow.
The university's Administrative Computing Services, known as ACS, also has adopted the Enterprise 10000 server platform to ensure that the entire campus runs smoothly. Long-term scalability was the key feature in ACS' selection of the high-end Sun server platform instead of an IBM mainframe, according to ACS officials.
Lynn Haber reports on IT and business technology issues from Norwell, Mass. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.