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back to article SGI chases Cray with baby cluster

Cray thinks there is a market for baby supercomputers that bridge the gap between fast two-socket workstations with peppy graphics cards and the rack-based parallel supercomputer clusters that run large-scale simulations. And the new Silicon Graphics, the result of the acquisition of the old SGI by Rackable Systems, agrees. As …

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Anonymous Coward

Put it at rest, pls.

"Cray thinks there is a market for baby supercomputers that bridge the gap between fast two-socket workstations with peppy graphics cards and the rack-based parallel supercomputer clusters that run large-scale simulations."

There probably was a market, back in 1995 when SGI stunned world + dog and bought Cray Research. "How a company with ties only could make anything of Cray, a real engineers company ?", everyone asked.

The answer was unfortunately trivial: fuckall.

2 years after, already, all Cray customers had fled to japanese vendors, despite inferior design, following a complete kick-out of former Cray employees, replaced by nice boyes, barely having a clue about numeric algorithms.

Now, can at last SGI or whoever owns them now put the brand at rest ? The market is closed now, big agencies build their own compute clusters or buy a solution specially built for them.

As for the rest, they all go compute farms based on whatever best bang for the buck X86 solution they can get.

AC, who used to work in this area for a big company.

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SGI please RIP

Are SGI still around? Do us all a favour and put yourself out of misery. SGI were fantastic in the 80s then came PCs with graphics cards and SGI have been holding on for dear life ever since. Jobsy learned his lesson early with NeXT boxes and moved on.

I used to get invited to SGI product launches where they would show off their latest bespoke h/w workstation which a regular PC with a good graphics card could do for 1/10 the price.

If there was a dinosaur icon, I would use it.

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It is mostly a brand

Rackable bought two things with SGI: the name and some very nifty common address space across multiple box tech. I dunno if the common address space stuff will sell (you know IBM Power racks do make much of it) but 'SGI' the name carries some weight. There is a lot of respect in at least the grey beard set for SGI. I'm not a grey beard but my last sysadmin job - they had dozens of 15 year old SGI boxes still running nicely. How many top 5 x86 pizza box vendors can make that claim? HP clusters where I work are given no more than 5 years to replacement, as much for failure rate as new hardware available.

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@AC - Apples & Oranges

SGI minis and mains had system bus bandwidth like few other architectures, and SGI sold shared-memory-multiple-box systems built on the bandwidth ... 64+ cpu with common address space was *not* in the same market as the PC but that was SGI's bread and butter. Comparing SGI product to PCs is like comparing IBM minis to PCs - SGI was primarily a mini & mainframe player, not a desktop player.

That said the company never seemed to be able to escape it's industrial scale graphics persona. SGI boxes were well used for dbms and the like: the bus was a killer, but SGI failed to get much buy in once it had to venture outside the 'graphics' arena.

Are you thinking mostly about O2 & co, not the big stuff SGI made?

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