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Ashlee Vance

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Sun chum Oracle pushes database buyers to IBM

Comment A couple of years back, Oracle chief Larry Ellison and then Sun CEO Scott McNealy held an event in Redwood City to renew their vows. Oracle signed on to ship Java for ten more years, and Sun started bundling Oracle's database on its servers at no charge. That last bit was meant to give Sun an edge over hardware rivals, although …
Ashlee Vance, 24 Apr 2008

Only insanity would lead Apple to make a mobile chip play

Comment So, here's the deal. If Steve Jobs can actually turn the acquisition of chip start-up PA Semi into a fruitful mobile endeavor, then he's an even more fantastic genius than the world has guessed to date. Because this deal seems to make almost no sense at first blush if you swallow the souped-up iPhone line. The conventional …
Ashlee Vance, 23 Apr 2008
IBM

IBM shakes up the server game with lean, cool iDataPlex

It is with some measure of awe that we introduce you to IBM's iDataPlex server. The system itself is quite remarkable. IBM has reworked its approach to rack servers allowing it to place twice as many systems in a single cabinet. This attack centers on delivering the most horsepower possible in a given area while also reducing …
Ashlee Vance, 23 Apr 2008

VMware placates Wall Street with 70 per cent Q1 revenue surge

The frenzied folks on Wall Street have come to terms with the realities of a slower growing VMware. The virtualization software maker today reported first quarter results that showed revenue rising 69 per cent year-over-year to $438m. For the same period, VMware's net income rose a bit from $41m in 2007 to $43m. VMware's rather …
Ashlee Vance, 22 Apr 2008
Ubuntu teaser

Ubuntu man Shuttleworth dissects Hardy Heron's arrival

Interview On Thursday, the Ubuntu 8.04 magic happens. The operating system - called Hardy Heron at playgrounds around Silicon Valley - goes up for download in its various forms, most notably Server and Desktop. Like most open source jobs, these Ubuntu OS releases are protracted affairs. Canonical, the corporate body behind Ubuntu, has …
Ashlee Vance, 22 Apr 2008
Teradata logo 75

Teradata puts feisty start-ups on notice with appliance charge

Teradata, the big daddy of data warehousing, has finally responded to the appliance challenge by rolling out a new family of systems that cater to customers with various budgets. Rather than shipping a single, beefy system, Teradata will now sell a range of gear that starts with the 550 SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) on the low …
Ashlee Vance, 22 Apr 2008
AMD

AMD launches Dell's four-core Opteron boxes

Dell's Opteron experience hasn't been all that fantastic. After resisting the Opteron push for so long, Dell embraced AMD's flashy chip just as Intel started to catch up on performance and performance per watt metrics with Xeon. Then, Dell watched as AMD shot itself in the chest with the four-core Barcelona roll out. Dell was …
Ashlee Vance, 16 Apr 2008
Sun

Sun abuses IPTV with Xeons, Opterons, switch and small dog

Sun Microsystems continues to go after streaming media types with a shedload of hardware. The company this week refreshed its IPTV package that fits into its Streaming System product line with the latest and greatest silicon from Intel and AMD and an upgraded management package. The updated hardware/software combo can handle …
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2008

How a pair of American spies created the Soviet Silicon Valley

Radio Reg Few stories in computing history come close to matching the tale of Zelenograd – the Soviet Union's attempt at creating something along the lines of Silicon Valley. Episode 15 of Semi-Coherent Computing recounts the tale of Zelenograd's founding along with the stories of the two US-born Russian spies behind the city. No one …
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2008
graph up

Pano Logic gives VMware case of VDS 2.0

Fledgling desktop virtualization player Pano Logic has found time to dish out a fresh version of its flagship software. The start-up this week disgorged Virtual Desktop Solution (VDS) 2.0, which has a couple of bits and bobs that could make the technology attractive to more customers. In particular, Pano Logic has popped wide …
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2008

Citrix goes storage light with XenDesktop

Citrix is throwing its hat into the desktop virtualization ring. Okay, we know what you're thinking. Citrix already has a desktop virtulization play. It's done the whole pumping applications out of the data center to the desktop thing for ages. And it has that whole desktop-like kiosk thing going on with XenApp, which used to …
Ashlee Vance, 15 Apr 2008
IBM

IBM wants to get youngsters hooked on Power

IBM's Power server evolution will continue through hipness and experimentation. Many customers out there think of IBM as a stodgy venerable computing powerhouse. The notion that "no one ever got fired for buying IBM" plays well in the corporate data centers that most Power processor-based servers call home. It plays less well, …
Ashlee Vance, 14 Apr 2008
The Register breaking news

There's no way Ballmer survives Yahoo! disaster scenario

Radio Reg Microsoft is buying Yahoo! to . . . oh, that's right no one from Redmond has really explained that one yet. Most of the pundits think Redmond has an ad play in mind. Well, the Open Season crew sees it differently. In Episode 15, Matt Asay, Dave Rosenberg and I dig into the real motives behind Microsoft's lust for Yahoo!, …
Ashlee Vance, 12 Apr 2008
Paul Otellini

Can the Atom help Intel's CEO meet otherworldly demands?

Interview Exclusive Strolling towards Intel's headquarters, I hoped my meeting with Paul Otellini would not be as awkward as the last encounter with an acting Intel CEO. Back in 2001, Craig Barrett delivered a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which required him to emerge from a huge tub of Jello. Intel had hired its …
Ashlee Vance, 10 Apr 2008

Intel CEO confronts OEM grumbling around direct chip sales

CEOs of the major server and PC makers have proved reluctant to complain in public about Intel's very substantial "distribution" business where it moves processors and white boxes directly to customers. But pull one of these executives away from the microphones, and you may well hear a minor tirade on the topic. The Register has …
Ashlee Vance, 09 Apr 2008
Warning: aircraft

IBM offers 4,000 frequent flyer miles per core to abandon HP

Oh, baby. IBM is hitting its "move off HP and Sun" program harder than Amy Winehouse hits a crack pipe. During a launch event today for new Power servers, IBM reminded customers and press again and again and again about its pay-to-port effort. IBM will hand customers up to $4,000 per core if they shift from a rival box to one of …
Ashlee Vance, 08 Apr 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

IBM smacks rivals with 5.0GHz Power6 beast

The rest of the server world can play with their piddling 2-3GHz chips. IBM, meanwhile, is prepared to deal in the 5GHz realm. The hardware maker has unveiled a Power6-based version of its highest-end Unix server - the Power 595. The box runs on 32 dual-core 5GHz Power6 processors, making it a true performance beast. This big …
Ashlee Vance, 08 Apr 2008
chart

Montalvo's x86 chip struggling to be an x86 chip

The only thing worse than competing with Intel in the x86 market is competing with a chip that doesn't work quite right. And so the saga of Montalvo Systems continues, according to our information. The internet is littered with Montalvo job postings, seeking help with the bring-up, validation and verification of complex …
Ashlee Vance, 08 Apr 2008
fingers pointing at man

MokaFive pumps virtual PCs through the cloud

It's the type of problem we've all faced. You're a Windows user desperate to reflect on your Christian faith. Sadly, the only good bible study software out there resides in the open source realm on the Ubuntu Christian Edition operating system. Is Bible study software worth ripping and replacing your entire Windows desktop? We …
Ashlee Vance, 07 Apr 2008
Intel logo teaser

Intel forces server chums to fend for themselves

IDF Server aficionados were left wanting at this year's China-flavored Intel Developer Forum. The company kept banging on and on and on about something called a MID, which is neither a PDA nor an ultra mobile PC. The important difference between a MID and something else, according to Intel, is new usage models. Whatever. They're not …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Apr 2008

Intel still telling Yorker corker

IDF When pushed to tell us where its missing 'Yorkfield' wonder chips are, Intel's spin staff told us to "check our favorite e-tailer." W did, probing a number of stores, and found nothing but more delay notices. Last month, a couple of hacks noticed that the quad-core Yorkfield chips were missing. At that time, Intel vowed that the …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Apr 2008
homeless man with sign

XtremeData swaps precious modily fluids between FPGAs and Xeons

IDF FPGAs sitting in Xeon sockets. Boring, right? Well, not if you meet the XtremeData crew who tell us they party to the Xtreme every chance they get. As we understand it, that means drinking a six-pack while watching Monte Carlo simulations. The boys from XtremeData – if a woman works at the company we'll be shocked – were here at …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Apr 2008
IBM

By the Power of Power, IBM goes Power System

IBM's long-standing lurch toward unifying the System i and System p server lines reached another, um, milestone this week. The vendor dished out the Power System servers which share the same innards and component nomenclature. In addition, IBM chucked out i5/OS, revealing "i." We'll pause for the appropriate awe to set in. For …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Apr 2008
Microsoft

Microsoft meths up data center with 220 containers

Crack open the Natty Light. Microsoft plans to throw a white trash data center rager in Chicago. Microsoft will cram between 150 and 220 shipping containers filled with data center gear into a new 500,000 square foot facility. This move marks the most significant, public use of the shipping container systems popularized by the …
Ashlee Vance, 02 Apr 2008
arrow pointing up

Fresh Super Micro kit pushes the ultra low-voltage limits

IDF Super Micro continues to impress with its server gear. The vendor this week released new versions of its blade and 1U designs that make use of Intel's "San Clemente" 5100 chipset built to work with low power processors. The fresh SuperBlade and 1U Twin boxes boast some rather strong performance per watt figures. For example, …
Ashlee Vance, 02 Apr 2008
Intel_xeon_SM

Intel VP threatens to turn all Xeon users into 'monkey kings'

IDF Faced with a lack of actual news to discuss, Intel today turned to the "Monkey King" in order to liven up its IDF session on server chips. Intel senior VP Pat Gelsinger took the stage here in Shanghai to hit on the company's efforts around high performance and data center computing. Gelsinger, however, had little material to …
Ashlee Vance, 02 Apr 2008
The Register breaking news

The Facebook Initiative – Bill Gates's greatest invention

April Fools I'd interviewed Bill Gates so many times over the past 20 years but had never seen him in this kind of mood. On this unusual day last month, the typically unemotional man displayed a profound, passionate glimmer of the eye. "I've come up with something that will make Steve Jobs cry," he told me. "This is a taste, refinement and …
Ashlee Vance, 01 Apr 2008
arrow pointing up

ScaleMP creates $10k four-socket box out of thin air

Consider this like a Sesame Street episode for Symmetric Multi-Processor servers. "ScaleMP knows big. Now it wants to show you small." For the last couple of years, ScaleMP has sold software which turns smaller x86 servers into a single, hulking SMP similar to systems more common in the Unix realm. It can lash together boxes …
Ashlee Vance, 01 Apr 2008
Intel logo teaser

Intel's 'Living Large' mantra threatens tour guide industry

IDF If last night's meal of private deer parts and caterpillar fungus had not gone down so well, we might have struggled to digest Intel's latest slogan – "Carry small, Live large." Yes indeed, Intel marched out a new marketing directive here at IDF China, hoping to woo the local crowd with its Western fluffery prowess. You can …
Ashlee Vance, 01 Apr 2008
The Register breaking news

IBM unveils nano-projector based VirtuaHuman with 1TB of memory

April Fools Don Eigler – a researcher famous for spelling I-B-M with individual atoms – stunned the world once again today by revealing on his blog that a creature known as Robert Scoble is really a research project. A few years back, IBM researchers started to think more and more about the potential rise of so-called virtual worlds …
Ashlee Vance, 01 Apr 2008
The Register breaking news

Ubuntu chief picks panda over penguin, while Microsoft rolls Novell

Radio Reg If you're ever staying at the HoJo in Victorville, California, be sure to hit up the gay bar next door and down a Chelada with this guy. He's a hoot, and I'm pretty sure he'd be all about open source if he cared as much about software as he does for clam-fused tomato juice and Bud Light. Shot of bartender holding Chelada drink …
Ashlee Vance, 29 Mar 2008
channel

Meet Datallegro's database crushing appliance

It appears that companies must have unusual names in the data warehousing game. The kind vendors like Datallegro and Teradata at least stick a 'data' right in there to let you know the issue at hand. Tricker players like HP (NeoView) and Netezza do us no such favors. We assume the flashy names are meant to reflect the importance …
Ashlee Vance, 29 Mar 2008
Sun

Sun's xVM virtualization wares run red with catch-up

What are we to make of Sun Microsystems' virtualization effort? In the positives camp, we have a major vendor trying to build a real competitor to VMware. That's probably a good thing for the virtualization market since the likes of HP, IBM and Dell appear content to more or less do what VMware, Citrix and Microsoft tell them. …
Ashlee Vance, 28 Mar 2008
Amazon logo 75

Amazon's cloud now less prone to failure

Amazon's utility computing-style EC2 service just got more muscular. Thanks to a pair of new options, customers can take steps to ensure their applications keep running when system failures or network disruptions occur. First off, Amazon has rolled out "Availability Zones", which address a major weakness in the EC2 system. …
Ashlee Vance, 27 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

Gilded Perkins puts ego yacht up for sale

It looked to us like Tom Perkins could afford the dinner bill. But, we guess, times are tougher than we thought even for Silicon Valley's elite. Just last night, we spotted the famed venture capitalist Perkins dining at one of San Francisco's more ancient restaurants - Jeanty at Jacks. The place has been around since the 1860s …
Ashlee Vance, 27 Mar 2008
IBM

IBM's cloud computer drifts over Georgia and Ohio

According to BusinessWeek's public relations department, IBM and Google have already won the virtualized cloud computing war, discovered a cure for HIV and brought about world peace. Curious then that IBM continues to invest in both virtualization and cloud computing. During "a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Atlanta today," IBM …
Ashlee Vance, 26 Mar 2008

Parallels pads hosting play with ModernGigabyte buy

Parallels - the software artist formerly known as SWsoft - has snatched up billing dandy ModernGigabyte in a bid to strengthen the company's products that cater to hosting providers. Parallels gains ModernGigabyte's equally modern ModernBill software that automates a number of the billing jobs associated with the hosting …
Ashlee Vance, 26 Mar 2008
Dell

Dell enters PAN Manager's Labyrinth

When the server administrator elite hold their secret meetings in a dark, underground data center somewhere in the desert, they often talk about Egenera's PAN Manager software. By most accounts, the Egenera code is really quite something when it comes to managing lots of gear as a cohesive system. Michael Dell must sit in on …
Ashlee Vance, 25 Mar 2008
Juniper Networks logo

Juniper acquires Sun's chip chief with one Yen

Sun Microsystems' long-time chip chief David Yen has left the building for an undisclosed role at Juniper Networks. Yen most recently served as the EVP in charge of Sun Microelectronics. In the past, he has been responsible for Sun's storage division, UltraSPARC-based servers and microprocessor efforts. Sun has tapped Technology …
Ashlee Vance, 25 Mar 2008

Marathon ships He-Man virtual machine protector

What happens when my physical machine collapses? That's what a lot of virtualization newcomers wonder about while considering the prospect of stacking tons of applications on a single, physical box. Virtualization players such as VMware and Symantec/Veritas have addressed these concerns through HA (high availability) packages …
Ashlee Vance, 24 Mar 2008
Sun

DARPA funds Sun's optical chip chatter magic

Well, well, well, Sun Microsystems worked DARPA over for some SPARC funding after all. The server maker today celebrated a $44m contract to produce optical chip-to-chip connections technology for the Defense Department's R&D unit. The official line on this arrangement has Sun taking $44.29m over five and a half years to produce …
Ashlee Vance, 24 Mar 2008
Pat Gelsinger

Intel wants to get into heavy petascaling

Intel may dominate the list of top supercomputers, but the most intriguing work done in the high performance computing field takes place outside of the Xeon kingdom. Pat Gelsinger, Intel's server chip chief, plans on fixing this problem. Look at November's Top 500 List, and you'll find 320 64-bit Xeon-based supercomputers. That' …
Ashlee Vance, 23 Mar 2008
channel

ClearSpeed floats - ouch - 3.0 flagship code

Floating point whiz ClearSpeed continues to try and make coding for its specialized hardware easier. The company this week touted the release of Version 3.0 of its mainline code. As you might expect, the package includes a variety of additions to simplify the process of moving code off a general purpose x86 chip and onto …
Ashlee Vance, 21 Mar 2008
Ubuntu teaser

Ubuntu does bird beta

The folks at Canonical are asking the faithful to get their bird on with the release of Ubuntu 8.04 – Hardy Heron. Both the desktop and server versions of the LTS (long-term support) operating system have been put up for grabs. In addition, you’ll discover beta versions of the various Ubuntu offshoots such as Kubuntu, Xubuntu, …
Ashlee Vance, 21 Mar 2008
IBM

IBM waterboards PA-RISC Superdome from HP

The fierce Unix server market will sometimes drive vendors to madness. Just look at IBM, which has taken to skinning corpses so that it can prove the toughness of Power6-based gear. IBM will usually engage in mostly fair fights, pitting Power-based servers against HP's Itanium systems. Big Blue's most recent assault, however, …
Ashlee Vance, 21 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

AT&T and Verizon thrash rivals with $16bn spectrum swipe

AT&T and Verizon Wireless barreled through the auction of some prized US airways, shelling out $16bn to keep data humming across their cross-country networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the big winners on Thursday and re-confirmed that a total of $19.6bn went toward the 700MHz spectrum auction. The AP …
Ashlee Vance, 20 Mar 2008
Google

Ex-FCC chair vows government control over the Google Brain

The Cloud Computing Revolution will be regulated, according to former Federal Communications Chairman (FCC) Reed Hundt. Hundt - who has mounted many a soapbox - is using a review of pundit Nick Carr's new book The Big Switch as an excuse for laying out some cloud computing concerns. Should large, centralized computing utilities …
Ashlee Vance, 20 Mar 2008

HP stuffs XenServer into ProLiants

Er, before we get to HP's rather unfortunate "iVirtualization" roll out, we'll note that HP plans to offer Citrix's XenServer software as a pre-installed option across the ProLiant server line. Starting March 31, customers can purchase servers with XenServer burned into memory - or rather burned into a USB stick that plugs into …
Ashlee Vance, 20 Mar 2008
The Register breaking news

HP CEO asks investors to do more

Okay, okay. The stock market is as stable as Steve Jobs at an Egos Anonymous beef-only barbecue. The irresponsibility and greed of the very firms controlling Wall Street have resulted in plummeting stock prices and a crippled housing market. But, you know, CEO Mark Hurd would like everyone to pause for a moment and consider how …
Ashlee Vance, 20 Mar 2008
Sun

Solaris SPARC to x86 software highway opens

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 …
Ashlee Vance, 19 Mar 2008