The Rough Guide to MBus Modules
Introduction Buses Modules Systems Chips Miscellany



The SPARCcluster-4 contains four SPARCstation-10 motherboards (each fitted with one SM52 module as standard), connected to an internal crossbar LAN-switch. Each "system" board can be fitted with onboard disk drives, SBus cards, memory, etc. The system-boards and LAN-switch are housed in a single chassis.

The SPARCcluster-1 is the same except that it has only a single system-board; whilst the SPARCcluster-2 has a pair. If you have a spare SS10 motherboard, you could even turn a SPARCcluster-2 into a "SPARCcluster-3"!

All models use the same chassis.

Each system-board runs a separate copy of the operating-system. In principle the system-boards can each run a different operating-system (eg: Solaris 2.x versus SunOS 4.x). The disks are shared over the internal LAN via NFS.

It really is just a bunch of SS10s networked together in a big box.

Firmware Versions

For required BootPROM levels, each board can be considered in isolation.

See SPARCstation-10.


As I am completely unfamiliar with the SPARCcluster enclosure, it is impossible to exactly specify any module-overheating risks.

You can get some idea of the relative heat-dissipation of the various MBus modules from the SPARCstation-10 configuration table.

The location of the system boards in the chassis may substantially change the separation between modules, and alter the airflow, and thus change the overheating risks. Follow the hardware installation manual whenever possible.

Mbus Module Configuration Table

See SPARCstation-10, remembering that you have upto 4 motherboards (eg: you can get upto 16 CPUs into this beast!).

Introduction Buses Modules Systems Chips Miscellany
Mike Spooner, revised 9th June 1999