SUMMARY: Sun Clones

Date: Thu Jan 12 1995 - 15:52:14 CST

Thanks for the responses to my query, to-date I've had responses from 8 users
and 2 venders. Since they're pretty concise I've included all responses but
the venders (because of the obvious bias). follows.

I have three cautionary notes:

1) Does the clone run real SunOS or a modified version of it?
   We have three Solbourne Sun4/490 clones which have their own
   modified version of SunOS. Solbourne is out of the hardware
   business and is now a VAR for Sun. Future OS releases and
   bug fixes are in doubt.

2) Clone boards are out of Sun's upgrade path. Ie, you can't
   use the board for a cash discount on a new machine.

3) What about hardware maintenance? Sun won't do it nor will
   many of the third party hardware maintainers. You'll be
   stuck with the clone company, if they're still around.
Ayway, we're using one CompuAdd SS-2 (Sparc2 clone) under 4.1.3 for a CAM
application. However, they don't support the product anymore, and it can't
be upgraded to Solaris without a motherboard upgrade.
I was pretty happy with Axil (made by Hyundai) when I worked as an SE at

I know they've sub-contracted the support to Novadyne, though. Novadyne
seemed ok the 1 or 2 times I dealt with them, but it still worries me.
We have several AXIL workstations. They are SS10 clones. They run SunOS.
You can't tell it's not a Sun until you open it up. The insides are
all different. The major problem with the Axils is that you need a
different service contract. I hate setting up and maintaining service
contracts. The AXILs are about 30% cheaper, but I don't think it's
worth the hassle.
We use Axil 235 workstations that are clones of Sun Sparc10. We have been
using them for the last 6 months, running Suno OS 4.1.3. We haven't
experience any problems yet.
one year ago we bought a COMPstation10/512 from Tatung. We are not satisfied
with this machine. The quality of manufacturing isn't good. The machine has
thermic problems. It has a fan with a very big noise.
Get an Integrix sparc 5 - it can go up to 110 Mhz and has more
Sbus slots than Sun SS5, also cheaper. I bought a Tatung SS5 which is
also a good machine (released before Integrix) but it is basically a SS2
pizza box stuffed with a SS5.

Once again thanks to everyone for the responses.

Jay Kyle

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