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MDD G4: $70 a good price?

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There's new SPARC gear being sold, although I would imagine Oracle sells more x64 servers, and sells more software for non-Oracle servers anyway.


In terms of the used Sun market, it seems to have come up in the past couple years. You couldn't practically give away an Ultra series a couple years ago and now I see them fetching a little bit.


It's still not as bad as if you want to try to get an Alpha, but they seem to be holding their value.


5 hours ago, nglevin said:

Which is a nicer way of saying that stock, unmodified ARM is not really that impressive compared to POWER and even SPARC

It depends on the task. It seems like the use case is similar to the old SPARC T1/T2 types of designs and old AMD "magny-cours" (haha get it many cores) designs where you're optimizing for threads instead of raw speed. VPSes, processes that do the same thing over and over to small datasets (Sun's sales pitch for the Niagara/UltraSPARC T1 chips was essentially web serving and doing things like parallel image processing in web hosting situations, basically, using it for things like hosting facebook/flickr et al.)


Whether or not that market actually shapes up that way or it still ends up being cheaper to custom build some Xeon Gold/Platinum boxes or just rely on throughput over total number of cores.


Apple absolutely has the best ARM designs in their particular power envelope. Most of the server-based ARM designs aren't the same chips being used for other phones and devices, or if they're the same core, they're deployed to make use of the fact that they're in stationary computers with big power supplies and good cooling.


There are (well, were) a few real ARM servers that have shipped, because Apple isn't the only one that has a license to do that kind of design work, Calxeda is obviously dead, and it appears whatever it was IXSystems was using in one of their ARM-based storage boxes is dead.


Gigabyte appears to have some using chips that are now being sold by Marvell. (though, those particular server models might be old because they're labeled as being Cavium brand and I don't see that model listed on Marvell's site, so I don't know if those machines are actually available to buy.)


I believe the HP Moonshot system also had an ARM-based blade, the idea there being, basically same thing, lots of really small servers doing work lashed together, perhaps with kubernetes or whatever system automation tool was popular at that moment.


Though, it looks like not much exists in the rack-mountable or ARM-based blades realm right now. It'll be interesting to see if that comes back.


At any rate, it'll be interesting to see if anything can make a meaningful dent in the position x64 holds in the server world. Given that POWER isn't really new and that a couple generations of OpenPOWER have as far as I know have failed to make a big difference there, along with the fact that SPARC is still plugging along.


The next thing is risc-v, but I doubt that's in a place to be put into servers yet.

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I agree. RISC-V is about where ARM could have gone, if it wasn't for the IP issues and licensing. Which likely got more complex after Softbank swallowed ARM whole.


We'll see. It's early enough in its hype cycle that my enthusiasm is extremely tempered at the moment. ;-)

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