[Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

Vincent Diepeveen diep at xs4all.nl
Thu Jan 18 04:43:26 PST 2007

It is a powerful combination microsoft + sgi.

Not because of the mouse saying to the elephant when crossing a river over a 
wooden bridge: "We make a lot of noise don't we?"

But rather because SGI has something microsoft can't deliver. Machine that 
to a limited number of cpu's provide a shared memory environment to windows 
users meanwhile having a real fast latency.

They can together offer a product that scales real well for users up to a 
brick or 8 == 32 sockets,
perhaps even 16 bricks. That'll be like 128+ cores.

Very powerful.
That will kick butt for windows software that is not embarrassingly parallel 
but with a little rewrite works fine
using shared memory.
Of course windows will require to rewrite the virtual adress space 
management in the kernel completely to get all such
software work well on such a machine.
But imagine the extra computing power it gives to companies for a relative 
small extra investment.
What will a 64 socket node cost now, like half a million or so?

Not peanuts, but price of SGI will go down for those machines bigtime when 
they start selling them by the zillion,
which will increase their market share even more. They could already take 
the risk of lowering the price of those machine.

Of course assuming they have some kind of monopoly on delivering a shared 
memory machine, and assuming some
8 socket K8 machine isn't a lot cheaper / faster.

Now their only problem will be letting windows customers figure out they can 
run their application faster on SGI,
but in that respect the elephant will make enough noise on its own already 
to get that done.

If SGI can deliver this package using some K8L chip they would dominate soon 
the highend market, because of delivering it
at a relative competative price.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mikael Fredriksson" <mike at etek.chalmers.se>
To: <Beowulf at beowulf.org>
Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 8:50 AM
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] SGI to offer Windows on clusters

> Michael Will wrote:
>> That is an interesting article... So I assume they went chapter 11 and
>> microsoft ressurrected them as a vehicle to market their cluster
>> solution?
> Jepp.  It was no secret that SGI was missmanaged under a lot of years
> and thus went bankrup.  But, their reputation is *still* better than
> Microsofts...  ;-)
>> Just wait for the Zombie processes ;-)
> A whole cluster full... :-)
> MF
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