I'd agree with this. We buy large amounts of Sun kit.

Although I don't make these decisions my take on why is:
- Even though you can automate sysadmin tasks, generally more boxes mean
more sysadmin effort. Given our compute requirements we would need very
large numbers of PCs to replace our sun machines (we buy large numbers of
- Space. Machine room space with appropriate aircon and power systems costs
money. Fewer but more powerful machines make sense. [yes you could go rack
mount PC, but then you'd be tying yourselves to a smaller set of
manufacturers which means you'll be paying more than you would for generic
- Reliablity. Outages can cost us serious amounts of money & reputation.
Although Suns aren't the most reliable machines in the world, they are much
more reliable than generic PCs (and parts are hot-swappable). They are also
suitable for setting up with off-site failover to secondary machines.
- Scalablity. nproc>2 is expensive for PCs. We run large database servers
that work better on multiprocessor machines (for instance 10 processor 8GB].
- Standardisation. Buying kit from one manufacturer simplifies hardware
maintenance and upgrades

So for us it makes sense. For other people where you don't have the above
constraints it's probably not worth the extra.

-- Harry

-----Original Message-----
From: Greg Cope [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
Sent: 26 January 2001 10:17
Subject: Re: Sun's Perl was Re: Application servers and e-commerce

Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
> Robin Houston <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > (Sadly I no longer have shell access to any four-processor Sun
> > machines to confirm this.)
> Which reminds me.
> How in gods name do Sun get away with charging so much for stuff?
> We've erm, "acquired" an enterprise 420. this box has 2 CPUs, 4G or
> RAM and about 80G of disk. For the same money I could build a clutster
> of what, 30 linux boxes? Don't tell me programmer time has got that
> expensive? Or that thinking about what you're doing stopped happening?
> If it's good enough for Google...
> Help me out here!

It is good kit (and alot of it is rebadged stuff - with nice blue / gray
boxes and Sun stickers).

But it's also a marketing thing .... I know tow clients whom purchased
15k of sun kit each, and in either case a good Linux / Free|OpenBSD box
would have done the same.

The only time I recommend sun is when you need a bigger box than a twin
Pentium machine - and even then I mentions Alpha's (as I think they as
just as good a Sun's for the_just_above_intel market).

Also a a final Sun rant, sometime's it hard to scale / cluster stuff i.e
a RDBMS system is not a simple thing to cluster - and buying a bigger
box is the less of two evils.

Well that's a rant over first thing on Friday !


> --
> Dave Hodgkinson,                             http://www.hodgkinson.org
> Editor-in-chief, The Highway Star           http://www.deep-purple.com
>       Apache, mod_perl, MySQL, Sybase hired gun for, well, hire
>   -----------------------------------------------------------------

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