HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby Knezzen » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:44 am

Geoman wrote:Shit - I just recognize that SUN's 'three-letter-sibling' SGI now faces a similar fate *g*


At least Oracle continued developing Solaris and the Sparc architecture :P
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby spiroyster » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:14 am


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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby smj » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:10 pm

Sigh... so does anybody know if this has any impact on all the DEC/SGI/Tandem bits??
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby josehill » Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:30 am

More changes afoot: HPE is spinning out some of its pieces to Micro Focus, while taking on board-level roles at the new Micro Focus. https://www.hpe.com/us/en/newsroom/news ... Focus.html

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby SAQ » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:39 pm

Onyx_RE2 wrote:The only thing Rackable Systems, err SGI, had going for it are patents on "back to back" rackmount servers and federal and life sciences customers.
HPE takes a minor nuisance out of the market and absorbs an HPC client base.
Forget any further talk about IRIX, HP-UX, OpenVMS or any legacy type systems.
(maybe see an x86 version of HP-UX...)


I doubt it. They have Linux...

Odd thing is that HP has been doing this a long time (remember Apollo?), and the "buy the competitor, discontinue all their stuff as soon as possible, then hope that their customers will start buying from you instead" hasn't ever really worked out very well for them.

Maybe they'll keep the NUMA stuff - SGI's tech beats HP there.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby cesss » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:50 am

Intuition wrote:The one thing I still ponder is the fact that no one is really making computer animation workstations for high end computer generated effects for film and television anymore.

[...]

I don't know. Just brainstorming. I already know that everyone says CGI is a niche market but you'd be surprised how many places Autodesk has penetrated into certain markets all relating back to 3d workstation visualization or simulation.


Many people who used SGIs for graphics moved into OS X when graphics applications stopped supporting IRIX. OS X was a very good alternative, because it was UNIX, it had brilliant technologies coming from NeXT (app bundles -seen as files but being dirs actually-, excellent disk image support, the reputation of NeXT being the best platform for developers, and many other bits arising from very good decisions at NeXT).

However, Apple is really clueless as of today. They're only interested in iOS. They trashed the MacPro (I don't dislike the "cylinder", as I consider it a clever design, but it's not a replacement for the expandable Mac Pro tower, it should have been marketed as a prosumer Mac Mini rather than the future of MacPro.

So, I feel there's really a lack of good computers for graphics right now. With Apple going clueless, and with nobody developing a solid UNIX system whose main focus was cutting-edge GPU work, I believe we're entering a crisis period, and we'll only see good machines some years from now.

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby Intuition » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:07 pm

Digital Domain and many LA based companies transitioned to Linux. Debian or a fedora based Distro. Later you mostly see CentOS distro support since Autodesk primarily develops Linux Maya with CentOS in mind and Vray and Renderman are also CentOS based in their linux flavor.

Maya, Softimage, and Houdini all had Linux support since it was a shorter jump to Linux from Irix.

I would agree though that many individual feelancers went Mac but I did notice for a while support for plugins was slower on Mac and forced people to a windows or linux build for many neat 3rd party tools.

I am still running CentOS at work using Maya, Modo, Softimage, Nuke, Realflow, Houdini, mudbox. I have a 2nd machine (MacPro) for Photoshop and Zbrush since Adobe and Pixologic still don't care to create Linux support siting the lack of a market.

It is amazing that Microsoft told everyone there is no market for basically everything Apple now is known for.

I think of the modular way you can create or setup an SGI, like the O2, Octane, Tezro, etc. to match what needs you have, is/was integral to the company's successes.

I am surprised that there isn't a company that is trying to tackle that problem now. Looking at specific tasks and creating a computer that is modular and could swap out for setups like say...Protools audio.. or.... 3D graphic display and rendering needs. Avid, Flame, Final Cut Video editing <--- particularly swappable drives/linked drives and layered video playing.... Etc etc.

So much production time could be saved with the slightest bit of ideas and innovation. People have been plodding along for the last decade with very little in big jumps in technology as far as computers go. Just gradual gains with no forward approach besides.... more CPU/RAM speed... more memory space and read time.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby Shiunbird » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:18 am

@Intuition:
Well, I guess that was the whole idea of the Thunderbolt story, wasn't it?

You can almost create a completely redundant setup with external devices using a Mac computer. You can boot up from 2 external Thunderbolt drive arrays in RAID 1 - if one dies you can keep rocking. You can have 2 external video cards as well. It would not be a pretty setup (and you would be missing the redundant power supply), but you get to a reliability level almost like a real workstation like the IntelliStation I have (hot swappable PCI cards are awesome)

Plus Final Cut supports network encoding and most commercial high end applications are on Mac.

One of my colleagues complained that the new Mac OS doesn't change anything - but I guess that's a good thing. It's a mature product and it gets the job more or less done.

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby cinenate35 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:38 am

Shiunbird wrote:@Intuition:
Well, I guess that was the whole idea of the Thunderbolt story, wasn't it?

You can almost create a completely redundant setup with external devices using a Mac computer. You can boot up from 2 external Thunderbolt drive arrays in RAID 1 - if one dies you can keep rocking. You can have 2 external video cards as well. It would not be a pretty setup (and you would be missing the redundant power supply), but you get to a reliability level almost like a real workstation like the IntelliStation I have (hot swappable PCI cards are awesome)

Plus Final Cut supports network encoding and most commercial high end applications are on Mac.

One of my colleagues complained that the new Mac OS doesn't change anything - but I guess that's a good thing. It's a mature product and it gets the job more or less done.


The problem is Apple doesn't care anymore about the professional markets and the OS is really starting to be more about iPhone integration and emojis than real progress. The lack of good hardware is also a problem. I had to buy a PC for my pro work as I can no longer afford a Mac that can handle a simple color grading or compositing app. The MacPro trash can is overpriced and outdated. I think there is a real potential here for something like SGI of the 90's/00's to come along here and take back the pro market. We just need vendors to start building for Linux. Adobe has the most to gain if they pushed the entire suite to Linux. Then someone can really take all the junk out of Linux and get us something as efficient and streamlined as IRIX. The world could really use an SGI type workstation company again.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby GL1zdA » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:48 am

cinenate35 wrote:I had to buy a PC for my pro work as I can no longer afford a Mac that can handle a simple color grading or compositing app. The MacPro trash can is overpriced and outdated. I think there is a real potential here for something like SGI of the 90's/00's to come along here and take back the pro market. (...) The world could really use an SGI type workstation company again.

This really doesn't make much sense. The Mac Pro costs a fraction of what an SGI type workstation did cost, so if you can't afford a Mac Pro you wouldn't afford such workstation. The existence of the trash can speaks a lot about the market - is there really a spot for a company competing with HP Z, Lenovo ThinkStations, Dell Precisions? This doesn't look exactly like a crowded space, and Apple doesn't even try to compete in the highest league:
workstations-ad-2016.png
Workstations AD 2016

source: Desktop workstations competitive product comparison

Sure there are vendors like Boxx, but they're just integrators. I don't see much added value there.

SGIs advantage was integrating everything into a tightly coupled package. This was what worked in the 90s - for example running video on dedicated connections, bypassing the main bus. It worked for SGI, it worked for Apple in the home/office market. Today, with PCIe you don't have to resort to hacks for high performance. There are those who sell you workstations and those who will sell you the specialized equipment or software. Instead of vertical integration we are getting horizontal integration, it's a similar situation to what we observe in other industries.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby cinenate35 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:20 am

GL1zdA wrote:
cinenate35 wrote:I had to buy a PC for my pro work as I can no longer afford a Mac that can handle a simple color grading or compositing app. The MacPro trash can is overpriced and outdated. I think there is a real potential here for something like SGI of the 90's/00's to come along here and take back the pro market. (...) The world could really use an SGI type workstation company again.

This really doesn't make much sense. The Mac Pro costs a fraction of what an SGI type workstation did cost, so if you can't afford a Mac Pro you wouldn't afford such workstation. The existence of the trash can speaks a lot about the market - is there really a spot for a company competing with HP Z, Lenovo ThinkStations, Dell Precisions? This doesn't look exactly like a crowded space, and Apple doesn't even try to compete in the highest league:
workstations-ad-2016.png
source: Desktop workstations competitive product comparison

Sure there are vendors like Boxx, but they're just integrators. I don't see much added value there.

SGIs advantage was integrating everything into a tightly coupled package. This was what worked in the 90s - for example running video on dedicated connections, bypassing the main bus. It worked for SGI, it worked for Apple in the home/office market. Today, with PCIe you don't have to resort to hacks for high performance. There are those who sell you workstations and those who will sell you the specialized equipment or software. Instead of vertical integration we are getting horizontal integration, it's a similar situation to what we observe in other industries.

First off on that chart...that iMac is not a workstation. Workstations do not use mobile graphics cards. The only workstation Apple makes is the trash can and that thing is just as proprietary as the SGI boxes.

I am not saying a workstation today should cost what SGI's did back in the day. I am saying there is room for a company with an entire packaged solution for specific purposes. Like the o2. If you are a music studio you get a system designed to the best audio production, video the best video production. There is also room for Linux to really compete with OS X (if someone cleans up the mess and makes something as good as IRIX and OS X)

There is not a lot of innovation going into the design of systems anymore. I think that all the "hacks" of yesteryear still have a place today. We are living in a time where all people are doing is adding cores...that is only going to go so far. Apple has decided that it is not interested in building the fastest computers it can so we lost the only Intel/AMD alternative on the market. Everyone is just buying from Intel and dealing with whatever crap they put out. Someone needs to take the next step and really bring workstations to the next level. Dell & HP all make the same thing...Intel based desktops with commodity parts. I want a workstation that was built the way SGI built theirs back in the day. I don't like having just another pile of Intel rubbish on my desk. You look at the insides of a Tezro or Octane and you know a lot of effort, engineering, thought, and care went into building it. You look inside a Dell you can tell nobody really cares anymore.

I think there is room for some drastic performance innovations. There is also room for some better industrial design in workstations. Everything on that chart is awful looking. Give me something that is exciting to use.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby GL1zdA » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:00 pm

cinenate35 wrote:First off on that chart...that iMac is not a workstation. Workstations do not use mobile graphics cards. The only workstation Apple makes is the trash can and that thing is just as proprietary as the SGI boxes.

Well, there always existed workstations with low end graphics. And the Mac Pro except for the form factor is hardly proprietary. It uses a standard Xeon with a standard Intel chipset and standard AMD graphics.

cinenate35 wrote:I am not saying a workstation today should cost what SGI's did back in the day. I am saying there is room for a company with an entire packaged solution for specific purposes. Like the o2. If you are a music studio you get a system designed to the best audio production, video the best video production. There is also room for Linux to really compete with OS X (if someone cleans up the mess and makes something as good as IRIX and OS X)

But it's so easy nowadays to add an I/O board and install software that no one wants to do turnkey solutions. Look at AVID, look at Autodesk - they just give a short Hardware Compatibility List: Dell/Lenovo/HP and let the reseller put it together. If you want something like the O2 than get a system with a Xeon with Iris Pro P580.

cinenate35 wrote:There is not a lot of innovation going into the design of systems anymore. I think that all the "hacks" of yesteryear still have a place today. We are living in a time where all people are doing is adding cores...that is only going to go so far. Apple has decided that it is not interested in building the fastest computers it can so we lost the only Intel/AMD alternative on the market. Everyone is just buying from Intel and dealing with whatever crap they put out. Someone needs to take the next step and really bring workstations to the next level. Dell & HP all make the same thing...Intel based desktops with commodity parts.

If AMD recovers you will have more choice. Still dual Xeons with 4 GPUs give you a lot of power, you don't even need that much for most professional software.

cinenate35 wrote:I want a workstation that was built the way SGI built theirs back in the day. I don't like having just another pile of Intel rubbish on my desk. You look at the insides of a Tezro or Octane and you know a lot of effort, engineering, thought, and care went into building it. You look inside a Dell you can tell nobody really cares anymore.

You haven't looked inside the high-end x86 workstations, right? Open a HP Z840 and tell me it was carelessly designed.

cinenate35 wrote:I think there is room for some drastic performance innovations.

There has to be demand for it. In the 90s there was for example real time editing of HD material so you've got the big Onyxes, Octanes and Tezros. But after few years PCs were able to do the same. I don't see anything like that now.

cinenate35 wrote:There is also room for some better industrial design in workstations. Everything on that chart is awful looking. 1Give me something that is exciting to use.

I've recently acquired an Octane (ex Flame) from a film studio. They liked it, but they attitude was nowhere near what we can see on Nekochan. It was a tool for them, they've upgraded to the PC version of Flame and still use it. No one complains about it as long as it gets the work done. Most would choose a quieter workstation (which the current x86 ones do nicely) over a good looking one.
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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby spiroyster » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:41 pm

The MacPro Gen2, while not modular (although I think the case design could lend itself well to that functionality), is an absolute engineering marvel internally. I think its gorgeous, although over priced given the performance it offers (my boss has one). I would say the current performance is well within requirements of most users?

For batch rendering, systems like Octane (otoy owner render engine, not sgi workstation) work with multiple GPGPU's and Lagoa render of on the cloud and can achieve near real time results. Studios which cannot work online can opt for hosting their own clusters in which parallelism must be utilised as much as possible (more CPU cores the better, shite loads of GPU/cuda cores even better!). Workstations these days aren't like what they were :?

I guess it depends on the requirements of the production at the time?

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby vishnu » Fri Sep 23, 2016 4:21 pm

All the workstations at my place of employ are now HP Z series, they rock but our big models still push 'em past their limits. The guys who are building the new Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers claim to have modeled the entire ship in Catia: http://nns.huntingtoningalls.com/employees/pub/watch/3Dmodeling
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Re: HP(e) buys SGI for US$275MM

Unread postby uunix » Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:18 pm

vishnu wrote: Ford class aircraft carriers

Ford Aircraft carriers... hmmmmm

Ford_Sierra_front_20081218.jpg


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