Reposted with permission from Whiteboard Infinity, the blog of Sin-Yaw Wang, Vice President, Engineering, Sun:
It seems to be a world election year; Taiwan exhibits the same media-political craze. Mr. Hsieh, went into a 13 days radio silence, then emerged to propose a presidential debate on the platform of United Nation membership. Mr. Ma, his Nationalist Party rival candidate, refused combatively, “It is about economy. Stupid.” The sound-bite caught on. Everyday, newspapers headlined with a “It is about … Stupid” variation by another politician.
Across the strait, the Communist Party is having its 17th National Congress. Five years ago, at the 16th Congress, Mr. HU JinTao became the new leader of China; this once-in-five-year event is really the equivalent of a presidential election. World media swamped Beijing. Taiwan people, however, exhaled with big relief hearing Mr. Hu’s message hinting “peaceful unification.”
This congress expects to put Hu’s successor in place. Few political stars candidates, this Congress clearly focused on economy. The announced plans are scarily grandeur: high-speed railways, agricultural revolution, integration of mega-cities, anti-corruption resolutions, even more impressive infra-structure projects than the Olympics, and, of course, the Olympics.
Intel focused on economy too. Last April, Sun appeared on IDF (Intel Developer Forum) the first time. Pat Gelsinger had me on his keynote. Seven months later, John Fowler walked on the stage with Pat in San Francisco IDF, and myself, few weeks after, with Kirk Skaugen in Taipei. The exciting news is the advent of Sun’s X4450.
This cool new server features 4 quad-core CPUs, half the height, twice the memory, everything hot-swappable. For data-centers that are tight on space and electricity. It give customers the needed flexibility. Of course it runs the world’s best operating systems: Solaris. It also runs Windows, Linux, or VMWare just fine.
Intel and Sun collaborated on Solaris too: virtualization, power management, performance optimization, and development tools. The new xVM technology made use of Intel’s VT. Solaris performance took full advantage of Intel’s processor capability. Of course, there is no point burning the energy when the machine is not fully loaded. Solaris uses Intel’s DBS (Demand-Based Switching) to throttle power consumption to make data-centers greener.
Few TV camera teams dropped by and interviewed those on the booth. On that night, USTV (????) had a segment late in the evening. It seems the other one will air on YouTube. In addition to TV, Sun also got nice press coverage and healthy attendance to our messaging sessions. An article showed up on CSDN and another one on ZD Net already.
My Gold Sponsor session attracted about 50 people, just few heads less than the neighboring Microsoft’s. Taiwan’s developers got an overview of Sun, Solaris, its complete virtualization range, and the new OpenSolaris distro model. I fielded few questions at the end and found high interest level at the academia.
I can feel Sun’s momentum at this IDF. Media, foot-traffic, audience, suppliers, and academia all showed interest I did not see just few years ago. It is also intellectually interesting for me to observe that, for the same election year intensity, China brutally focused on economy and Taiwan ideology.