Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Close, but no cigar

A while ago I lamented that Sun's low end storage offerings were somewhat lacking. Well, today Sun announced the StorageTek 2500 Array, which looks like it might be a great product. But it's still a way-too-expensive overkill for entry level needs. (In fact, it looks very much like the big brother of what I envisioned in my original posting.)

Sun, please release two truly entry-level, inexpensive, 1U high JBOD storage array: one using SAS disks, and the other using SATA (by inexpensive, I mean costing less than the entry-level servers one would connect the arrays to!). I'm talking about the modern day equivelent of the Netra D130 storage array: just a metal box, a power supply or two (hot swappable preferably), and any necessary relatively dumb interface electronics. No cache, no hardware RAID.

I think the combination of an entry-level server using ZFS on , plus one (or more) of these arrays would be a competition killer.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Behind every great man...

... there's an even greater woman.

I'll leave the question of my greatness (or lack thereof) for others to ponder, but the woman behind me, my wife Jenny, really is great. She supported my dreams of writing my first book Solaris Systems Programming by being the only bread-winner in our family for more than 3 years, despite the enormous stress it placed on her, and the huge pile of debt it (writing SSP) got us into.

More recently (when I got back from my 7-month contracting stint in Edmonton), she has supported us while I spent the last 18 months or so working on my latest business, My Online Home Inventory (MOHI). I look forwward to the day that MOHI and my other business ideas are successful enough to be able to repay her (she's always wanted to take a vacation in Hawaii, and that seems to be more than fair compensation for what she's done)...

Today is her birthday. I won't tell you how old she is, but let's just say she's celebrating the 11th anniversary of her 29th birthday. :-) Because it's her birthday, I thought now would be a good time to say a very public "thank you", so here it is: Jenny, many thanks for your love and support over the last few years. I couldn't have achieved all that I have without you, and I can't wait to be able to repay you.

If any of my readers wants to send her a thank-you note (or wish her happy birthday), please send her an email at: jenny dot teer @ rite - group dot com.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

We will Rock you!

I see from Jonathan Schwartz's blog that the first samples of the next-generation SPARC cpu for the data centre, codenamed Rock, have arrived. Congrats to everyone at Sun and their partners who made this happen!

For my fellow geeks, here's a picture of the CPU:

(You'll have to read Jonathan's blog for a peek at the bottom!)

Rock, like Niagara, has multiple cores, each of which can run multiple threads. The first release of Rock will have 16 cores, each of which can run an unspecified number of threads. My guess is that they'll run at least 4 threads per core, which means that we're effectively talking about a Starfire (E10000) on a chip!

As AC/DC's Brian Johnson might say: For those about to Rock (We compute you)!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hasta la Vista, Baby!

I had a couple of spare hours this weekend, so I decided, at the behest of my good friend Avril Dummkopf, to install Windows Vista on my Ferrari 3400 laptop. I'm glad I did: the power and usability of Vista far exceeds my usual OS of choice, .

Vista's hardware requirements are a little more intense than Solaris', so I had to upgrade my laptop. I upgraded the CPU to the latest dual core AMD Mobile Athalon64 processor, and doubled the RAM to 4 GB. I also decided to upgrade the hard drive to a 15K RPM 250 GB one (which was kinda hard to find in a 2.5" laptop form factor).

I'm security conscious, so I turned Vista's new security policy doohickey up to maximum. It got quite annoying for a while, answering questions from it every time I wanted to do something, but no I'm really glad I'm protected from viruses and the like. Solaris sure doesn't have security like this!

Although I still have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me, I really think that Vista Ultimate was worth the $300 I paid for it. So much so, in fact, that I'm gonna switch to it for all my computing needs. Next on my shopping list is a copy of Office 2007—I can't wait!