RealTime IT News

SGI to Resell Microsoft Server Goods

SGI has agreed to offer Microsoft's high-performance computing operating system on its cluster servers, a deal geared to boost both companies' sales in the HPC space.

SGI , trying to bounce back from bankruptcy, will offer Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 on its new Altix XE cluster systems, which are based on Intel Xeon dual-core and quad-core processors.

Previously, SGI offered Altix XE systems fitted with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server or Red Hat Enterprise Linux for larger installations.

Offering Windows will help SGI make HPC accessible to the largely untapped small business market, allowing SGI to address 80 percent of its customers' IT spending compare to the 20 percent of the addressable high-end market, an SGI spokesperson said.

This approach dovetails with the company's pledge to branch out and tap new market segments. The strategy also mirrors that of most system hardware vendors who must offer customers as many software platform choices as possible to compete in a tight market.

For Microsoft,  HPC is a relatively new game.

The company unveiled its finished cluster server software last year with a promise to target the sub-million-dollar installations with the help of major hardware OEMs.

Partnering with SGI will give Microsoft the outlet it needs to crack into more HPC environments, where customers perform advanced calculations, often with multiple computers, or clusters.

Once relegated to research sectors for academics, scientific studies and governmental testing, HPC is increasingly branching out into commercial businesses.

With this OEM deal, SGI and Microsoft hope to grab larger pieces of those pies; SGI expects to sell Altix XE systems for businesses specializing in media data management; industrial design such as automotive and aerospace; health care; and some government and academic markets.

Financial terms of the arrangement between SGI and Microsoft were not disclosed.

SGI said it will begin selling Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 on SGI Altix XE servers and clusters in March starting under $3,500 per node.

SGI is clawing its way back after some tough times in 2006.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May after dismal sales quarters, 250 job cuts and the departure of the CFO and COO.

SGI reemerged in October with a new organizational and operational workflow, including: a new management team and board of directors; an annualized cost savings of $150 million; and $115 million in financing.