Sun's Serengeti brain dead yeti?
It's veldt it's not Starfire compatible
Reports from insiders at Sun have told The Register of a possible problem with the Serengeti platform. Serengeti is Sun's follow-up to its Starfire high end platform but the source is suggesting that it will be incompatible with its predecessor. The platform uses a memory architecture dubbed COMA (cache only memory architecture), according to the source. However, a reader told us today: "I'm curious, what do you mean by 'incompatible'? If, say, applications need or should be re-written to run on it, then that's really bad. However, you say it's imcompatible with Starfire, not Sun's stuff in general, so I guess you mean a hardware imcompatibility - i.e. you can't take processor boards from a Starfire (a bare board costs several $10,000) and plug em into Serengeti. This is not surprising if it uses a significantly different architecture. Also the Serengeti will be coming out 3 years after the Starfire, so that kind of imcompatibility is not too surprising. Bit of a bummer after you've shelled out a mega-buck on a computer though. " "Still, by the time the Serengeti comes out (12-18 months, apparently) the much delayed UltraSparc-III will be available (Sun's resellor docs say machines with US3's won't be out for about a year), and you'd probably want to upgrade your UIIs to it anyway. (btw, in a Starfire, and maybe the other Sun SMP boxes, all the processors must be the same. The memory cards/blocks are also special to Starfire...) Sun will probably position the Serengeti as a system a level above the Starfire, not as a replacement for it. "Maybe you mean storage as well (which is important since Starfires often have a mega-bucks worth of external storage as well) - I would be very surprised if the NG machine can't take current storage products. I know Sun is working on a new IO system (a high end version of the NGIO stuff they're developing with Intel) called Fat Pipes, I think, which may or may not be runnable on older machines..." Sun could not be contacted at press time to clarify the situation, but we'll be happy to hear from them. ®
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