Solaris SPARC to x86 software highway opens
x86 to SPARC highway planned
Sun Microsystems has gone totally native. Customers can now run unmodified SPARC/Solaris applications on x86 systems thank to a partnership with Transitive. The two companies also plan to craft a new package for running native x86 applications on SPARC machines.
Transitive this week announced that the long in beta QuickTransit for Solaris code has moved into production form. It even gets a Solaris Ready Logo and all.
Customers can use this code to run applications written for Solaris/SPARC machines on x86 boxes running the Solaris operating system. Sun would prefer that you buy its x86 hardware, but with the likes of Dell, IBM and HP all supporting Solaris to various degrees, you have plenty of options.
Companies such as Apple and IBM have made liberal use of Transitive's code morphing skills. Apple's Rosetta package, for example, lets you run PowerPC flavored software on Intel-based Macs, while IBM's PowerVM Lx86 - formerly System P Application Virtual Environment or PAVE - allows you to run Linux/x86 software on Power-based servers without modification.
Sun plans to follow IBM's lead via the new deal with Transitive, so that x86 software can sit atop SPARC boxen.
QuickTransit for Solaris makes sense particularly for those ISVs that spent a lot of money creating software for SPARC servers during Sun's late 1990s boom. Some of these companies have been reluctant to invest in crafting fresh versions of their code for x86 systems. Now they can just hop aboard Transitive.
The translation technology used by Transitive does result in a performance hit, but the company has a number of optimizers that can lessen the blow.
We're told that an x86 application moving over to SPARC hardware may slow by 60 per cent to 80 per cent. Software with more repetitive tasks such as a database will suffer less, since Transitive can make the best use of its optimizers on that type of code. (Please feel free to have at your SPARC performance jokes.)
Transitive said it could take up to a year to build the x86-to-SPARC code, although help from Sun could speed the process.
Transitive offers three versions of QuickTransit for Solaris/SPARC-to-Solaris/x86. You'll find Workstation, Server and Legacy flavors. The Legacy package caters to very old versions of Solaris no longer supported by Sun.
You can check out the Transitive code here. ®
Tim let me clarify
We do use a reduced package build and JASS. We strip "the bloat" out before we deploy. Our SLAs are defined on the application availability not the servers so much. We do patch on a annual basis and apply patches when we are affected by a security issue all be it very very rare. That said, we meet our SLA and for the most part we as of yet have had to drop a box because of a critical security patch that needed to be applied outside our one patch window. Most of the time we will look for workarounds before we result to rebooting the server outside our window. For the most part we update so things like Oracle are happy when we upgrade the databases so its two birds with one stone.
Yes i agree with you about Sol9 it easier but like everything else with time things become more complex. I just have to stand up and look over at the WIndows admins with their zombied looks when they play the monthly patch raffle to know us *NIX admins are in a much better place :)
I assume your point was Linux not HP-UX. I think a search of the register will show you that HP is not a safe bet vs Sun, IBM and yes RH.
I'm not going to fan the UNIX vs LINUX debate if possible but you have your opinion and i have mine. Linux has a place in datacenters but not in ours. The reasons why people move away from UNIX to LINUX are diverse as the people that use it but the driving factor was price. Sun did themselves some great disservice by screwing clients royally before the .bust . They weren't alone, IBM and HP we dryhumping clients too. Now because of their actions we are seeing Sun have to realign on price and delivery to meet the LINUX challenge. HP where are they going? Some days it looks like they don't know never mind the clients. IBM, nice gear, pricey; nice OS pricey, LINUX sure lets go with the flow. Sun has the most to loose out of the 3, so they want to give you as many compelling solutions to upgrade even if you are stuck with a legacy app, yes?
I would be interested to know what the fortune 500 are using for dB/app/web servers these days. I'm sure everyone is in there. I would guess that the world != F500 Linux % though i've eaten my words before. Does someone know?
Sun do lots of R&D in Europe. Grenoble, Prague, Dublin, St. Petersburg, to name but a few. Not at Camberly, true.
RE: Making Sparc applications run on 80x86
Have you tried asking Adobe for the code to Acrobat Reader?
now i know there are alternatives to Acrobat reader for viewing PDF's ... but if you need to check on signed PDF's there is no alternative (if anyone knows otherwise i would dearly like to be proved wrong)
We also have products from Oracle (and others) that are no longer maintained, and although they can be 'converted' do not run the same on x86 hardware, the solution we've found so far is to keep some sparc kit around for the trivial job of running those apps.
For us this is trivial, but for other people it might be mission critical ... although i have to say for 440 quid for the workstation version it might well be as cheap to buy some sparc kit, and it's definitely not worth it just to run arcoread :)