Sun Microsystems, venerable system and software vendor of the Unix world, has a rather interesting promo going on. It’s part of their try-before-you-buy deal, where you can get a free 60-day run on one of their mid- or high-end servers and workstations. According to Jonathan in his blog post, if you post a thorough review (in the eyes of the product team) regardless of whether it’s favorable or not, you can keep the system for free. Presumably they’ll take your words and use them as marketing copy if appropriate, but for a free Sun system they could use them to promote an end to tooth-brushing for all I care.
I’ve already submitted my application for an Ultra 40 dual-Opteron workstation. I intend to use it for testing Ruby on Rails deployment and performance. I’d like to install Rails on Solaris 10 (preinstalled!), Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Ubuntu Linux, and Windows Server 2003 to see which one comes across as most manageable, and with the best performance. This is the first of my entries in that series.
I selected the Ultra 40 workstation primarily because that’s what will fit best in my office at home, under my desk, and it gives me the ability to test Windows in the equation as well as Linux distributions that don’t support SPARC64. We’ll see how this shapes up, and I’ll try to keep you posted.