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Installing Solaris on an x86 machine and other performance issues

Posted on 2003-10-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hello There,

I'm very new to Solaris and please pardon me if my question sound stupid.

Can we install SUN Solaris (8 or 9)  on an Intel x86 based machine. I know that x86 version of Solari is available, but my question is is there any particulay hardware compatibility is required for the installation.

I am planning to run a process which was running on a SUN Fire 286R server with 1.4 GHz Dual Processor, 8 MB Cache per CPU, 2 GB RAM,   and 72 GB of HDD. Since the SUN hardware is expensing I am planning to run the same process on an Intel based machine with Solaris installed in it. Whut I am bothered about is the performace factor. Will the 8 MB Cache per processor in the Fire Blade make big difference if I'm using x86 based machine where the cache is only 512 K ???

Suppose, the process I'm running in the SUN Fire Blade 28R Server will take approx 2 hours to process 2 MB of Data (Text File), what will be the performace if I install solaris on a x86 based machine with following configuration following configuration:

2 x Intel Xeon 2.4 GHZ processor
2 GB HDD
36 GB HDD


Hope to hear from some of you experts soon.

Thanks in advance

Najja
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Question by:Najja
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Accepted Solution

by:
liddler earned 43 total points
ID: 9591277
Solaris x86 Hardware Compatability list http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/

Don't know about x86 performance, but I assume that as Solaris is sparc native, an x86 version will be significantly slower.
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by:yuzh
yuzh earned 41 total points
ID: 9595836
First check you hardware to make sure they can support by Solaris http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/hcl/

Make sure you have a Intel CPU, and the mainboard have Intel chip set(or what ever chip set on the list), and you graphic card,  Ethernet card are on the list as well.

Solaris X 86 is 32 bit OS, you can not expect your get the same performance as it runs on
a SUN Fire Blade 28R Server  or SUN Fire 286R server, and the application binary have to be
for Solaris x86, unless you rebuild it from the source code.
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by:glassd
ID: 9597585
I suspect that the large difference in cache will make a big difference in performance, but it does depend on the application.
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Author Comment

by:Najja
ID: 9600752
I wonder whether there is any cheaper SPARC based Servers available other that SUN.
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by:riaanvd
riaanvd earned 41 total points
ID: 9601964
You can have a look at the Fujitsu Siemens range of servers. They are sparc based and run Solaris as the operating system and they are much cheaper. Don't be fooled by the MHz values on the cpu's for the technology is different so the lower valued FS cpu's are performing faster than the higher valued sparc cpu's. Check it out on www.fujitsu-siemens.com.
Your specs on the intel system is fine and solaris will run nicely on it. The intel based system will run slower as the sparc based system but don't be fooled by the performance of solaris on the intel systems. My suggestion is to test your application on an intel system running solaris and have a look for yourself to see whether the performance/price is satisfactory. The solaris hardware compatibility list is fairly accurate but doesn't work with all the nic's it specifies. Use a card with the RTL 8139(A/B/C/D) chipset and download the driver for solaris from www.realtek.com.tw. for a guaranteed supported nic.
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Author Comment

by:Najja
ID: 9604723
Thanx riaanvd,

I went through their range of products, but the site says nothing about the pricing. Also I'm scared about the level of support I can expect as I'm in India and the servers are available only in Europe. There's no local vendors. Being an EOU company, importing the servers is not an issue, but the service will be an issue

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by:liddler
ID: 9605061
Fujitsu is good hardware, but support could be an issue if there is not local vendors.  Have you looked at resellers who sell refrurbished SUN kit?  or even take a look at https://www.ebay.com
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Expert Comment

by:yuzh
ID: 9605186
Is a SunBlade 1500 workstation (you can have up to 4GB RMA for it) cheap enough in
India? I think it is value for money.

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Expert Comment

by:yuzh
ID: 9605193
or look at a low end SunBlade 150.
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Expert Comment

by:Hanno Schröder
ID: 9626596
Ever considered the low-end servers V210, V100, V120 or V60x / V65x ?
You can get original Sun servers for "Dell price" with these.
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Expert Comment

by:riaanvd
ID: 9629623
If you have any intel machines laying around I would suggest doing a bit of testing on them. A big part of the speed on sun is OS related and not just cpu related. You can also have a look at the V210 & the V240 which are also dual cpu systems, but much cheaper than the 280R's.
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