Origin 400 is indeed a real product, and it’s now here

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SGI have announced the Origin 400 workgroup server – properly announced, this time round. Unlike last week’s accidental Origin 400 announcement, this is the real deal.

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The Origin 400 looks like a solid bit of kit. Up to a total of 6 blades can be fitted, each one able to take two Intel Xeon quad- or six-core 5500 or the just announced 5600 series. 96gb of RAM per blade for a total of 576GB in the chassis, and space for up to 14 2.5″ SAS drives. The spec sheet also says it supports up to two ‘redundant Ethernet switch modules’, each with 10 gigabit ethernet ports – each blade is specced with 2 GigE ports, so I’m wondering if these ‘switch modules’ are for exporting the storage as NAS.

The specs on each CPU blade sound suspiciously like those in the Octane III – are they interchangeable?

You can view the full press release here and the Origin 400 product pages here.

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Origin 400 SMB blade server?

Silicon Graphics News
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An entertaining glitch in SGI‘s RSS feed on Friday has leaked out some details of an incoming new server aimed specifically at SMBs. The headline read “SGI Announces Origin 400 Blade System for SMB and Enterprise Markets” and unfortunately didn’t link through to a valid article.

Over at InsideHPC, John West has managed to dig up some more details – it should be a 6u form factor box, with 6 dual socket blades, and integrated storage presented as NAS.

The name choice is an interesting one. SGI are clearly wanting to capitalise on some of their brand name power – a bit of a risky strategy, though. The Octane 3 was a disappointment in many ways, and the Origin line were also rock solid, scalable bits of kit. I know several people who still have Origin 200 clusters and NUMA stacks in play today, so with that sort of longevity and scalability, re-using the brand name could seriously backfire on SGI if they push out a mediocre product.

Having said that, the SMB push is a welcome direction from SGI. Now that Oracle have finally consumed Sun, we’ve already been seeing Sun’s competent x86 line vanishing from their site – clearly there’s demand for well engineered solutions in this space that go beyond the HP/Dell approach of stacks of ‘nothing special’ 1u and 2u servers.

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