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  1. Technology
February 7, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc’s next generation of high end servers, code named Serengeti, will be based on a pure SMP (symmetric multiprocessor) architecture, and will not use ccNUMA (non uniform memory architecture), says the company’s director of enterprise architecture Dave Douglas. Although he conceded that it was becoming more difficult to add more power to its high-end 64-way StarFire systems by adding more processors, we believe deeply in SMP, he said. Sun has been carrying out research into its own brand of NUMA, known as cache coherent or ccNUMA, for more than three years. However, it has so far concluded that pure SMP is the way forward. Douglas says it has several new techniques in the pipeline to extract more performance from SMP systems without having to introduce major changes that might then require users to make programming changes. He added that reports suggesting Sun would use ccNUMA in its servers were misinformed but in 1997 Sun itself told us it was working on technology offering characteristics of distributed shared memory – or ccNUMA by another name – but without the speed bump ccNUMA introduces into the uniform SMP memory model. Sun will make several data center announcements in New York next week including the next rev of its Full Moon cluster technology. Version 3.0 is supposed to include a clustered file system. Reportedly Sun will also offer a new customer financing solution it hopes will reduce the advantage IBM Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co have enjoyed.

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