Forum OpenACS Development: Sparc isn't even in the race

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Barry, there's a reason nobody in the HPC cluster/Beowulf world (that I've ever heard of) uses Sparc hardware at all anymore: Those folks are very sensitive to cost/performance, and for some years now Sun hardware has sucked in that regard. Probably since at least 2000, maybe earlier. The same basic effect appears to apply to everyone running web and database servers as well.

There's also no indication that any of this is going to change soon, Sun hasn't been putting much money into Sparc development for years now, etc. In fact, the smart bet is that both the raw performance and price/permance lead x86 has over Sparc will steadily increase, not decrease. IBM's Power and PowerPC chips are the dark-horse contender here (behind AMD and Intel, of course), Sun's Sparc chips aren't even in the race anymore, and haven't been for years. Most likely they never will be again, either.

(For massive 64+ CPU SMP boxes, the story might be different, but that's an entirely different game, and I don't know the score there. Very few such machines are sold anyway, as they are very expensive.)

Thus I would be extraordinarily surprised if you can actually show that Solaris/Sparc gives you a better price/performance ratio than x86/Linux. But if you can, I'd be interested to hear it.