The latest Fujitsu UNIX server, Fujitsu SPARC M12, was launched in April 2017 and has already been adopted by many organizations. In this article, I am speaking with Carl Hill, North American Business Development Manager at Fujitsu, to discuss the appeal of the new server and the reasons why the Fujitsu SPARC M12 is being so warmly welcomed by partners and customers alike.
Question: Let’s begin by asking what you do. How did you get started with Fujitsu?
Carl Hill: My role is to support Oracle sales teams, channel teams, and Oracle reseller partners and distributors. I’ve been with Fujitsu for 9 years and my initial role was to help start the Fujitsu Federal business for Fujitsu Technology Solutions, Inc.
Question: How has the North American market reacted to the introduction of the Fujitsu SPARC M12?
Carl Hill: That was really interesting and we found out it was all about education, because once we rolled out the training materials, M-values, and feature explanations, the market excitement significantly increased. We’ve seen a steady ramp up in sales and interest as the Fujitsu SPARC M12-1 and M12-2S systems made their way to our business partners. Customers want to take advantage of the world’s #1 performing CPU per core, along with its scalability, capacity on demand, and RAS features. In fact, we just got our largest deal ever a few days ago – 18 M12-2S systems. We have other deals just as large in our pipeline. So I’d say that business is great..
Question: What about the partners, how have they embraced the new system?
Carl Hill: We have more and more partners selling the Fujitsu SPARC M12 servers, particularly the M12-2S scalable version. Their interest has increased since we got the performance numbers out there showing how the Fujitsu SPARC M12 performs vs. the Fujitsu M10 – an average of 2.5x better core performance! Partners needed to see this data so they could appropriately size the new system.
The Fujitsu SPARC M12 is a great option to replace legacy M8000, M9000 and other older systems, because it has the ability to consolidate multiple systems in a single new chassis, which reduces cost, footprint, and energy usage.
Question: How does the Fujitsu SPARC M12 stand up against the competition?
Carl Hill: The Fujitsu SPARC M12 performs very well against x86 server and other UNIX-based competition. With the Fujitsu SPARC M12, we have the performance and scalability high ground vs both UNIX and x86 competitors. Our per-core performance is #1 and we can scale larger than any competitor in the enterprise computing industry. We would love to have our customers work with their resellers to take advantage of our free loaner program to prove this to themselves.
We also have mainframe-like RAS with the Fujitsu SPARC M12, equal or better to any UNIX-based system and much more robust than any x86 system. Since we run Solaris, we have a security advantage against most competitors. Solaris gives customers the ability to make a system “immutable”, meaning that the system software cannot be changed by an application or even a root level superuser. That’s something that is impossible for Linux to match.
Question: Why are customers choosing the new Fujitsu SPARC M12?
Carl Hill: I think that the performance of the new M12 really gets customer attention when they first hear about the machine. Performance has dual aspects when it comes to the M12. First is the leading performance per core, but also this system can scale linearly to 32 sockets and 32 TB of memory.
Capacity on Demand on Fujitsu SPARC M12 is also highly attractive to customers because it lets them start small and grow (and pay for) the system as their needs grow. Customers don’t have to activate all of the cores in the system at acquisition, which really reduces their licensing costs. No other SPARC server offers this and it’s one of several key advantages that Fujitsu SPARC systems offer.
The Fujitsu SPARC M12 is balanced when it comes to integer and floating point performance. This means it offers great performance on integer centric transaction workloads and floating point intensive analytics or financial routines, for example. In fact, customer evaluations have shown that the M12 floating point unit has been the key differentiator for many in their selection of the system.
Another implication of the performance of the system and the processor is that the Fujitsu SPARC M12 can get more work done per core, which means customers are getting more bang for the buck for their Oracle license dollar and seeing commensurate annual per-core licensing cost reductions.
Another feature that customers appreciate is our innovative Vapor and Liquid Loop Cooling. This ensures that the processors are always cool enough to run at top speed, regardless of the computing load, which maximizes system performance.
Finally, there are a lot of customers who like the fact that the Fujitsu SPARC M12 can still run bare metal Solaris 10. It’s the only SPARC machine, other than the Fujitsu M10, that can do this. There are many customers who aren’t ready to migrate to Solaris 11, or can’t migrate at this time. The Fujitsu SPARC M12 gives them the chance to use modern, high performance hardware while still keeping their same software environment.
This also gives customers an easier path to migrate to newer operating systems when they’re ready and in a granular way.
Question: Thanks for your time Carl. Let’s finish up with one more question: What was your first computer?
Carl Hill: My first computer, which I still have, is a Compaq ‘luggable’. It has a hard drive (very small, I’m sure), and a floppy drive along with hundreds of floppy disks. It’s been stashed away in my basement for about 30 years now. Maybe it’ll be a collector’s item down the road.