SGI to announce fourth quarter earnings

Silicon Graphics News


Looking for IRIX or Solaris expertise? Visit my UNIX Consultancy website.


How much of an impact has the new Altix UV, along with the Octane 3 and Origin 400, actually had for SGI? Now’s the time to find out, with the announcement of their fourth quarter earnings call.

SGI (NASDAQ:SGI), a global leader in HPC and data center solutions, today announced it will report financial results for the Company’s fourth quarter and fiscal 2010 on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 after the close of the market. A live webcast of the earnings conference call will be held that day at 2:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. ET).

The public is invited to listen to a live web cast of the call on the Investor Relations section of the Company’s website at investors.sgi.com. A replay of the web cast will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call and will remain available until the next earnings call. An audio replay of the conference call will also be made available approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available for five days and can be accessed by dialing (706) 645-9291 or (800) 642-1687 and entering the confirmation code: 90230680.

No Comments

SGI Altix UV 1000 sets Java application benchmark

Performance, Silicon Graphics News


Looking for IRIX or Solaris expertise? Visit my UNIX Consultancy website.


Recent test results announced by SGI are touting the Altix UV 1000 as the world’s fastest Java application server. While I love the Altix UV and think it’s a cracking bit of kit, this result highlights how useless benchmarks are.

SGI claim:

  • SGI Altix UV 1000, with 256 cores and 128 JVMs, beat ScaleMP, its nearest competitor, by 82 percent in Java performance with throughput of 12,665,917 BOPS using Oracle JRockit.
  • SGI Altix UV 1000, with 256 cores, beat Fujitsu/Sun, its nearest competitor, by 60 percent with a single Oracle Java HotSpot JVM performance of 2,818,350 BOPS.

As Darth Vader says – “Impressive. Most impressive.” – but lets look at those figures in more detail. A 256 core Altix UV 1000 running 128 JVMs? Who on earth would buy a massive single system image machine, with massive shared memory performance, and then carve it up with hundreds of JVMs – which are pegged to cores?

This is nonsense. Far better to pick a smaller machine – say, an Altix UV 100 – which would much more realistically be used for this sort of task. Or an Altix XE cluster, which would give both good parallelism and also high availability.

Joerg Mollenkamp has even more details, comparing these results to those of a Sun T5440. The price difference is extreme, leading to some embarrassing price/performance comparisons, which also highlights how meaningless these sort of benchmark results really are.

There’s no doubt those are some cracking results from the Altix UV 1000. But they’re meaningless, pie in the sky figures, and I can safely say anyone who ordered one of those to run Java apps on would be laughed at, and then fired on the spot.

A far more meaningful result I’d like to see from SGI would be pitching the Altix UV where it really needs to go – into the corporate data centre. Let’s see some data warehouse figures using Oracle and Sybase for big data workloads that can take advantage of all that fast, shared memory.

SGI need to move out of the pure HPC play for their big kit, and add in more sales to big business. (They’ve need to do this since the first big Origins came out, but that’s a rant for another day). This means playing to the kits strength, and posting JVM benchmarks like this accomplishes nothing apart from opening them up to some – very valid – criticism.

No Comments

Advanced HPC training from hpctraining.com

Silicon Graphics News, supercomputing


Looking for IRIX or Solaris expertise? Visit my UNIX Consultancy website.


SGI have announced the launch of hpctraining.com, which they bill as the “industry’s first one-stop-shop website for advanced HPC training”. With the range of courses and training SGI are offering, they could well be on to something.

Hpctraining.com provides coursework in the following areas:

  • System Administration
  • Network Administration
  • Cluster Administration
  • Storage Administration
  • Visualization
  • Applications/Software Development

One of the key things from my point of view is that the courses aren’t just on-site ones – there are also an increasing number of e-learning courses. For people wanting to break into HPC there are two main barriers – not being able to play with HPC-class kit, and not having the time to learn up about it. Computer based courses and simulators are the way to go for this.

hpctraining.com isn’t an SGI only effort, though. The partner list includes:

  • Adaptive Computing
  • Atempo
  • CAPS
  • Intel
  • LSI
  • Novell
  • Octality
  • Oracle University
  • Panasas
  • Platform Computing
  • Red Hat
  • SGI
  • Spectralogic

There’s a lot on offer here and I think it’s a great initiative for existing or budding HPC people. I’m also pleased to see SGI are still offering IRIX courses.

No Comments