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Acquisitions of SGI, Sun Heading in Opposite Directions

by Addison Snell
for Intersect360 Research (originally published under the Tabor Research name)
May 14, 2009

Acquisitions of SGI, Sun Heading in Opposite Directions for HPC

as published in HPCWire

Sun and SGI have followed similar trajectories throughout much of their linked histories -- parallel parabolas that blazed through several common markets, including technical workstations and HPC, from their explosive Silicon Valley launches in the early 1980s to their financial zeniths in the 1990s. Ultimately each company failed to achieve a sustainable orbit, and the last ten years have seen their slow, fiery reentries and projected crashes to terra firma.

This duality of existence extended into each company's apparent ultimate splashdown, the now-closed acquisition of SGI by Rackable and the announced but still pending acquisition of Sun by Oracle. But this is where the twin contrails could finally diverge, at least for HPC.

On the one hand we have Rackable -- or should I say SGI? -- for Rackable has officially adopted the SGI brand. For HPC customers of the new SGI, the news looks good. Although there may be some consolidation where x86 lines overlap, the new SGI is going forward with the core HPC and visualization business, including most of the acquired employees. SGI will continue to fulfill product and service contracts, including the $40 million DOD deal from February. The Rackable-SGI deal is reminiscent of Tera's acquisition of Cray assets from the selfsame SGI in 2000.

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