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Wednesday, April 18th

22:18PM

Sun-day:

Out here on the Island of Misfit Servers (or "Leaf-Node," if you prefer), you never know who (or what) will show up next, and the latest arrival is "Tenaya," the almost mythical Sun Enterprise T3120 1U server:

Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server

Front view of the Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server
Sun Fire T3120 server

Back view of the Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server

Widely announced but never released, Tenaya was supposed to come out as a lower-cost alternative to Sun's family of pricier "Coolthreads" systems. Few people have ever seen one in person and lived to tell the tale, and there are precious few pictures of a real live T3120 to be found anywhere on the net, so I'm putting some up myself to change that.

Wrapped around Sun's second generation Niagara T2 processor, Tenaya sports 8 CPU cores, 64 simultaneous threads, 32GB FB-DIMM RAM, and a couple of expansion slots including a pair of low-profile x8 PCI-express slots and slots for a duet of Sun's flash modules (which I won't be getting unless I find an amazing deal on them) and, oh yes, an upward-facing USB port that's about half an inch below the cover justting upwards right in the middle of the mainboard. You could put one of those super-short USB drives on it--the kind that's barely bigger than the connector itself--but most USB drives, including all the ones shaped like cute animals, are not going to fit.

Sun Fire T3120 server

On top of Tenaya...
Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server

...and a peek inside the enterprise




You get only a single pair of gigabit ports (as opposed to the quartet found in the T1-based T1000 and T2000 boxes or the other T2-based T5120 and T5140 machines) and no 10GbE ports at all. But if your networking needs are modest enough, that can still be enough. To be fair, most of the computers--even the lastest and greatest ones--that you'll find in a typical Best Buy don't have 10GbE either--and I've only done a little bit of playing around with 10GbE at this point myself. I have a few switches and NICs that support it, but I haven't upgraded or replaced any of the production machines to 10GbE.

I'm sure I will soon enough; give it a little more time. I'm only running about half the currently operating servers at gigabit speeds even at this late date.

Yes, I *do* have Sbus gigabit fibre cards around here somewhere, but I'm lazy. And would a Sparc 20 _really_ be able to keep up with a gigabit connection anyway?
Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server

A better look at the Sun Sparc Enterprise T3120 server motherboard


But for the time being, Tenaya will have to stay on the "experimental" list, just like at Sun. Hard to get spares for a prototype.

Not that I can find fault with that; I have the same problem myself.


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