What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Cice » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00



Hello

Currenty i'm using a pentium II 330 MHz.

I'm starting with 3D design (3D Studio Max, Pro Engineer)  so I need a
faster computer.

Someone advised me a Sun Workstation with Solaris.

Before a buy such a workstation I need some answers to the following
questions:

1. Solaris is an operating system. Does it look like Windows or Unix?

2. Can I run every Windows progam (like Coreldraw, Microsoft Word) on
Solaris?

3. I heard that a Sun Workstation is always switched on, what about
the noise and the use of electricity?

4. Can such a worksation be placed at a (student) room where I sleep?

5. What is the start price for such a workstation?

Thanx for reading if you reached this line!


please remove NOSPAM to reply!

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Chris Ventur » Sat, 24 Jun 2000 04:00:00


Quote:> 1. Solaris is an operating system. Does it look like Windows or Unix?

Solaris runs many windows managers.  Something called xdm, or dtwm(CDE) is
rather common.

Quote:

> 2. Can I run every Windows progam (like Coreldraw, Microsoft Word) on
> Solaris?

You can get StarOffice for free.  This allows you to interact with Word
created files, and create Word files.  I do believe you can get Corel on
Solaris, but don't quote me on that.

Quote:

> 3. I heard that a Sun Workstation is always switched on, what about
> the noise and the use of electricity?

It's like any other computer, you can turn it off.

Quote:

> 4. Can such a worksation be placed at a (student) room where I sleep?

They are small enough for that.

Quote:

> 5. What is the start price for such a workstation?

You can get Sparc 10's on ebay rather cheap, $200.  Even Ultra 5's and 10's
for aroung $1000.

Hope it helps.

CV-64

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Roland Main » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> Currenty i'm using a pentium II 330 MHz.

> I'm starting with 3D design (3D Studio Max, Pro Engineer)  so I need a
> faster computer.

> Someone advised me a Sun Workstation with Solaris.

> Before a buy such a workstation I need some answers to the following
> questions:

> 1. Solaris is an operating system. Does it look like Windows or Unix?

Solaris is a Unix-variant using X11 (sometimes only called "X") as the
GUI. On top of X there are multiple GUI-environments like CDE,
OpenWindows, Gnome or KDE (Solaris itself shipps with CDE and
OpenWindows).

Quote:> 2. Can I run every Windows progam (like Coreldraw, Microsoft Word) on
> Solaris?

Uhm, no. But If you learn how X11 works you can use VMware (see
http://www.vmware.com/ ; VMware is a PC-hardware emulator which can run
any x86 OS like Win95/98/NT/2000, Linux x86, BeOS, Solaris x86, Plan9
and so on...) on a Linux x86 box and "map" the VMware window to your
SPARC box. Works great with a 100baseT network... :-)

Another way would be to use StarOffice (Excel, Word etc. replacement),
GIMP (http://www.gimp.org/ - a better Photoshop :-) and so on...

Quote:> 3. I heard that a Sun Workstation is always switched on, what about
> the noise and the use of electricity?

Better: Ther's no need to shut it down - it works for years without a
reboot. And you can start CPU-intensive jobs in the night and get the
results at the next morning...

Quote:> 4. Can such a worksation be placed at a (student) room where I sleep?

Uhm... yes... depends on the type of Sun you bougth. An Ultra5 doesn't
make much noise (except that l*usy harddisk... ;-(( ).

Quote:> 5. What is the start price for such a workstation?

Well, take a look at
http://store.sun.com/catalog/doc/BrowsePage.jhtml?cid=48648 for an
Ultra5.
But maybe a older, used Sun would be enougth for you (first :-) ...

----

Bye,
Roland

--
  __ .  . __


  /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
 (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Logan Sh » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00




>Currenty i'm using a pentium II 330 MHz.

>I'm starting with 3D design (3D Studio Max, Pro Engineer)  so I need a
>faster computer.

>Someone advised me a Sun Workstation with Solaris.

Suns are generally fast machines.  It depends on what you're trying to
accomplish though.  Games are going to run faster on PC hardware,
because PC hardware is set up specifically to run games.

For some tasks, a fast PC is going to outperform a Sun workstation.
However, there will probably be tasks for which a PC can't equal a Sun
machine.

Generally speaking, Suns have decent floating point, but PCs have
better floating point.  However, Suns generally have more cache (2 MB
or more, like a Xeon) and better memory bandwidth.

Quote:>1. Solaris is an operating system. Does it look like Windows or Unix?

Solaris is a version of Unix.  So, it looks very much like Unix.  :-)
If you're concerned about the actual look of it, it's actually very
flexible -- you can install one of many window managers and get
completely different looks.  That's a strength and a weakness, because
it means that there is flexibility, but it also means there is not much
standardization.

Quote:>2. Can I run every Windows progam (like Coreldraw, Microsoft Word) on
>Solaris?

No.  Solaris isn't Windows compatible.  Really high-quality software
like that does exist for Solaris, but generally it's geared towards
corporations that can pay for a license for several people at once, so
the entry-level price is quite high.

Quote:>3. I heard that a Sun Workstation is always switched on, what about
>the noise and the use of electricity?

Traditionally, a Sun workstation is always switched on, but this is
because it's part of the philosophy of Unix, not because it can't be
turned off.  However, one practical limitation you might encounter is
this:  people are used to rebooting Windows because they have to.
Therefore, instead of being fixed so it doesn't *need* to be rebooted,
Windows has been fixed so that it reboots quickly.  Solaris doesn't
need to be rebooted as often, so less work has gone into making it boot
up quickly.  So, if you are in the habit of switching it off, you'll
find it takes a while to boot up again.  (Modern Sun systems, though,
support suspend and resume, so this will be less of a problem.)

Quote:>4. Can such a worksation be placed at a (student) room where I sleep?

Sure.  The workstations have no special requirements.

Quote:>5. What is the start price for such a workstation?

I'm not sure exactly.  If your goal is to get a workstation that is
faster than any kind of PC you could buy, then you will need a new
workstation, and that won't be cheap.  On the other hand, If you're a
student, there is a sizeable discount that you can take advantage of.

  - Logan

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by roo » Sun, 25 Jun 2000 04:00:00


You can get a Sun workstation with a Sun PCI card that has an x86
processor on it so you can actually have 2 computers in one!

>Hello

>Currenty i'm using a pentium II 330 MHz.

>I'm starting with 3D design (3D Studio Max, Pro Engineer)  so I need a
>faster computer.

>Someone advised me a Sun Workstation with Solaris.

>Before a buy such a workstation I need some answers to the following
>questions:

>1. Solaris is an operating system. Does it look like Windows or Unix?

>2. Can I run every Windows progam (like Coreldraw, Microsoft Word) on
>Solaris?

>3. I heard that a Sun Workstation is always switched on, what about
>the noise and the use of electricity?

>4. Can such a worksation be placed at a (student) room where I sleep?

>5. What is the start price for such a workstation?

>Thanx for reading if you reached this line!


>please remove NOSPAM to reply!

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by maxwell.. » Mon, 26 Jun 2000 04:00:00


It looks to me that you are not in the U.S. and unfortunately
would not qualify for the great education discounts, but if you
are going to be doing 3D work this is what I would recommend,
this is from the sunstore site:

(1) 440MHz UltraSPARC-II CPU, 2MB L2 cache
256MB memory (2 x 128MB DIMMS)
(1) 9.1GB 7200RPM EIDE disk
Creator 3D graphics
32X CD-ROM
1.44MB Floppy
Solaris 7 Installed
19-inch color monitor

Price is: $4966

The Creator 3D is a nice 3D card...I would also suggest getting
a SunPCI card which is a PCI card with an AMD K6-2 CPU, 64MB RAM,
vide, built in.  It will let you run Windows on your SUn's hard
drive.  I love my Sun with the SunPCI.

You may want to wait for the new UltraSparc III systems supposedly
due later this year.

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Roland Main » Mon, 26 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> You can get a Sun workstation with a Sun PCI card that has an x86
> processor on it so you can actually have 2 computers in one!

I won't recommend anyone to by a SunPCi - except he/she only wants to
run Office-applications under WinNT.
The problem with SunPCi is that the emulation is _very_ limited compared
to other solutions like VMware (like no support for other operating
systems (e.g. no Linux x86), no multi-user support, _slow_ GFX_card and
hard-disk emulation (and hard-disk isn't compatible to nfs/cachefs
etc.)...

----

Bye,
Roland

--
  __ .  . __


  /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
 (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Logan Sh » Mon, 26 Jun 2000 04:00:00






>> Generally speaking, Suns have decent floating point, but PCs have
>> better floating point.

>No. PCs have terrible floating point, Suns have decent floating point.

Hmm...  Maybe you're right.  I was under the impression that PCs had
been so optimized for games that their floating point was quite good,
but after looking over some benchmarks on the web, it seems Sun
machines still have better floating point performance after all.

Alphas, however, seem to have both of them beat by a mile...

  - Logan

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by News Reade » Mon, 26 Jun 2000 04:00:00


How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

Wolfram.



> > You can get a Sun workstation with a Sun PCI card that has an x86
> > processor on it so you can actually have 2 computers in one!

> I won't recommend anyone to by a SunPCi - except he/she only wants to
> run Office-applications under WinNT.
> The problem with SunPCi is that the emulation is _very_ limited compared
> to other solutions like VMware (like no support for other operating
> systems (e.g. no Linux x86), no multi-user support, _slow_ GFX_card and
> hard-disk emulation (and hard-disk isn't compatible to nfs/cachefs
> etc.)...

> ----

> Bye,
> Roland

> --
>   __ .  . __


>   /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
>  (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

--

--
Wolfram Saringer
EMail address is faked, sorry for that.
Try 'W' dot 'saringer' at 'bsg' dot 'at' or reply to the group.
BSG Bernhardt, Saringer & Grundschober Net Consult
----------------------------------------------
Why should I crawl through cramped Windows
when I can run around freely in UNIX???

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Roland Main » Tue, 27 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

Ouch... good question... visit http://wwww.sun.com/ and take a look the
SunPCI home page... and some workstations are bundeled with SunPCi,
too...

Quote:> Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

Agreed, it will run on the PC which stands near the SPARC. But VMware
has the advantage that you can run any number of concurrent and
independent VMs at the same time. VMware is true multiuser, SunPCI
isn't.
Were running VMware on _large_ PC server machines to get PC services for
our SPARC/AIX/HP boxes (eight VMs per server - the 100baseT network
which carries the X11 traffic is the limitation...).
Very easy to setup (ugh - if you know the common pitfalls =:-) - this
piece of software is _very_ complex), manage, repair, clone (the whole
"virtual" PC exists as a few files which can be copied, you only have to
change host name, IP and ethernet adress, WinNT requires to change
"SID", too - that's all :-)

----

Bye,
Roland

--
  __ .  . __


  /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
 (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Tim How » Tue, 27 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

> Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

Have a look at Bochs.  It emulates an x86 on pretty much any
architecture, it's supposed to be very good, and as of very recently,
it's open source.

  http://www.bochs.com/

--
Tim Howe
* I won't speak for Sun if they promise not to speak for me. *

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by News Reade » Wed, 28 Jun 2000 04:00:00




> > How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

> Ouch... good question... visit http://wwww.sun.com/ and take a look the
> SunPCI home page... and some workstations are bundeled with SunPCi,
> too...

I already had a look at their pages. I will just ask my Sun dealer (sky
blue in munich) ...
It just looks interesting, I have to admit that I do not have anything to
do that I cannot do on my Sparc.

Quote:

> > Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

> Agreed, it will run on the PC which stands near the SPARC. But VMware
> has the advantage that you can run any number of concurrent and
> independent VMs at the same time. VMware is true multiuser, SunPCI
> isn't.
> Were running VMware on _large_ PC server machines to get PC services for
> our SPARC/AIX/HP boxes (eight VMs per server - the 100baseT network
> which carries the X11 traffic is the limitation...).
> Very easy to setup (ugh - if you know the common pitfalls =:-) - this
> piece of software is _very_ complex), manage, repair, clone (the whole
> "virtual" PC exists as a few files which can be copied, you only have to
> change host name, IP and ethernet adress, WinNT requires to change
> "SID", too - that's all :-)

This sounds quite interesting, although in my case a single PC with NT +
VNC (which is single user) would suffice (besides from the fact that I do
not really need it - see above :)

Did you try out the NT multiuser versions (Teminal server or Metaframe,
which is said to perform somewhat better) ? Your approach sounds like an
interesting alternative to these systems (the license consts are quite
high, stability is said to be sub-optimal).

Could you give me a short outline on the hardware configuration used in
your VMware machines ?
Thanks a lot.

Have a nice day,
Wolfram.

> ----

> Bye,
> Roland

> --
>   __ .  . __


>   /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
>  (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

--

--
Wolfram Saringer
EMail address is faked, sorry for that.
Try 'W' dot 'saringer' at 'bsg' dot 'at' or reply to the group.
BSG Bernhardt, Saringer & Grundschober Net Consult
----------------------------------------------
Why should I crawl through cramped Windows
when I can run around freely in UNIX???

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by News Reade » Wed, 28 Jun 2000 04:00:00




> > How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

> > Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

> Have a look at Bochs.  It emulates an x86 on pretty much any
> architecture, it's supposed to be very good, and as of very recently,
> it's open source.

>   http://www.bochs.com/

> --
> Tim Howe
> * I won't speak for Sun if they promise not to speak for me. *

I just downloaded it today and compiled it. Already got DOS 6.2 to
start. Will try WinNT or simmilar the next days.
Thanks for the tip.

Have a nice day.
Wolfram.

--

--
Wolfram Saringer
EMail address is faked, sorry for that.
Try 'W' dot 'saringer' at 'bsg' dot 'at' or reply to the group.
BSG Bernhardt, Saringer & Grundschober Net Consult
----------------------------------------------
Why should I crawl through cramped Windows
when I can run around freely in UNIX???

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Roland Main » Thu, 29 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> > > How much is the SunPCI card and where can I get one ?

> > Ouch... good question... visit http://wwww.sun.com/ and take a look the
> > SunPCI home page... and some workstations are bundeled with SunPCi,
> > too...

> I already had a look at their pages. I will just ask my Sun dealer (sky
> blue in munich) ...
> It just looks interesting, I have to admit that I do not have anything to
> do that I cannot do on my Sparc.

Again, be warned: SUNPCi is currently _very_ limited - will only run
WinNT - no Linux, OS/2 etc.

Quote:> > > Besides: VMware won't run on a Sparc, I guess.

> > Agreed, it will run on the PC which stands near the SPARC. But VMware
> > has the advantage that you can run any number of concurrent and
> > independent VMs at the same time. VMware is true multiuser, SunPCI
> > isn't.
> > Were running VMware on _large_ PC server machines to get PC services for
> > our SPARC/AIX/HP boxes (eight VMs per server - the 100baseT network
> > which carries the X11 traffic is the limitation...).
> > Very easy to setup (ugh - if you know the common pitfalls =:-) - this
> > piece of software is _very_ complex), manage, repair, clone (the whole
> > "virtual" PC exists as a few files which can be copied, you only have to
> > change host name, IP and ethernet adress, WinNT requires to change
> > "SID", too - that's all :-)

> This sounds quite interesting, although in my case a single PC with NT +
> VNC (which is single user) would suffice (besides from the fact that I do
> not really need it - see above :)

> Did you try out the NT multiuser versions (Teminal server or Metaframe,
> which is said to perform somewhat better) ?

No. NT multiuser != VMware with virtual PCs
NT multiuser is one OS with multiple users, our VMware solution are
multiple _independent_ (with own hostname, IP etc.) WinNT machines
running in their virtual jails. Crashing one normally don't affect the
others - in NT multiuser you'll be boned if a user beats down the whole
OS...

Quote:> Your approach sounds like an
> interesting alternative to these systems (the license consts are quite
> high, stability is said to be sub-optimal).

Users can share one license (we're doing that; users log-in with their
normal accounts and "sudo" to the "vmware" user) - $99 for universities.
This means one VMware license per physical VMware server machine.

Quote:> Could you give me a short outline on the hardware configuration used in
> your VMware machines ?

Current config:
hostname: sepia0
CPU: AMD Athlon 550MHz
memory: enougth for 8 VMs: each VM is configured to have 64MB, VMware
itself eats ~16MB per VM, 128MB for the Linux "host" OS (Linux's
filesystem cache is very _hungry_ :-) :
  8MB * (64MB + 16MB) + 128MB = 768MB (sepia0 has 1GB main memory)
harddisk: SCSI, 2 disks - one system disk (/, /var, /usr, swap) and one
disk for VMware (each VM eats 1GB for it's virtual harddisk --> you need
~8GB, disk has 18GB. Another machine uses two RAID0 striped 9GB disks to
avoid machine slowdown due heavy disk usage)
network card (100baseT+good card important, otherwise X11 over wire will
be a pain): Intel EEPRO100+

Notes:
1. Be sure that the underlying Linux-OS works properly and stable before
running VMware on it.
2. Do _not_ use RAW disks. Speed gain is minor and RAW disk is still
"experimental". Use virtual disks (IDE or SCSI) on RAID0 if you need
faster disks
3. VMware needs enougth memory. VMware will _drastically_ slow down if
you're short on memory
4. Be sure that /tmp has at least enougth disk space as the machine has
installed as physically memory (VMware mmap()s VMs memory to /tmp and
then unlinks the file. It will still take space in /tmp but is
invisible)
5. Network card settings are important, otherwise X11 over wire will be
a pain.
6. ... <tons of other things> - drop me a PM on problems... :-)

----

Bye,
Roland

--
  __ .  . __


  /O /==\ O\  MPEG specialist, C&&JAVA&&Sun&&Unix programmer
 (;O/ \/ \O;) TEL +49 641 99-13193 FAX +49 641 99-41359

 
 
 

What is a Sun Workstation exaclty?

Post by Jay Davi » Fri, 30 Jun 2000 04:00:00



> No. PCs have terrible floating point, Suns have decent floating point.

Correct. Sparc floating point is a lot better than Intel's.

Jay Davis