*shriek of horror*
They made the ugly 'sgi' logo even -uglier-! Bring back the pipe cube, at least!
Considering all of the technical trials and economic tribulations that Silicon Graphics has gone through since the mid-1990s after a meteoric rise in technical computing in the 1980s, you might think that the SGI name was one relegated to the dustbin of the IT industry. This seemed particularly true after Rackable Systems - an …
Maybe, but the fact they chose the SGI moniker hints that they have big plans rather than the continuation of the niche x64 theme. The Rackable name had this knida hip-cool-fresh-'n'-trendy air attached, and was a David against the Goliaths. By going with SGI it says "I'm a wannabe Goliath now." This could backfire - the common perception seems to be "Rackable" always seems to go hand-in-hand with "innovation", whereas "SGI" just came to mean "old, expensive, niche", and "zombie." Sure, SGI also meant "reliable and powerful" to a lot of older customers, but that was a group from at least a generation ago.
When SGI bought Cray, US Government was afraid they would become too powerful in the high end computing area. (The Mips R8K and the powerchallenge server line had about 50% of the technical server market). Therefore they was forced to sell of either the Starfire or the Origin design to a competitior to get the aquisition approved. Most people within SGI would rather have wrecked the design.
The major problem with SGI has been the Incompetent management. They had too much cash in the late 90'ies, So they never reduced the activity and headcount to keep the company profitable until it become too late. They prolonged the suffering when they sold off the Mips buildings (now Googleplex) at the very top to lease it back. Instead they should have sacked most of engineering which only focused on over-expensive under-performing designs and hired new talent without the SGI-mindset.
Sgi management never understood the importance of having top performance CPUs. in 1998 when the bad times started, one of the first cutbacks where killing the Mips Beast and Alien project which were R10K follow on new designs. R10K had a terrible bug in the superscalar pipeline which it took 2 years to workaround, and then the ship had sunk.
Another issue was the Alias selloff to a venture capital firm for around 65mill USD. A year later it was sold to Autodesk for 182mill USD in cash.
I believe Rackable management has much better cost-focus, than anyone withing the SGI organization. That is at least a promising start.
My coat is the antistatic indigo one with the cube on.
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