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The Sun SPARCcenter 2000 was an early attempt at building a high-end multiprocessor machine, and a predecessor to the E10k/Fire 15k line of computers. The SPARCcenter supported up to 20 processors in 20 Mbus slots (it’s unclear as to whether or not dual mbus modules are supported, I would assume not), and 5 gigs of RAM. There are 2 Mbus modules slots, 16 RAM slots, and 4 Sbus slots per board, and a maximum of 10 boards per machine. Shape wise, it resembles the earlier Sun SPARCserver 690MP and 4/490 in that it is in a “refrigerator”/full rack style chassis (weighing approximately 800lbs), however, it does not use VME, instead opting to use the Cray developed Xdbus that was also implemented on the SPARCserver 1000 and Cray CS6400. This technology was sold to Sun when Cray was bought by SGI.

Processor wise, this machine supports pretty much any Mbus module, although I’ve never heard of dual modules, or hypersparc modules being used. It was succeeded by the SPARCcenter 2000E, which is only a 2000 with higher bus rate. Changing a 2000 to a 2000E can be accomplished with a simple board swap. The SPARCcenter 2000 was first supported in Solaris 2.2 (SunOS 5.2), and is not supported (at time of writing) by any of the BSDs, although Linux support exists. If you wish to run such a machine, make certain that you have enough space, and power available, as it takes a 220v line.

On a more humorous note (in the Darwin award context), my father was recently crushed moving my SPARCcenter into a storage facility. He snuck it out of the house when I wasn’t home, as he was sick of it occupying so much space. After arriving at a storage facility with a rented truck (and a lift gate), he began lowering it. Of course, he was muscling this 800lb chunk of metal around on his own, and as such, when it fell a short distance off the lift gate, he was unable to control it, and got crushed. Eventually, with the help of some passing young men, he was able to free himself, and get it into the storage place, but not without some painful deep bruises. Evidently he thought that he had broken his legs. He now dislikes it with twice the passion he previously had, and I’ve been told that I must get rid of it at the first opportunity.

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