SGI Lays Windows HPC Claims

SGI announced Tuesday that Microsoft has certified its Altix UV server as the largest and most powerful instance of a high-performance computing (HPC) system running Windows 2008 R2 for x86 to date.

In fact, SGI’s (NASDAQ: SGI) Altix UV Intel Xeon processor-driven system has been certified by Microsoft, to support 128 cores and 1 TB of memory, David “Sunny” Sundstrom, director of software product marketing, told

“We’re certified as the biggest machine that anyone has ever done, Sundstrom said. The system runs Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition, including Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, and SQL Server 2008 R2.

However, the former computer graphics giant doesn’t plan to stop there. SGI plans to achieve certification for 256 cores and 2 TB of memory by the end of the second quarter.

The name SGI has had a storied history, which hit a high when its technology was used to bring dinosaurs to life in the movie blockbuster “Jurassic Park.” However, the company also had a run of bad luck, and was eventually bought out last year by Rackable Systems for $25 million and the assumption of some debts.

The new company kept the SGI moniker and have been working to combine Rackable’s high-density rack mounted systems with SGI’s technologies for building massively scalable Intel Xeon systems.

The Altix UV itself has been out since the third quarter of last year, Sundstrom said.

So what would such a system be good for?

“One of the great opportunities is in datacenters,” Sundstrom said.

He suggested that the offering could be used for server consolidation and online transaction processing (OLTP).

“With Windows Server 2008 R2 availability on Altix UV, the world’s fastest and most scalable shared-memory computer, the entire catalog of Windows applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for data warehousing and data mining tools built with Business Intelligence Development Studio, can now take advantage of the scalability of Altix UV,” the company’s statement said.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

News Around the Web