Try it, then rent it or buy it. That's the new mantra from supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics this morning as it launches its own supercomputing on demand offering, dubbed Cyclone. If cloud computing means virtualized server instances, then technically speaking - as if SGI could speak any other way - the Cyclone service is not …
Rent a cloud....
The history of this strategy is somewhat interesting in that the time sharing business collapsed in the late 70s mainly because, in relative terms, hardware became cheap. Today its even more evident that computers themselves are essentially zero cost disposable items.
The old SGI did a miserable job of being an HPC supplier, and culturally, a pretty poor job of being a supplier of anything that needed any kind of support. As a major, long term customer of the old SGI I can attest to their iron monger attitude which, when they were the only game in town, worked, but as history has shown, led them to bankruptcy.
Now, the new SGI, essentially a marriage between a couple of iron mongers, is making HPC statements based on what, exactly? NUMA backed distributed memory arrays? 8 x 8 server blades? Please...... Any real HPC people will be smiling.....
Have they not realized that this kind of thing has become a do it yourself project? The only thing that I find more amusing is the services model. The culture of IBM is not present in either the old SGI nor the new one.
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