I had an exclusive opportunity to speak with Brian Casales,
CEO of Gapple, Inc. about the heavily rumored upcoming "Superbox Mark I" that is
supposed to shake our industry to its knees.
"Yes", explained Brian, "We will be announcing the Mark I this
week, and it will be phenomenal. I can tell you a bit about it
this morning if you promise to keep it under wraps until our
I promised. So I lied, big deal..
"We've made a logarithmic leap in CPU technology", Brian gushed.
"And not just CPU's: we have super-fast storage. Faster than any
current technology, faster than anyone thought was possible. This
is simply going to change everything - remember, you are sworn to
Yeah, yeah. I promise not to say a word. Right..
"Basically, the Mark I is designed to either be a super-fast
workstation or a hypervisor that will allow current X86 operating
systems to run as guests. Right now, we do not have the native
OS that would allow this to function as a workstation, but we
do have the hypervisor."
Oh great: they are releasing a product that isn't a product. Yawn.
I told Brian my toast was burning.
"No, you don't get it". Brian sounded frustrated. "We realized
that the hypervisor is actually more important right now. We're
so fast that we can actually emulate modern X86 chips on the fly -
how's having thirty two quad core CPU's packed into a $800.00 box
sound to you?"
I said it sounded hot. As in "warm up the room" hot.
Brian laughed. "Well, no, it actually isn't. I don't
even understand the physics, but you won't be burning your
lap with our notebooks. And your battery life will be measured
in weeks, not hours. I'm telling you, this changes everything."
Didn't he say something about thirty two quad core CPU's?
That sounds like a lot more than eight hundred bucks..
"No, no, it's all emulation!". Brian was obviously excited.
"It's all virtual: the hypervisor is presenting this entirely
virtual environment. Because we are so incredibly fast and have
so much cheap, fast storage, we can do this. We can do it thirty
two times over and still be loafing, in fact."
So you are emulating hardware? What does Intel think of that?
I doubt they'd just let Brian model their chips in software..
"We bought 'em". Brian was gushing again. "We've been showing
this around to the movers and shakers and believe me, everybody
knows their day is done later this week. Intel had no choice,
really: sell to us cheap or be run over. If they hadn't sold,
we would have released this as a workstation, and they'd be
gone in a year or two anyway."
So let me get this straight. There's some incredible
breakthrough where you have a cpu and associated storage that's so fast
and so cheap that you can emulate Intel CPU's in software?
"Not just the CPU's. A whole motherboard with drives - we're
emulating everything. And it's all controlled through our hypervisor.
You set up a Virtual Machine, you tell it to act like a 1997 Pentium
or a 2007 Xeon, you tell it to present 3 SCSI drives, a floppy,
4 GB of RAM, set the clock speed.. if you wanted to, you could even
get down to the board level and specify the behavior of individual
'chips' - that are all emulated, of course. And then you install
your OSes - Windows, Linux, whatever. The hypervisor provides
whatever sharing between them you want, from basic cut and paste
to virtual networks, virtual storage: it's all a great big pretend
world, but your VM's don't know it. I'm telling you, it's
Yeah, whatever you say, Brian. Sounds pointless to me.
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