We at SCS are sending our last Sun server to the recycler.
The Bee Group Newspapers of Amherst, NY, a Layout-8000™ user for many years, will be getting its next Layout-8000 upgrade on modern Intel NUCs running Linux. Trey Measer, Bee Group publisher, was somewhat surprised to learn that SCS kept a Sun server just to support his newspaper.
Our Sun needed to be sent to a better place. When running, it put off nearly 3000 BTU of heat per hour. An extra ton of expensive A/C cooling equipment was needed just for it. Our secondary backup A/C system was failing and taking care of our Sun could cost $12,000 in new cooling equipment.
The Sun consumed much electrical power and delivered not much computing power, at least not in current terms. Our Sun 3500 Enterprise Server had two 400 MHz processors and about 100 GB of disk space. Prices for bare-bones Sun servers started at over $4,000. The three year total cost of ownership of such a fully configured Sun server was estimated to be $88,000.
Here's a server network, larger than the one going to The Bee Group, made up of 6 NUC servers (on the right side of the monitor) and 2 large storage devices (on the left).
The Bee Group will be getting 2 NUCs with 1.7GHz processors, 8GB RAM and 240 GB SSD. They will also be getting one 2TB Western Digital MyCloud NAS. This is all for less than $2000.
And now - what was that device sitting on top of the Sun?
The Banana Pi, the newest computer on which Layout-8000 runs, consumes less power than a 100 W incandescent light bulb (about 350 BTU) and, of course, requires no special environmental equipment. (People consume about 400 BTU/hr each.) Nevertheless the computing power that the Banana Pi delivers is extraordinary. As pictured, the BPi has a 1 GHz dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 1 TB of fast SSD, 1 GB Ethernet connection and support for various peripheral devices. In raw computing power, the BPI has about 10 times that of the Sun server and, fully tricked out, costs under $500. The bare bones Banana Pi single board computer can be ordered from Amazon for under $35.
Support revenue has always been very important to SCS. We want to keep customers much longer than their hardware is likely to last. It is not just Suns that have become obsolete. Many versions of Windows and the computers they ran on have reached end of life. Long before Windows appeared on the scene, SCS software ran on DEC and HP computers. And, of course, it runs on the Sun.
Each new generation of technology brings new challenges. We expect specific computers and operating systems to become obsolete. SCS guards against being negatively impacted by this by investing in keeping our software platform independent and using either commodity or open source operating systems with no third party layered products. This distinguishing difference makes adopting next generation platforms easier while reducing the total cost of ownership of SCS's systems.
As Bee publisher Trey Measer learned first-hand, SCS supplies enduring customer support.
Originally published on 07/13/2015
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