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Army Contractor To Build A 1566 Xserve Cluster 465

Posted by timothy
from the army-of-a-quite-a-bunch-actually dept.
olePigeon (Wik) writes "MacCentral has an interesting article on a new computer cluster. From the article: 'Apple Computer Inc. will announce on Monday the sale of 1566 dual processor 1U rack-mount 64-bit Xserve G5 servers to COLSA Corp., which will be used to build what is expected to be one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. The US$5.8 million cluster will be used to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the U.S. Army.'" alset_tech was one of the many readers to point to CNET's version of the story.
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Army Contractor To Build A 1566 Xserve Cluster

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  • Why the Army? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrchaotica (681592) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:48PM (#9491239)
    Isn't hypersonic flight research better suited to the Air Force?
    • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:53PM (#9491282) Homepage Journal
      well, you know, they saw this spaceshipone on tv tonight and thought that hey, "we want one of those too".

      or possibly "wtf how does that thing fly??".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:58PM (#9491327)
      And other things that go boom.

      They pretty much all go pretty fast through the atmosphere.

    • Re:Why the Army? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:59PM (#9491334) Journal
      Not everything that flys is an aircraft. Think bombs, not planes.
      • Re:Why the Army? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:21PM (#9491503) Homepage
        Not a lot of bombs that fly hypersonic.

        Tank and artillery shells, on the other hand...
        • Not yet, but they will ;->
          • Re:Why the Army? (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:32PM (#9491590) Homepage
            Not if they're carried by Army aircraft.

            The Army is not allowed to operate armed, fixed-wing aircraft. And if you can figure out how to get a helicopter to go hypersonic, then the Airwolf designers want to hire you.
        • Re:Why the Army? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:46PM (#9491675) Homepage Journal
          I suppose a bomb with a rocket attached to it is classified as a missile. I can see it being a possible hypersonic-jet missle. I think one US armed service has something that is hypersonic but it is a rocket and not a jet.

          A jet can use air as one fuel component, a rocket has to carry all of its combustibles. Anyhow, at these speeds, one doesn't need explosives, the kinetic energy from such a hypersonic jet-missle is enough to cause plenty of damage.
          • Re:Why the Army? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:09AM (#9491828) Homepage
            The Army is indeed testing a hypersonic anti-tank missile that launches from a box mounted atop a HMMWV. A buddy of mine worked on the guidance system.

            As a matter of fact, a lot of Lockheed Martin's next-gen missiles are kinetic kill vehicles: No explosives, just a lot a lot a lot of velocity.
            • Re:Why the Army? (Score:5, Informative)

              by Hungus (585181) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @01:08AM (#9492119) Journal
              And the reason for this is because the mass is traveling faster than the wavefront of the explosion would. Seriously an explosive would only disrupt the kinetics. There was a call for shoulder fired hyper-velocity missiles a few years back, I have no idea what happened with them.
    • Re:Why the Army? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Conossuer (649474)
      This will more than likely be used for R&D with regards to rockets, from anti air craft to ICBMs.
    • Re:Why the Army? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fortunato_NC (736786) <verlinh75NO@SPAMmsn.com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:02PM (#9491370) Homepage Journal
      Manned aircraft aren't the only things that move faster than the speed of sound. In fact, since the pilot is now the limiting factor in most aircraft designs, the Army may have more use than the Air Force for hypersonic simulations - for SAMs and Patriot-type interceptor missiles that will have a flight envelope that is largely unexplored since an unmanned machine can withstand g-forces that would cause a pilot to blackout or worse.
    • Aside from the kinds of missiles, anti-missiles and anti-anti-missile-missiles or whatever that other people have mentioned, the Army may be interested in other small hypersonic projectiles. Like, for example, kinetic energy weapons designed to penetrate armor. Or railguns. Or... whatever. :)
    • Re:Why the Army? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mulletproof (513805) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:45PM (#9491670) Homepage Journal
      " Isn't hypersonic flight research better suited to the Air Force?

      How about some hypersonic sub-orbital artillery [globalsecurity.org] with your fries, Sir? Granted that's the navy version, but whatcha wanna bet that the Army could put a land based platform to good use?
  • by powera (644300) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:49PM (#9491247) Homepage
    Screw atmospheric calculations or modeling atmospheric flight. I want to see the frame rate for Duke Nukem Forever on that one.

    What, Duke Nukem Forever still isn't out yet? Hey, maybe such a computer could create Duke Nukem Forever from scratch so I could play it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:51PM (#9491258)
    for America's Army!
  • costs? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:53PM (#9491281)
    Sure the computers only costs $5.8 million, but how much will the screwdrivers cost they use to install everything?
  • by laird (2705) <lairdp@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:54PM (#9491291) Journal
    This sounds like a killer system, but I don't follow the performance numbers.

    The 1655 CPU cluster is expected to deliver 25 Tflops, while the Virginia Tech machine, with 1,100 CPU's (if I remember properly) is rated at 10 Tflops. What else is different? Are they using a different interconnect? Clever programmers to get closer to peak? Or is it something silly like a journalist switching between peak and measured performance, or between computers and CPU's (assuming dual G5 Xserves)? Or is the G5 Xserve really _that_ much faster than the G5 desktop measures VA Tech was benchmarked with? I _like_ that idea...
    • Not 1100 CPU's (Score:5, Informative)

      by System.out.println() (755533) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:58PM (#9491329) Journal
      Not sure if it helps your math, but the VT cluster had 1100 G5's, with 2 CPU's each for 2200 CPU's.
    • by hattig (47930) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:00PM (#9491349) Journal
      Each machine is dual processor.

      VT used non-ECC machines, so safeguards took up some of the processing power.

      Current XServes use ECC memory, so that should provide more overall computing power and provide a higher final score.

      Different interconnect can also have a greater effect.

      And finally, yeah, I reckon that this could be peak results. I remember VT had a peak of aroun 19TFlops? I don't remember the exact details.
    • The 1655 CPU cluster is expected to deliver 25 Tflops, while the Virginia Tech machine, with 1,100 CPU's (if I remember properly) is rated at 10 Tflops. What else is different? Are they using a different interconnect?

      Had you read the article you would have known that thr Army machine is connected using standard gigabit ehternet whereas the Big Mac used Infiniband.

      Since this is Slashdot you are par for the course.

      • by laird (2705) <lairdp@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:45PM (#9491668) Journal
        "Had you read the article you would have known that thr Army machine is connected using standard gigabit ehternet whereas the Big Mac used Infiniband."

        GigE is about 10x slower (for this type of networking, see http://www.infinicon.com/pdf/LSTCUG-2003-Final.pdf ) than Infiniband. That is, unless there's some sort of magic router involved, I don't see how GigE would make CPU's faster.

        Perhaps they're measuring different applications, and the Army machine doesn't need much communications? Kinda an odd way to benchmark...
        • The linpack benchmark used for ranking the top500 isn't that bandwidth and latency sensitive. That's why you see lots of clusters ranking highly, even though they have low performance interconnects, in some cases only Gb ethernet.

          Apparently the 25 TFlops figure is the peak performance, while the expected max performance in linpack will be about 15 TFlops. This sound reasonable compared to bigmac (something like 17 Tflops peak, 10 TFlops max IIRC), considering that this one has 1.5 times as many cpu:s.
    • by andreMA (643885) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:02PM (#9491367)
      I blieve the 25 Tflop figure is a typo. I've read 15Tflop elsewhere

      And they're also using plain gigabit ethernet for interconnects, not Infiniband, supposedly because the applications they plan to run don't require a lot of I/O bandwidth.

      • "I blieve the 25 Tflop figure is a typo. I've read 15Tflop elsewhere ... they're also using plain gigabit ethernet for interconnects, not Infiniband, supposedly because the applications they plan to run don't require a lot of I/O"

        Now _this_ makes sense. I can easily believe that a different app could have very different performance characteristics, which could explain a 2x performance difference. That won't affect the Top 500 list too much, though, since it's based on standard benchmarks.

        In any case, it's
        • by andreMA (643885) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:27AM (#9491929)
          This press release [yahoo.com] from the contractor seems pretty adamant about claiming 25TF, asserting "second only to the Earth Simulator" which seems to exclude a simple numeric typo.

          Both c|net [com.com] and Mac Rumors [macrumors.com] say 15, though, which is as you say much more plausible. Given the degree of confusion, I wouldn't be too sure about other details such as interconnects or price tags... or even number of nodes; perhaps 1566 is an initial confuguration, later growing signifigantly larger to account for the 25TF figure.

    • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:53PM (#9491726) Journal
      Virginia Tech's machine sustained 10280 GFlops and peaked at 17600 GFlops. The Army's new cluster has half again as many nodes, as Big Mac did, so they are predicting a 25000 GFlop peak. If the new cluster works on embarrassingly parallel problems, they might achieve 25 TFlops. If not-- perhaps 12-15 TFlops is a more realistic estimate.

    • by ThatsNotFunny (775189) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:57PM (#9491752)
      Simple answer: They are using MACS

      No, not Macs as in Macintosh, I'm talking about MACS (Military Acronym Compression Scheme).

      See the military uses acronyms for everything, resulting in a higher throughput to the processors. This will allow them to reach the desired 25Tflops.
  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by wiresquire (457486) on Monday June 21, 2004 @10:57PM (#9491321) Journal
    1566 X Server cluster? That should get some decent FPS.

    Ohhhh. XServe. My bad.
  • by jabex (320163) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:00PM (#9491351) Homepage
    my love for Apple and my hatred for using technology for violence.

    Oh screw it, that cluster is gonna be awesome! Forget imagining a Beowulf cluster... imagine your frame rate in Doom III!

    First.
    20fps.
    In Doom III.
    Evar!
    • Re:Torn between... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Moofie (22272) <lee&ringofsaturn,com> on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:24PM (#9491524) Homepage
      The only solution to a violent world is to be better at violence than your neighbors.

      There are zero societies on Earth that do not hew to this axiom.
      • "The only solution to a violent world is to be better at violence than your neighbors.

        There are zero societies on Earth that do not hew to this axiom."
        You must be a real laugh at parties.
      • Re:Torn between... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Usquebaugh (230216) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:17AM (#9491881)
        Bollocks. Switzeland, Iceland have a different way.

        Of course if you see violence as a solution then I guess thinking might be a bit of a novel concept.
        • by ArsSineArtificio (150115) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:50AM (#9492058) Homepage
          Bollocks. Switzeland, Iceland have a different way.

          Switzerland's way is... being better at violence than its neighbors. That's how it stayed neutral in the Second World War - even Hitler was afraid to invade the great mountain fortress.

          Iceland's way is... being better at violence than its neighbors. It opted to join the most powerful military alliance in the world.
        • Re:Torn between... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:50AM (#9492062)
          Nearly every last adult male in Switzerland does compulsory military service and knows how to operate a SIG assault rifle, does he not? I'd say that's going a fair way towards being better at violence than your neighbor.
          • Re:Torn between... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by bm_luethke (253362)
            The swiss also have the great threat of "All your money belong to us".

            Few large nations are going to invade switzerland. Even should they want to then most of the rest of the world would retaliate. So you do not really have to be better at apllying violence than them. The only time it might is in another world war.

            Small nations that may wish to do so need the swiss to keep thier money safe.

            Add in the idea that if they are invaded that everyone will fire a shot and go home and you have the best case for s
          • Re:Torn between... (Score:3, Informative)

            by Silas is back (765580)

            I guess about 90% of swiss males hate to do the army-service. You have to do training for 3 weeks every other year (schweizer: keine details. ;-) ).
            Anyway, almost every one of them has a Stgw 90 at home, no SIG or whatever you call it. It was developed by the swiss army.

            should I say that I am from switzerland? =)

      • Re:Torn between... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 4lex (648184) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @02:25AM (#9492469) Homepage Journal
        I guess your definition of "solution" depends on your definition of "problem". If the solution to a violent world is "to be better at violence than your neighbours", I guess you don't consider war itself a problem, only the war you happen to lose. (I indeed consider any war a major violence problem itself, and specially not a solution for violence.)

        I mean, did you read your own words? If every society applies your axiom, trying to be better at violence than their neighbours... how exactly does the solution to a violent world appear? You would think the world would engage in a global arms race (and eventually a global war, as strategigy give rise to tactics). Is this a solution for a violent world? I honestly think I don't get your point.
      • The only solution to a violent world is to be better at violence than your neighbors.

        I'm sure that's not the only solution. What I suspect when I see you type that is that you like the violence.

  • Defense $$$ (Score:5, Informative)

    by kwishot (453761) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:01PM (#9491356)
    "US$5.8 million"

    I'm a grunt in the USMC (former computer geek...who would have figured?)
    Anyways... I'm about to go *back* to Iraq in September.
    The high brass has some f*ed up priorities some times.... the army has $5.8mil to contract out *research* to some company for technology what.... 10-15 years away at the minimum?
    Meanwhile the Marine Corps is scraping nickles and dimes to get us basic equipment the army has had for most of a decade.
    Hell, when we go to the field to train, we often have to yell "bang! bang!" because we don't get enough (or any) blank rounds for training.
    Imagine if they took just ONE Osprey off the project..... maybe then I wouldn't have a hand-me-down-from-the-army m16a2 (does the army use them anymore?)
    • Re:Defense $$$ (Score:3, Informative)

      by Gilmoure (18428)
      When I was over in Saudi, for Desert Storm, we had the original M-16's issued to us, with no forward assist. You had one shot and then a rather fragile baseball bat. We also had our .38 Special revolvers. I guess we could shoot ourselves if we were overrun. Gotta' love life in the Air Force Reserves.
    • by green pizza (159161) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:11PM (#9491437) Homepage
      >> "US$5.8 million"

      $5.8 M is absolute peanuts in terms of US Military budgets. You can't even buy replacement engines for a KC-135 (of which there are hundreds in service for various tasks) for $5.8M.

      This purchase is segment of a drop in the bucket. It won't even make a dent on the balance sheet. Cutbacks and low funding in other areas is a result of the net picture (stemming from policy and tradition...)

      Just be glad they didn't buy $58.0 M worth of Cray X1 or SGI Altix gear.
      • $5.8m may be "peanuts" (and I am well aware of the fact) .... but if it were that simple .... why don't I have bullets? Why is the kevlar helmet I wear to combat the same one marines wore twenty-five years ago?

        It's a political playground much larger than I can try to imagine...I'm just asking the simple question of where our priorities are.
        • by Jim McCoy (3961) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:40PM (#9491646) Homepage
          I think that the reason you don't have any good equipment is because the USMC and the USN blew their allowance on a wasted IT upgrade from EDS. You know, that 7 _BILLION_ dollar contract which has already triggered SEC investigations for fraud.

          Want to bitch about not having bullets? Look to your own leadership and stop whining about how the Army is going to spend its budget.
        • by danharan (714822) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:57PM (#9491755) Journal
          GI Rights Hotline [objector.org] might be useful if you find yourself uncomfortable with the answers you come up with.
    • You think thats bad, you should see the MDA's money.
    • Re:Defense $$$ (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gunfighter (1944) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:44PM (#9491665) Homepage
      I have fond memories of yelling many a "bang! bang!" and (my personal favorite) "budda budda jam!" during training exercises.

      I was active duty USMC from 1992 through 1998 (aptly dubbed "Clinton's Corps"). It's good to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Whether you have a Republican globalist in the White House or a Democrat globalist ruling the roost, the people who need it most still get the short end of the stick when it comes to military spending. In the end, the D.C. suits in charge are all globalists with the common goal of the oligarchy in mind.

      We had practically no green money (USMC money) for things like training and education, but blue money (US Navy money for the aviation side of the house) seemed to come out of the friggin woodwork. I couldn't get a new three ring binder without filling out two forms (in triplicate!) and a two week wait for the purchase to be approved, but one avionics jockey with a few too many beers in him from the night before drops a $45K helicopter battery on the tarmac and POOF!! a new battery practically materializes out of nowhere with no paperwork and no questions asked.

      The Marines are well known for doing the best job with the worst equipment and no preparation. Keep up the good work, and watch your ass in Iraq.

      Semper Fi!

  • by mattbot 5000 (645961) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:05PM (#9491392) Homepage
    Army Contractor To Build A 1566 Xserve Cluster You totally misspelled "1337."
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:06PM (#9491401) Homepage
    "Physics computations and weapons simulations so good looking, you're going to want to lick them." - Steve Jobs
    "Uh, we'd advise against that sir." - Army colonel
    "But he SAID I could lick them! Ooh, red, yellow and green WMD icons!" - G. W. Bush
  • If you need me I'll be off in the corner, sobbing over my 0.533 gigahertz G4.
  • by psyconaut (228947) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:13PM (#9491446)
    Kinda hard when you're in the army ;-)

    -psy
  • by This is outrageous! (745631) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:16PM (#9491472)
    that croquer [croquer.free.fr] was talking about in April? Translation:

    (Translation:

    2004-04-07
    - Reasons of the G5 delay

    (...) The new G5s are not yet announced and available because a customer is buying the entire output: U.S. governmental agencies have decided that from June 2005, no sensible data will hosted on Windows machines any more. Too many security holes and risks. They ordered 80,000 G5 xServe and Powermacs from Apple.

    2004-04-08 - G5 delay (continued)

    Around 70 U9 (cf. below) have been ordered by large goverment agencies, like NSA... About ten institutional laboratories already received the supercomputer, equipped with 1024 G5 processors @ 2.6 GHz. That already makes over 10,000 G5, a major part of IBM's production d'IBM => shortage.

    The U9 project will officially be announced next fall in a version equipped with PPC975 @ 3 GHz, available to the wealthy (about 3 M$ per unit).)

  • form factor... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by da5idnetlimit.com (410908) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:20PM (#9491493) Journal
    After the article about the renderfarm, I was asking myself why people didn't use the blade for factor to build renderfarms and clusters...

    I know there aren't available for mac, but I seem to remember Opterons and Xeon blades were the hot topic some month ago, with dual opteron blades and all...

    any reason not to use them blades to build a cluster, each blade bay connected to all other, creating a (sic) beowulf or mosix cluster of some sort ?

    • Re:form factor... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Junta (36770) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:01AM (#9491781)
      For render farms and low interconnect requirements, blades are really popular because of manageablity and density (though I am curious about the manageability of Xserves beyond OS management, i.e. service processor presence/capabilities).

      As to the comment about no 'mac' blades, it is true, but if you are a big fan of power architecture, IBM has announced JS-20, a power based blade, which has the 970 (same as G5), but only at 1.6 GHz (ironically enough, IBM doesn't seem to sell anything at the clock speeds Apple gets to sell at, and they are all IBM's chips...).

      The cost of blade solutions with myrinet or infiniband solutions is significant. Otherwise, most chassis' I see communicate externally through an oversubscribed ethernet switch. Ethernet is inherently sub-optimal, but oversubscribed ethernet is particularly troublesome for some of the fine-grained parallel applications (embarrasingly parrallel applications, of course, don't care, and rendering is one such application).

      Add to this a lack of expansion capability (i.e. IBM blades can take one daughterboard, so there is not any possibility of, say, having a fibre channel *and* myrinet adapter in a blade server.

      The only thing I'm aware of with respect to high-performance interconnect solution for blade servers available today is to get IBM blades with Myrinet daughter boards and an optical passthrough module. Ultimately, it can really reduce cabling for things like ethernet, kvm, etc etc, but those myrinet cables are still going to be a tad unwieldy (80+ wires to the cabinet, even if they are fiber cables).

      I actually want to see a solution that would aggregate, say, 1X infiniband to each blade into 4 4X connectors, no oversubscription and much sturdier and fewer cables.
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:30PM (#9491576) Homepage Journal
    ...But only one mouse button.

    I sure as hell hope Steve Jobs threw in an iPod and a BMW to go with it. :P
  • by Aardpig (622459) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:33PM (#9491600)

    ...that the Army is buying.

  • 1556 ???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:37PM (#9491621) Journal
    Not sure if this is a stupid question - but why 1556. It seems like a rather odd number. Is it budget or does this number of nodes work?
  • by kylemonger (686302) on Monday June 21, 2004 @11:39PM (#9491639)
    As the price of processing power keeps dropping these clusters are getting closer to the magical 100Tflop mark, which is what Ray Kurzweil and others speculate is required to run a human-level AI . Maybe we should start worrying about the computing projects that military isn't announcing.
  • Cozzano (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crumbz (41803) <<remove_spam>jus ... m > g m a i l.c> on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @12:13AM (#9491860) Homepage
    COLSA is too similar to Cozzano from Interface by Stephen Bury aka Neil Stephenson for my liking. This is a great time to re-read that book.
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @01:28AM (#9492212) Homepage
    Is this really a supercomputer? Sounds more like a... supercluster to me.

    At what point does linking together a bunch of off-the-shelf fully-self-contained PCs become a supercomputer? If doing so is the case, wouldn't it be a heck of a lot cheaper to link together whitebox machines, much as datacenters (the type that rent servers) tend to use whitebox servers rather than rackmount boxes?

    I just feel like the term "supercomputer" is being sullied by so-called supercomputers that are nothing more than a simple cluster. Of course, I'm probably a moron, as I said earlier.
    • when they can act as one system they become a cluster. when ur compute task can run on it as on single system u can call it a supercomputer.
      these divisions are quite arbitrary, of course.
      c http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/multipr o cessing

      white boxes aren't any cheaper - they take up expensive server room space. and with the current technology white boxes require dramatically more complicated cabling and hence their setup is more expensive (labor intesive), maintenance as well.
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @01:39AM (#9492262)
    What ever happened to the days when our Army would build their own giant evil super computers?

  • Apple the new Sun? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by revscat (35618) * on Tuesday June 22, 2004 @01:04PM (#9496555) Journal
    I've asked this question before and been modded as troll, but I'm serious: Is Apple the new Sun? It seems that while Apple doesn't have the broad product line that Sun does on the high-end server market, they are nonetheless making inroads into that very market. Further, Apple is sleek and sexy and has a lot of goodwill going for it, whereas Sun mostly brings out ambivalence.

    I'm not saying they are direct competitors, but they are competitors in at least some respects. And it seems that Apple is profiting from sales of its products whereas Sun's biggest revenue inflow recently has been its $1b settlement with Microsoft, not from its product lines.

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