Rackable buys, then becomes SGI

If I scratched my head any more over this one, my co-workers would back away from me, thinking I had something communicable. Rackable Systems has completed its acquisition of the operating assets of what’s left of the former Silicon Graphics and has now adopted its name.

You read that right. Rackable Systems, which at least had something of a decent name as a datacenter vendor, has now adopted the name of the near-dead, former great Unix vendor that it bought for peanuts, since it also got so much debt. Rackable’s president and CEO Mark J. Barrenechea will lead the new SGI. Preferably not into a new wall. SGI was real good that that.

Granted, there is precedent for this. In 2005, Pacific Bell, one of the Baby Bells, ended up buying its momma, AT&T, and adopted that name. Of course, by that point AT&T was a pathetic shell of itself, having sold of many pieces in an attempt to stay afloat. Still, the name had value.

Is Rackable going to get anything out of calling itself “Silicon Graphics?” Maybe in 1994 but not in 2009.

The new SGI will have a customer base of more than 5,000 in more than 25 countries and approximately 1,350 employees worldwide. SGI will be headquartered in Fremont, California, same place Rackable was based. SGI’s new management teamis almost entirely made up of Rackable talent. Only Diane Gibson, senior VP of operations and Dr. Eng Lim Goh, senior VP & CTO, remain from SGI.

Obviously to the victor go the spoils. Rackable has been reasonably successful, and unlike SGI, profitable. The name did convey what they are all about. The name change says��� well, I don’t really know. Sure, I could call up and get their spin but that’s pretty much what it would be. A move like this should have logic behind it independent of the PR spin. This name change does not.

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