The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by beleaguered supercomputer-maker Silicon Graphics and the acquisition of most of SGI's assets by Rackable Systems for $25m in cash may lay to rest any questions about the future of shared-memory, Itanium-based supercomputers. As Dell and IBM have encroached on Rackable's business among …
Apple should buy Sun and SGI...
Apple should buy Sun and SGI and finally make that real push into the enterprise and HPC markets. They got their toes wet before, and considering their meager offering they did ok. Now it's time to run with it.
Good summary of the story. It is really sad the Itanium was so hard to get going. It is a vastly better architecture than the many times warmed over x86 dog's breakfast mess of a processor. But masive economies of scale win out. SGI were a great company, and in many ways still are. Just reduced in size. They understand the ecosystem of HPC better than the remaining big vendors and provide support second to none.
Apple were once mooted as a suitor, because of SGI's ownership of the graphics, animation and video post processing markets. That was a long time ago. Apple got those markets anyway, as SGI ceased to be able to hold them. Apple have a company mentality that just doesn't gel with the service and support needed for big iron. I suspect that if they did try, they would mess it up and probably just ruin the remaining non-technical asset that SGI have - the world wide support organisation that does understand.
Not new news.
SGI has been presenting the Xeon based UltraViolet system to customers for some time.
I think the original plan may have been for a Tukwila based system, and later changed to first have a Tukwila system then a Nehalem system, then changed to bring out the Nehalem system first, and finally the Tukwila version was killed altogether.
With UltraViolet, SGI has proven one can design a large, NUMA, shared memory Intel Xeon system based on a design intended for Tukwila. Expect HP to follow suit at some point. HP's challenge is it has no operating system for a Xeon Superdome. Linux is great for HPC, but customers used to running big iron want UNIX on their big iron.
Itanium is dead, and has been for years. Some vendors (HP) are still in denial.
@Apple should buy Sun and SGI...
Abso bleedin lootly, but they won't. But it does make you think, if some one buys SGI, perhaps a speculative buy out for Sun isn't such a daft idea.
Re: Not new news.
I couldn't agree more with everything you said. Of course, SGI usually just makes systems that fit a very small niche, so who knows if Nehalem will scale well enough to fit more generic workloads at higher CPU counts.
One other Note, Linux does not scale very well within the box. There are plenty of techniques that help it scale horizontally, but these techniques work just as well on other Os's. Perhaps IBM has the right idea in buying Sun. Solaris is already tuned to work well on many CPU's (SMP or NUMA) and it runs on X64.
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