Sun launches HPC products as Oracle takeover nears

Despite an uncertain future under Oracle, Sun Microsystems launched several high-performance computing hardware and software offerings this week.

Despite an uncertain future once it is acquired by Oracle, Sun Microsystems launched several new hardware and software products for high-performance computing (HPC) this week.

For more on Sun and HPC:
Oracle acquires Sun: What does it mean for mainframes?

Sun Microsystems scraps Rock project as Oracle takeover nears

Oracle's Sun acquisition raise hardware, my SQL concerns

Group works toward energy-efficient high-performance computing

Oracle Corp. has agreed to buy Sun Microsystems Inc., but the deal is not final and both companies continue operating separately. So while questions about the future of Sun's technologies remain, Sun keeps rolling out products on its roadmap.

"I can't comment on what Oracle is going to do; we aren't in a position to know," said Michael Brown, a senior marketing director for Sun Microsystems' HPC business. "But what Oracle has said in SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] filings is that they intend to maintain the Sun brand and keep Sun's hardware business intact. We are still operating as separate companies and going forward with our hardware and software strategies, and a lot of those things fit between the two companies."

Sun's HPC lineup business as usual
At the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) this week, Sun will preview several HPC products which are slated for delivery throughout the second half of 2009. By then, the company will be under Oracle's control.

We are still operating as separate companies and going forward with our hardware and software strategies.
Michael Brown,
a senior marketing director, HPC businessSun Microsystems Inc.

Rick Keefer, a senior solutions architect at the technology consulting firm Total Computer Solutions Inc., said the products Sun introduced today were most likely under development long before the Oracle acquisition deal came to light and therefore don't say much about Oracle's plans.

In the meantime, it is business as usual for Sun and its HPC lineup.

For starters, Sun expanded its Constellation System with Sun Datacenter 648 InfiniBand quad-data rate QDR) switch, which packs three times the ports per rack (648 ports in all), 4.5 times more system bandwidth, and can deliver up to a 3:1 cable reduction compared with competitive Double Data Rate (DDR) switches, according to Sun.

The company also updated its Sun HPC Software, Linux Edition 2.0 and added new features in an updated version of its open source file system Lustre (1.8.0). It also released a new version of Sun Grid Engine (6.2 Update 3) with improved monitoring features and support for cloud computing environments. The company also updated Sun xVM Ops Center (version 2.1) with bug fixes, patches and functionality improvements and released other products and features related to HPC this week.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.

And check out our data center blogs: Server Farming, Mainframe Propellerhead and Data Center Facilities Pro.

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