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Ashlee Vance

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Dell

Are Dell's Energy Smart servers really smart at all?

A couple of years ago, Dell launched a new line of so-called Energy Smart servers. They were billed as modified versions of the company's standard PowerEdge systems, which cost a bit more up front but helped customers save more money over the long haul by reducing power consumption. But, we wondered, how smart were the Energy …
Ashlee Vance, 19 Jun 2008
Sun

Sun shrinks Constellation for HPC run

Sun Microsystems has suffered from a hate-hate relationship with the supercomputing world over the past few years. The shift to Linux clusters caught the company totally off guard, and resulted in Sun vanishing from the Top500 supercomputers list. That's hardly the "right" position for a company that prides itself on selling …
Ashlee Vance, 18 Jun 2008
cable

Start-up outfoxes Apple, Dell and HP by offering stock options with PCs

God bless Silicon Valley. Where else will you find a PC start-up offering stock options to create faux communities? Earlier this week, we brought word of CherryPal, an intriguing Mountain View-based company that wants to do nothing less than rewire the PC market. It's got a 10 ounce "desktop," which runs on a low-power Freescale …
Ashlee Vance, 18 Jun 2008
channel

ClearSpeed's silicon freshness results in 41 Teraflop rack

Cheaper and faster - check. ClearSpeed has hit the two major keys to winning in the silicon game with the release of its latest floating point accelerators. The fresh CSX700 family of products offer more than double the raw performance of the previous CSX600 gear. At 192 cores, you get twice as many engines for handling floating …
Ashlee Vance, 18 Jun 2008
Google

Google keeps killing penguins for money

Comment On the grand list of things that Google cares about killing penguins to save a few bucks ranks higher than making the world a greener place. Google, like so many other companies, has given Mother Earth the big squeeze in a variety of ways. Some of its buildings run on solar power. Employees ride company-provided buses to work. …
Ashlee Vance, 17 Jun 2008
Teddy bear

CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

Here’s how you to get to CherryPal. Gather up all of the hot technology buzzwords – cloud computing, going green, communities – and mush them together into something about the size of sandwich. CherryPal has unveiled a device that’s billed as a cloud computer. Don’t be intimidated by the name. We’re just talking about a PC …
Ashlee Vance, 17 Jun 2008

Nvidia blows out Moore’s Law with fresh Tesla

Nvidia pitches its Tesla hardware as a magical solution for the world’s toughest computing problems. Just move your code that runs well across many processors over to the Tesla boards, and Shazam!. You enjoy sometimes 400 per cent improvements in overall performance. Despite such mind-blowing increases in horsepower, Tesla …
Ashlee Vance, 16 Jun 2008
fingers pointing at man

HP dishes 24 hour party people blade

When HP talks about "blade everything", it means freaking everything. The hardware maker has pumped out a blade server running its NonStop operating system and software of all things. The NonStop NB50000c BladeSystem will fail to shock loyal HP customers. We spotted the server on HP roadmaps almost a year ago. HP has been …
Ashlee Vance, 16 Jun 2008
The Register breaking news

Bill Gates cried to make the world a better place

Radio Reg Is there a connection between an alleged coke-addicted CEO with a prostitute lair and open source? You bet there is - on Open Season. Episode 18 of our fine show kicked off with a look at ex-Broadcom chief Henry Nicholas and his current travails with the legal system. If you've yet to hear about this story, you're in for a treat …
Ashlee Vance, 13 Jun 2008

IBM traps Captain Planet in a container

IBM wants to save the world one modularized data center at a time. Some folks talk about helping Mother Earth by planting trees and performing deep soil massages on their front lawns. But not server makers. They talk about greening up the world by packing as many pieces of hardware, power supplies and air conditioning units as …
Ashlee Vance, 13 Jun 2008
globalisation

Scalent strokes physical to virtual to whatever you like play

Start-ups in the systems management arena tend to scare us. They promise the world and usually deliver a rundown village mired in a drought. But every now and then, a company like Scalent Systems pops up that actually seems capable of performing a practical task. Scalent this week released Version 2.5 of its V/OE (Virtual …
Ashlee Vance, 12 Jun 2008
Redhat logo

Red Hat cancels one-click world domination effort

We called Red Hat on Monday to address speculation that its RHX (Red Hat Exchange) program was about to go tits-up. Red Hat responded to the concerns today with a blog post. Tits-up? Puhlease! - goes the blog post. The Red Hat Exchange is alive and well, only in a modified form. Gone are Red Hat's hopes and dreams of attaching, …
Ashlee Vance, 11 Jun 2008

IBM's Power6 slaughters world+HP in transaction cranking

When IBM started rolling out 5.0GHz versions of Power6, you knew it was only a matter of time before the vendor tried to usurp HP as the transaction performance king. And now it has done it. IBM this week cleared a new TPC-C score that certifies its Power 595 server as the big daddy of transactions. Running on 32 of the dual- …
Ashlee Vance, 11 Jun 2008
Sun

Fujitsu gives Solaris x86 the big squeeze

Sun Microsystems has firmed up Fujitsu as a Solaris reseller on x86 boxes, which leaves us wondering when HP will break and join the rest of the crowd. Sun this week announced the deal with Fujitsu Siemens, which will see Solaris offered as an option on some Xeon-based Primergy servers. Fujitsu joins other Tier 1 server vendors …
Ashlee Vance, 11 Jun 2008

Fellow from AMD ridicules Cell as accelerator weakling

IBM's Cell chip will struggle to woo server customers looking to turbo charge certain applications because the part has a fundamental design flaw, according to AMD fellow and acceleration chief Chuck Moore. Sure, sure. Cell is a multimedia throughput dynamo and its SPEs (Synergistic Processing Elements) are just lovely. "But …
Ashlee Vance, 06 Jun 2008

Microprocessors are the new cigarettes

Chip companies need to start acting their age, according to a sage analyst. Chris Danely, director of semiconductor research at JP Morgan, thinks the major semiconductor players should behave more like old-line companies in the tobacco, food and oil games. He'd like to see the chip firms manage their cash better and reward …
Ashlee Vance, 06 Jun 2008
cloud

IBM fills chips with water

Oh, those crazy kids at IBM's Zürich lab. They can't get enough of processor cooling technology. Two years ago, IBM announced a breakthrough with carving channels into chips to let thermal paste sink down nearer the silicon. Then, in 2007, IBM Zürich patted itself on the back for cutting more channels into the cooling unit. …
Ashlee Vance, 05 Jun 2008
Microsoft

Gates threatens to buy millions and millions of servers for Microsoft

Say what you will about Bill Gates. The man is consistent. Gates' farewell speech at this week's TechEd conference closed out his full-time role at Microsoft with the usual thud. The man has a gift for stating the obvious and detailing what's to come when it's already here. This time around, Gates went after The Cloud. And how …
Ashlee Vance, 04 Jun 2008
globalisation

AMD manages to ship 'Budapest' for single socket boxes

AMD's four-core chip aimed at single socket servers has finally made its way to market. The company today heralded the release of "Budapest." The chip will fit into single processor servers from the usual suspects and be sold under the 1300 Series brand. AMD once looked to get Budapest out "in the second half of 2007," but here …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Jun 2008

Sun's sales stud defects to HP

Sun Microsystems has performed a sales shakeup in a bid to add some new life to its server business. The company today tapped Peter Ryan as its sales and services chief. Ryan replaces Don Grantham, who was seen as quite the star at Sun. In addition, Sun has created a new Emerging Markets "sales geography," which will be tasked …
Ashlee Vance, 03 Jun 2008
cloud

Welcome to Las Vegas - Home of the technology superpower you've never heard of

Exclusive Drive a couple of blocks past the Loose Caboose and the Carburetor Shop on E. Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, and you'll find one of the world's leading technology companies. The name of the company - Switch Communications - will go unrecognized by almost all of you. That's because it has operated in near total secrecy for the last …
Ashlee Vance, 24 May 2008
channel

Google and Microsoft have nothing on - drum roll - the SuperNAP

Exclusive $500m. That's the going rate for a data smelter these days. You know, a facility run by a company such as Google or Microsoft that moves bits around and consumes more power than old-school metal processing plants. Most companies in need of such horsepower go out of their way to build the computing centers in cities with cheap …
Ashlee Vance, 24 May 2008
cable

IBM and Dell lick their lips as Microsoft and Google buy billions in gear

Radio Reg Voracious buyers such as Yahoo!, Microsoft and Amazon represent a niche in the server market - a very lucrative niche. So, we've seen companies such as IBM and Dell come out recently with gear aimed right at the service provider set. Episode 17 of Semi-Coherent Computing takes a look at the "white box killer" hardware available …
Ashlee Vance, 22 May 2008

HP confesses love for Citrix with mobile thin client

Like a good partner, HP has rolled out some thin client/virtual desktop bits and pieces this week to complement Citrix's Synergy conference taking place in Houston. HP issued a massive press release to back up what's a relatively short set of announcements. For one, the company is shipping a new mobile thin client device called …
Ashlee Vance, 19 May 2008
The Register breaking news

Open source zealots fill with venom

Radio Reg Some pundits out there think you can't get rich off open source software. Well, that's just not true. As evidence, we bring you Mike Olson, the former CEO of Sleepycat Software who milked Oracle for millions. You can see Mike here, although he doesn't actually work for Oracle anymore. These days he's eating burritos filled with …
Ashlee Vance, 19 May 2008