Feeds

SGI upgrades kit big and small

ATI meets Onyx

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

SGI has released a pair of beastly systems to shore up its stronghold in the graphics market and has turned to mainstream graphics card maker ATI to help lower the costs of its kit.

The new star in the SGI line-up is the Onyx4 Ultimate Vision system. The server stretches from a starting price of $45,000 with two R16000A processors to a 64-CPU box that goes into the millions. SGI says the system runs five times faster than old Onyx servers and at one-fifth the cost due in large part to the use of ATI workstation video cards for graphics grunt work.

Along with the new Onxy, SGI has rolled out the one to four processor Tezro workstation, which The Register uncovered last week. The Tezro system ships in a rack-mount configuration as well as a flash, purple tower config.

SGI continues to hammer away on the graphics and high performance computing markets that brought it fame. Its Irix flavor of Unix still hums away and the MIPS chips keep kicking.

When the dot-com bubble burst, SGI executives talked without shame about wanting to hold onto this segment of the server market that was left wheezing on life support. SGI had plenty of customers tied to its architecture, loads of specialised apps for its systems and hundreds of millions in revenue. Apparently, this was enough to keep the brass happy in tough times.

These days, SGI's higher ranks appear a tad more aggressive. No less than three marketeers were enlisted to tell us about the growing need for and availability of high performance systems.

The story is pretty common in the server world. Processors keep improving as components such as graphics cards drop in price while upping their power. These trends open the way for technology such as Beowulf clusters or SGI's systems to creep into the enterprise. As an example, SGI is proud to count the Pringle's potato chip design team as a customer. Don't think animated movies with hundred million dollar budgets; think junk food. The SGI customer is becoming a more common breed, we are told.

It's not clear that SGI can match the success of companies such as Dell that have ridden high-powered Xeon processor-based systems right on into the enterprise. Going the Xeon-cluster route, means customers can benefit from low-cost hardware, the free Linux operating system and ever-improving laws of supply and demand. Still, SGI may well manage to carve out a bigger chunk of the overall market with cheaper components on its side and be able to fend off increased competition from the likes of Sun Microsystems, HP and IBM.

Confidence aside, it must be disconcerting to be compared daily to DEC.

The new Onyx4 systems will ship in three basic flavors. The first model has between two and eight processors and is targeted at users that need more power than a workstation can offer. A second config will hold between eight and 16 CPUs and be aimed at handling shared workloads spread across several users. The big daddy config ships with between 16 and 64 processors and is for those with the highest of computational needs.

A reliable reader says that faster R18000 chips should arrive this fall and have close to four times the performance of the R16000 chips shipping with the new kit. SGI declined to confirm such chatter.

The Tezro workstation will ship as predicted with one, two our four processors. SGI claims it performs 3 times as well as the previous Octane2 system. A two-processor box starts around $28,000. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.