Feeds

New SGI chases new partners

Boutique strategy

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The recently combined Rackable/SGI is looking to add some new blood to depleted partner ranks. After the merger, the company dropped about one-third of its combined partners for various reasons and is now trying to rebuild its channel presence.

The company is looking for folks who have both enterprise and HPC chops – which makes sense, given their product set and strategy. You can read about it here.

SGI isn’t in an enviable position right now. The old Rackable installed base was skewed very heavily toward a handful of companies that bought a hell of a lot of gear. These were primarily Web 2.0 types who purchase servers by the thousands.

Unfortunately for Rackable, this growing market attracted the attention of the big guys like IBM, HP, and others who are now attacking it like pit bulls going after a bacon-scented mailman. All of the major x86 vendors have launched new products and initiatives that are aimed squarely at mass scale-out, price-sensitive customers.

The problem for Rackable/SGI is that the heavyweights will enhance products at a faster pace. They also have enough cash to buy deals when they want them. These twin actions can grind Rackable into a fine dust between the rocks of margin pressure and the requirement to ramp new products faster in order to keep up.

Rackable badly needed new customers and new markets – thus the purchase of SGI. Everything that made Rackable boxes just right for Web 2.0 makes them a pretty good fit for a lot of HPC installations. With the addition of SGI (and even changing their name to SGI), they get an entrée into HPC and at least the chance to peddle their wares to new folks. What we don’t know yet is just how much of the legacy SGI skill set they have retained.

A lot of the value of SGI isn’t in the hardware; it’s in the heads of their people in the labs and in the field. If the new SGI can hold on to this asset, it has a shot at carving out a sustainable niche for themselves. Long term, it must still deal with competition from much bigger competitors.

But mixing together the Rackable and legacy SGI secret sauces can give a unique flavor that will stand out from richer, but broader, competitors. SGI's task is to put together a solid strategy that leads to products and services that are compelling enough to overcome the resource advantages of the dominant vendors.

One of my long-standing recommendations to SGI (before the Rackable acquisition) was for it to use its expertise and IP to put together high-performance analytics HW/SW/service bundles for key industries (not traditional Wall Street, Oil & Gas, or Pharma types). This would play to their strengths in visualization, moving immense amounts of data, and, of course, computation.

My thought was that its should look for partnerships with a few leading companies and/or perhaps a high-end business school in order to get the business chops its needs to be credible in the market. Doing this could help the company land higher-margin enterprise computing deals, allowing it to get full value for the IP built over decades of HPC experience.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.