OK, I admit that headline is a bit misleading, but it’s also true. I spend time regularly working in an environment that is all Solaris UNIX running on SPARC chips, therefore we use SPARC based Sun Blade workstations exclusively. This means that the platform we use to manage and develop on is the same as the platform we manage, which is a good thing when you are dealing with hundreds of mission critical servers.
I was speaking to one of my Sun contacts, enquiring about some workstations when I was informed that Sun has now dropped all Sun Blade workstations based on the SPARC chip. You will only be able to buy workstations with Intel or AMD (x86) processors.
What!? I personally think that’s stupid, and it puts me in a bind. Before you flame, I know why they did it. The SPARC workstations are expensive and I am sure they don’t sell very many so they decided it was more economical to stop making them altogether. And yes, I know I can run Solaris x86, but why would I want to introduce a whole new architecture just for managing my existing systems?
Either way you slice this, I think it is a sign of the times. Quality and performance will give way to cheap. I read articles on the Web about how solaris is slow and the SPARC chip “sucks” because it “only” goes up to 1.5GHz or so when Intel goes over 3Ghz. That just makes me smile because it just shows how little people know about how things work.
When you get right down to it, I guess it all comes down to money.