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4-Way Sun Fire V40z Reviewed 315

Posted by samzenpus
from the compile-faster dept.
Hack Jandy writes "Anandtech has a pretty thorough analysis of Sun's V40z 4-way Opteron server that fits in a 3U. Among some of the more noteable benchmarks include a 2 minute, 30 second Linux 2.6.4 kernel compile! Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"
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4-Way Sun Fire V40z Reviewed

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  • Who says they are? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:00PM (#11762246)
    Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"
    They're doing what they have to do to survive.

    If they had their way, it'd be Solaris/Sparc all the way.

    • by saleenS281 (859657) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:39PM (#11762501) Homepage
      you confused "survive" with "grow and maximize profit". As if Sun is going anywhere anytime soon. They're going to die just like novell, BSD, and Microsoft are.
      Sun realizes that the opteron provides nearly the performance of their sparc at a cheaper price... why not bundle it up and make MORE money since the cream of the crop for them is service. And more systems sold==more people buying service contracts. And lord knows cheaper prices==more systems sold.
      • Novell is dying? I think you will find that Novell is making a comeback from the dead more than dying.
  • I suspected (Score:3, Funny)

    by geekee (591277) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:00PM (#11762250)
    "Who would have thought only a few years ago that Sun would be the new champion of Linux and AMD?"

    I knew that the ultraSPARC was dead a few years ago. Not surprised at the current Sun situation.
    • I knew that the ultraSPARC was dead a few years ago.

      The next-generation Niagara and Rock CPUs will be SPARC. Not quite dead...
    • Re:I suspected (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:19PM (#11762371) Homepage Journal
      Sparc isn't dead...Sun just realized that they can't keep up with Intel and IBM in the chip wars by themselves. They've teamed up with a Japanese company (Fujitsu?) for future Sparc development. Sparc will be for high-end customers only. They're positioning Opteron for the cheap end.
      • They're positioning Opteron for the cheap end.

        They can't be so stupid as to realize that the "cheap end" gets more powerful, faster than the "high end" does.

        After all, that's why the minicomputer industry was born 45 years ago, the non-hobbiest PC 25 years ago and Sun killed the minicomputer 15 years ago.
      • The problem is that people perceive Sparc to be dead...thats all it takes. Look at Alpha - fastest platform in its day but it had the stink of death even though a well-heeled company (more than one through acquisitions) was being it.

        In any case I don't see how Sun can resurrect Sparc at this point, even if they were to bring a breakthrough performance product to market (doubtful if they haven't announced anything firm by 2005).

        What is a "high end" chip anyway? You have fast chips and you have slow chips.

        • Re:They will lose (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SunFan (845761) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @01:43AM (#11763887)
          Look at Alpha - fastest platform in its day but it had the stink of death even though a well-heeled company (more than one through acquisitions) was being it.

          Even thought the quality of Sun's marketing dept. is certainly open for debate, it is clearly better than DEC's was.

          What is a "high end" chip anyway?

          One thing that differentiates UltraSPARC from Opteron is that UltraSPARC is designed to scale to over 1000 CPUs in a system. Opteron's sweet-spot is up to 8 CPUs. Otherwise, both CPUs have similar characteristics, such as ECC support, etc.

          A lot of work can get done with 8 CPUs, but for everything else, there's UltraSPARC, POWER, and Itanium.
        • Re:They will lose (Score:3, Insightful)

          by afidel (530433)
          Well, a high end chip is one designed for throughput as well as number crunching on tiny data sets. In fact the biggest problem for most computational problems today is not cycles but memory bandwidth, and a Sparc system delivers memory bandwidth in spades for a large number of processors. The Sun machines are unfortunatly for Sun not needed by that many people as many classes of large jobs have had architectures designed that allow them to run on piles of comodity wintel/lintel servers. Sun realizes this a
  • by Shut the fuck up! (572058) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:08PM (#11762302)
    But for years I have been looking for a 3-way. My wife, is uh, not very compatible.
  • Solaris and AMD (Score:5, Informative)

    by uid100 (540265) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:10PM (#11762316)
    I have been running six V20z in production for about ten months now. They have - and will continue to - run Solaris. These servers have been as stable and predictiable as the V480's I manage, but compile Apache in 1/5 the time. They are definitly a sweet hardware platform, but why discount Solaris on them (in the title of this "news", by omition?)

    My new AMD64 powered Gateway 7405GX is running Solaris-10 - works great! And a 64 bit kernel.
    • Re:Solaris and AMD (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jeff.Schramm (861272)
      I hadn't noticed the Solaris Linux Application Environment in Solaris 10 before. Sun has some interesting things to say about it at http://www.sun.com/software/solaris/ds/linux_inter op.jsp [sun.com]. I wonder how well it works.

      Sun is taking Linux interoperability to the next level with the new Solaris Linux Application Environment feature in the Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) for AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon x86-based systems. The Solaris Linux Application Environment (LAE) allows Linux applications to run uncha

      • It seems to work very well. I was actually surpised. A customer asked to run our application on solaris and wanted us to test it. We were able to run the linux version with no changes on solaris and thus the customer went with that solution.
    • I agree.

      I wouldn't want Red Hat or Suse or Gentoo on a production server, but I'd be happy with FreeBSD or Debian.

      But I'd also be happy to run Solaris though. It has features that Linux and the BSDs don't have. Doesn't make it better for everything, but it's certainly worth looking at.
      • "I wouldn't want Red Hat or Suse or Gentoo on a production server, but I'd be happy with FreeBSD or Debian.

        But I'd also be happy to run Solaris though. It has features that Linux and the BSDs don't have. Doesn't make it better for everything, but it's certainly worth looking at.
        "

        What he said. I find Debian annoying compared to BSD or Solaris but that may be personal preference.

        • "I find Debian annoying compared to BSD or Solaris but that may be personal preference."

          Some of the automation in Debian makes me nervous, but I agree that it's a personal preference thing. I probably don't use it enough to be 100% comfortable.
        • BSD initscripts are such a pain in the ass. System V initscripts are some much more logical and easy to work with.
      • Re:Solaris and AMD (Score:3, Informative)

        by k8to (9046)
        Strange.

        I've actually _tried_ all those distributions on a Sun 20z, and while Gentoo and SuSE both worked fine, FreeBSD and Debian aren't even ready for x86_64. Red Hat was notably unworkable, sadly. Maybe we only sacrificed enough goats for two distritubions.
        • "I've actually _tried_ all those distributions on a Sun 20z, and while Gentoo and SuSE both worked fine,"

          From experience, I don't really put too much stock in the Suse or Gentoo definition of "working fine".

          "FreeBSD and Debian aren't even ready for x86_64. Red Hat was notably unworkable, sadly. Maybe we only sacrificed enough goats for two distritubions."

          Unless you specifically need 64 bits, you can run the 32-bit x86 port until the 64-bit port matures.

          All the 64-bit ports are a bit young at the moment.
  • by Master Bait (115103) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:11PM (#11762318) Homepage Journal
    Not that that is a bad thing, but I cannot see any difference between the V40z and this [newisys.com].
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by Neil Blender (555885) <neilblender@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:11PM (#11762320)
    Reading through the benchmarks, I see they compiled KDE under gentoo in just under 17 weeks. I'm impressed.
  • Fast Kernel Compile (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AFCArchvile (221494) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:12PM (#11762328)
    2 minute, 30 second Linux 2.6.4 kernel compile!

    That's pretty fast compared to what I've done: compiling 2.4.27 in Gentoo on a Sun Ultra 2 (2 x 300 MHz UltraSPARC). It took over 90 minutes, and that was without the USB and Bluetooth sections of the kernel, since there's no way the Ultra 2 can make any use of either.

  • Specs (Score:5, Informative)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:15PM (#11762343) Homepage Journal
    From Sun's site:

    http://www.sun.com/servers/entry/v40z/index.jsp

    * Linear Processor Scalability
    * Lights Out Management (LOM) with integrated service processor
    * Redundant, hot-swap power and cooling
    * Supports existing 32-bit x86 OS and applications

    * Up to 4 AMD Opteron 800 Series processors
    * Up to 32 GB
    * Up to six hot-swap Ultra320 SCSI disks

    - Solaris 10 on x64
    - Solaris 9 HW 4/04 OS or later for x86 Platforms
    - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 for AMD Opteron
    - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8
    - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
    - SUSE Linux 9 Professional (Community Edition)
    - Microsoft Windows 2000 (WHCL-certified)
    - Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (WHCL-certified)

    The price, listed at http://www.sun.com/emrkt/opteronpromo/product.html
    shows the server @ $5945, which imho is quite a reasonable price for this kind of heavy hitting hardware.

    I've always had a thing for sun hardware. It's just... sexy.

    ~Wx
    • Re:Specs (Score:2, Informative)

      by Neil Blender (555885)
      shows the server @ $5945, which imho is quite a reasonable price for this kind of heavy hitting hardware.

      Not that I looked or anything, but I am sure $5945 most likely gets you 1 weak processor, the onboard ram and an ide drive. Max it out and you could be looking an $20K or more.
    • Re:Specs (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BCW2 (168187)
      That price is lowball, not fully equiped. In serious drool mode I priced out a Tyan K8Q type mobo (quad Opteron), 4 Opteron 850's, and 32 gigs of memory. On pricewatch thats over $12,000. You still need a case, PS, drives,... and thats not from vendors I would buy from based on their ratings either. Reputable vendors have higher prices. Sun of course gets the volume discount if this takes off for them.
    • I've always had a thing for sun hardware. It's just... sexy.
      Here's a case mod idea - bring pizzas to geekfests in sparcstation cases.
    • Yawn!

      I think I'll just wait until the dual core
      Opteron is available as an option. The only
      thing better than a 4x 64-bit processor setup
      in a 3U chassis is a 8x setup (unless you're
      paying Oracle's per processor tax).
  • OK, it's a lot faster than my machine. But how many lines of code is that? And how many lines per second? I know that gcc isn't optimized for compiling speed, far from it, but shouldn't we be getting 100klines per second out of our compilers these days?
  • by rngadam (304)
    Grrr, any Sybase engineer could tell when the HELL they are going to deliver Sybase ASE on Linux 64-bit for Opteron???

    We're just waiting for this at work to move to all this cool hardware! Geez... chalk one more for moving to Oracle!
  • 4-year-old dupe :) (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moosesocks (264553)
    4 years ago slashdot posted a story [slashdot.org] introducing the first Dual-processor athlon system and used the linux kernel compilation time as a benchmark.

    A little over 4 years ago, a Dual Processor Athlon System compiled the kernel in 2 minutes flat. The kernel was version 2.4.0ac12.

    I'm no software/hardware developer, so I'm not going to comment on the significance of this result, but nonetheless I find it interesting that the kernel took less time to compile on a much more modest system 4 years ago. Has the ker
    • by BillKaos (657870)
      Check the compiler version. New gcc versions got very slow.

      Andrew Morton uses gcc 2.95, because it's 2x faster compiling the kernel.
    • by Eil (82413)

      Has the kernel really grown THAT much?

      Yes and no... Using kernel compile times as a benchmark is categorically useless you quote the exact config file in the analysis.

      A few weeks ago, I tried to compile a GNU/Debian Linux 2.6.x kernel on a Pentium III using the default kitchen-sink config. After about an hour and a half of just sitting there waiting for the damn thing to finish (this was on-site maintenance of a critical mail server), I halted the build and took my chances at configuring it by hand, hop
  • by unixwin (569813) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:56PM (#11762655) Homepage
    Before the Sun lovers go chanting ga-ga-ga about how this will save Sun's sorry ass or how it outperforms their "other" systems , I'd like to put forward some numbers running similar tests against whitebox systems.

    Config: On my 8GB 246 (single processor, whitebox) opteron I get (make distclean etc between steps)
    Time / Kernel / Make option
    2"12s / 2.4.21 (time make -j5)
    3m33.081s / 2.6.4 (time make -j5)
    3m31s / 2.6.4 (time make -3)

    From anandtech for the 2.6.4 kernel.
    2"43 sec V40Z -j5
    3"30 sec V40z -j3
    4" 34 sec W2100Z -j3

    Hmm.. for the 5K I paid for it. I'm happy waiting 50 seconds more.. ( 5K v/s 17K and 3"30' v/s 2"43')

    Misc info:..
    gcc -v
    Reading specs from /usr/lib/gcc-lib/x86_64-redhat-linux/3.2.3/specs
    Configured with: ../configure --prefix=/usr --mandir=/usr/share/man --infodir=/usr/share/info --enable-shared --enable-threads=posix --disable-checking --with-system-zlib --enable-__cxa_atexit --host=x86_64-redhat-linux
    Thread model: posix
    gcc version 3.2.3 20030502 (Red Hat Linux 3.2.3-42)

    make --version
    GNU Make version 3.79.1, by Richard Stallman and Roland McGrath.
    Built for x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu
  • If Apple continues to make MacOS X Server more and more robust, and if they could reduce the price on the XServes, then for many environments why not run MacOS X? From looking through guides to OSX Server, it seems really straight forward to setup and maintain compared to even most Linux distributions and looks like it just might be something that if marketed correctly could at least clobber Windows Server for many small business server needs.

    I remember taking a networking class a year and a half ago where
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What about this ProLiant DL585 [hp.com] server from HP. It seems very comprable (4 Opterons, 8 or so PCI-X slots, configurable with lots of memory and storage, not to mention a similar price point). There are links to a few benchmarks on that page. Anyone have any experience with the DL585 or similar HP servers or know how they compare to these servers from Sun?
  • Sorry but shaving a few seconds of that compile does not justify the premium of the sun name being on the box. We've built our own 2 way servers and they compile nearly as fast.
    • We've built our own 2 way servers and they compile nearly as fast.

      There's obviously some added premium for the Sun logo, but do keep in mind that much of the price comes from premium components used (to improve reliability, and allow hot-swapping). And although kernel compilation gives some indication of performance, scalability of actual services being run on the system (db/app/web servers, most likely) is generally better than that of kernel compilation (which doesn't get fully parallel with make, due

  • We took a look at a piece of hardware that truly has a few competitors...

    They list the HP as a competitor, and a few brands I've never heard of, but no mention of Penguin Computing's Altus series offering. Anybody have any experience with Penguin Computing in general, or their Altus series? We are looking into purchasing opteron servers but are having a difficult time weighing between vendor reputation and configuration flexibility (redundant power / scsi raid).
  • That's not even marginally impressive - for a 4-way Operteron. I'd be quite unsatisfied.

    I did a build on an IBM x306 about a month ago, from a fresh tarball, in 2 minutes and 28 seconds. The system was in RAID-1 setup (with SATA, of course). This model had (I think) a 3.2GHz P4.

    Why is this supposed to be impressive?
  • Hmm - I'm starting to wonder why people get excited about a box that has been on the market for years (its a newisys 4300 for gods sake, nothing new) and is going to be phased out shortly for a sun internal design? (well, not really sun - they bought the whole company this time than rather just oem the system)...

    besides that, they run stable, fast and are all you'd expect from a 4way opteron... Just the NSV (network share volume) for the sp is pretty unusual... Also doesn't have a virtual CD, making it som
  • What's so special? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Thursday February 24, 2005 @09:15AM (#11765870)
    It's a quad-opteron in a 4U chassis. I don't get it, what's so special about that?

    I'd be much more impressed with a 1U quad opteron with 32GB of RAM via 16x2GB DDR400 and 1.5TB of storage via 3x500GB drives.

    Oh wait. It's already been done. It's called Appro's 1142H, a 1U quad opteron server. [appro.com]

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