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Sun to Unveil New HPC Products at Supercomputing Show

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Sun Microsystems will be announcing some new high-performance computing products and software/services packages at the Supercomputing 2007 conference, Nov 10-16 in Reno, Nev.

A Sun source told The Station that the announcements will have to do with HPC clusters, networking and the path to petascale computing.

This shouldn't surprise too many people in the know; CEO and President Jonathan Schwartz has been saying from his Day 1 in office (or since April 2006) that high-performance computing is where all enterprise systems are eventually headed, and that Sun intends to stay on the cutting edge of these advances.

Ever since Sun lost that huge DARPA supercomputer contract last year to IBM and Cray after being a finalist for the project, Sun has had a sort of chip on its shoulder about supercomputing. However, in the long run, perhaps Sun will find more motivation, or whatever it takes, to land a contract like that. The Station knows firsthand that Sun co-founder Scott McNealy and his team worked for a couple of years in an effort to land that contract, and they almost did.

People in the industry generally agree that Sun's high-end machines definitely have the chops to do this heavy-lifting work. They're just as fast, powerful and reliable as IBM's, Cray's, or anybody else's. In terms of price, all these companies are in the same general ballpark, so that wasn't the issue.

The Station has its ideas on what happened, but they're only ideas. So, a question to eWEEK readers: Why do you think Sun came up short to IBM in this area? This deal was worth more than $500 million in contracts from the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to build next-generation, multi-petaflop computers.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...