Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Mark Hollowa » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00



I almost made this a long, drawn email asking for advice.  Then I erased it
because I didn't want to be boring..

Simply put, for the last 6 months I have been SUPER E*D to buy a Sun
Ultra 5.  For $2500, I can get an Ultra 5/270mhz/256k cache machine with
64MB ram.  I wanted it for the sake of learning Solaris and learning system
administration tasks on the world's most popular commercial Unix.  Then it
hit me!  After selling all my legacy equipment on ebay and having $2500 in
cash sitting here in front of me, I DON'T WANT THE ULTRA 5!

I used FreeBSD for several months last year and I though it was great.  It's
fast and geared towards the Internet just like Solaris.  The only problem I
have with buying an Ultra 5 is the cost of upgrading.  Sure, $2500 gets me a
cheap Ultra 5 with 256k cache and a SpecInt of 10.2 (equal to a Pentium
II/233 - a 2 year old chip!).  To upgrade the Ultra 5 from 270 -> 480mhz
with 2MB cache is $4000.  The $2500 Ultra ships with 8 Bit graphics and
EIDE.  The more I re-read the specs the more it makes me see Sun is not
appealing to me with the "shaved down" machine.

Besides, I want to learn "Internet" related administration, not OS specific
tasks.  That means Apache, DNS, Sendmail, Real G2 Server, things that are
all available for both Solaris and FreeBSD.  So, I figures instead of
spending the $2500 on a very low-end Ultra 5, I could get more bang for the
buck by getting a DEC Alpha..  A very good friend of mine sells used SUN,
SGI, and DEC ALPHA machines.  He has the following system for sale:

DEC Alpha 500a, 128MB, 2MB Cache, 4GB HDA, 16MB PCI Video Card, CD-Rom -
$1550.00

Simply stated: A Sun machine that is comparable to this is going to cost a
fortune!  My only question to you, the FreeBSD world (and PLEASE be honest),
is in regards to learning FreeBSD versus Solaris - is there something I will
gain by learning Solaris instead of FreeBSD?  I'm an MCSE, Cisco CCNA and
CCNP who is studying for the Cisco CCIE.  As we all know, Cisco and Solaris
are the two companies who are most prolific with the Internet.  However, we
all know FreeBSD lives here, there, and everywhere.. FreeBSD is by far the
most popular platform that exists in multi-vendor environments.  Many shops
who use Solaris for one task use FreeBSD for 3 more tasks.. It just pops up
all over the place.

Because I'm spending over $1k this is considered a serious move for me.  If
I buy the Alpha and install FreeBSD then that's it - there is no turning
back!  If I buy the Ultra 5, the same thing will happen..there is no turning
back!  I don't have money to waste...whatever I get the first time is what I
am stuck with.  My instinct tells me buying the Ultra 5 will be fun for the
first week but that I'll get frustrated with the SpecINT 10.2 performce
versus the Alpha's 18.9 performance.  Also, keeping up with FreeBSD is much
easier..

Are there any known issues with the Alpha I should be aware of?

Regards,
Mark Holloway

I appreicate ANY feedback!

 
 
 

Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Lars Josephse » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00



> Simply stated: A Sun machine that is comparable to this is going to cost a
> fortune!  My only question to you, the FreeBSD world (and PLEASE be honest),
> is in regards to learning FreeBSD versus Solaris - is there something I will
> gain by learning Solaris instead of FreeBSD?

My advice is to learn both!

If you know both BSD and System V Unix, you are well prepared for
most Unix systems.

Quote:> Because I'm spending over $1k this is considered a serious move for me.

I would advice you to buy a cheap Intel based system and install
both FreeBSD 3.2 and Solaris 7.

A good choice of hardware would be an Abit BP6 motherboard with
2 Intel Celeron processors. That way you would also learn about
multiprocessor systems.

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Lars Josephsen
--
Do not reply to this address!
To find my real address try a search for my name on Google.

 
 
 

Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Timothy J. L » Wed, 07 Jul 1999 04:00:00


|Simply stated: A Sun machine that is comparable to this is going to cost a
|fortune!  My only question to you, the FreeBSD world (and PLEASE be honest),
|is in regards to learning FreeBSD versus Solaris - is there something I will
|gain by learning Solaris instead of FreeBSD?

Why not buy (or recycle) an Intel or AMD based PC that costs less than
either of the listed hardware choices, and will run _both_ FreeBSD and
Solaris x86?

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Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Ross S. W. Walke » Thu, 08 Jul 1999 04:00:00



>I almost made this a long, drawn email asking for advice.  Then I erased it
>because I didn't want to be boring..

[snip]

>Because I'm spending over $1k this is considered a serious move for me.  If
>I buy the Alpha and install FreeBSD then that's it - there is no turning
>back!  If I buy the Ultra 5, the same thing will happen..there is no turning
>back!  I don't have money to waste...whatever I get the first time is what I
>am stuck with.  My instinct tells me buying the Ultra 5 will be fun for the
>first week but that I'll get frustrated with the SpecINT 10.2 performce
>versus the Alpha's 18.9 performance.  Also, keeping up with FreeBSD is much
>easier..

>Are there any known issues with the Alpha I should be aware of?

>Regards,
>Mark Holloway

>I appreicate ANY feedback!

Like everyone has suggested go for the Intel box running both Solaris and
FreeBSD! (make a small fat32 partition to use for swapping files between
OS's). Don't go for the Celeron though! Go for the PIIIs. If your buying
no point in buying outdated technology, you may as way roll up the money
and burn it at that rate.

Build a box or get it from a supplier it doesn't matter on the cost. You
just get a satisfaction and the knowledge that it's well built if you do
it yourself.

-Ross Walker

 
 
 

Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Timothy J. L » Sat, 10 Jul 1999 04:00:00



|Like everyone has suggested go for the Intel box running both Solaris and
|FreeBSD! (make a small fat32 partition to use for swapping files between
|OS's). Don't go for the Celeron though! Go for the PIIIs. If your buying
|no point in buying outdated technology, you may as way roll up the money
|and burn it at that rate.

Why buy an expensive high end processor that will be a cheap low end
processor in several months if the processor speed will not be needed
right now?

Even a 486 processor can handle FreeBSD -- a Celeron processor (especially
the versions with the level 2 cache) or K6-2 processor should be plenty
unless very CPU intensive jobs are run.  A faster disk and plenty of memory
may be more worthwhile places to spend extra money than a faster processor.

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Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Post by Roger Marqui » Sat, 10 Jul 1999 04:00:00



>Simply put, for the last 6 months I have been SUPER E*D to buy a Sun
>Ultra 5.  For $2500, I can get an Ultra 5/270mhz/256k cache machine with
>64MB ram.

Make that a 360Mhz/512K cache or 300Mhz/2M cache for $2,400.

A better choice would be to have both.  Nothing that beats FreeBSD's
ports collection.  On the other hand it's also nice to run the
latest RealAudio (newer than v3), or other audio apps without
mucking with the kernel, or have a fully functioning system including
X11 15 minutes after running "boot cdrom".

As far as jobs go there are an increasing number of FreeBSD positions
available but they're still less than 1/10th of 1% of what's
available to Solaris admins.  Due to the price FreeBSD sysadmins
also tend to work for lower salaries.  FreeBSD environments also
typically lack NFS and NIS making the administration of more than
a few systems considerably more difficult.

IMHO: don't put all your eggs in one basket, learn both.

--
Roger Marquis
Roble Systems Consulting
http://www.veryComputer.com/

 
 
 

1. Alpha FreeBSD or Ultra 5 Solaris?

Make that a 360Mhz/512K cache or 300Mhz/2M cache for $2,400.

A better choice would be to have both.  Nothing that beats FreeBSD's
ports collection.  On the other hand it's also nice to run the
latest RealAudio (newer than v3), or other audio apps without
mucking with the kernel, or have a fully functioning system including
X11 15 minutes after running "boot cdrom".

As far as jobs go there are an increasing number of FreeBSD positions
available but they're still less than 1/10th of 1% of what's
available to Solaris admins.  Due to the price FreeBSD sysadmins
also tend to work for lower salaries.  FreeBSD environments also
typically lack NFS and NIS making the administration of more than
a few systems considerably more difficult.

IMHO: don't put all your eggs in one basket, learn both.

--
Roger Marquis
Roble Systems Consulting
http://www.roble.com/

2. configuring 2 HDDs within Boot Mgr...

3. Does FreeBSD support Ultra/66 Ultra/33 ?

4. Need help regarding EIDE harddrive...

5. upgrade from Ultra-2 to Ultra-10, and Solaris 2.6 to 2.7

6. mp3 and picobsd

7. cases of Ultra 30, Ultra 60 and Ultra 450 and PC components

8. Linux-2.4.20-pre4 with reiserfs

9. Ultra Wide SCSI Adapters for Alpha are Available Now

10. Jumpstart solaris 10 b69 and solaris 10 b72 on an Ultra 30

11. Solaris 2.3, Sparc 5 to Solaris 2.5, Ultra 170E upgrade

12. can't read Solaris 2.6 x86 hard disk on Solaris 2.6 Ultra-1 ?!?

13. Disk and printer on Ultra 10 Solaris 2.8 (Solaris 8 ?)