Itaniums? sgi to use Dorado line to boost workstations?

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zizban
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Re: Dorado

Unread postby zizban » Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:50 pm

Diego wrote:As soon as they get done a tardist compatable "Software Manager" / "Software Packager" duetto for LINUX, and good drivers for the ATI graphic boardset, I don't mind if one of thoses "Dorado" Workstations lives in my desktop...


Linux has lot of software repositories, some of them much smarter than tardist so I don't expect SGI to do anything about that.

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Re: Dorado

Unread postby GeneratriX » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:36 pm

zizban wrote:Linux has lot of software repositories, some of them much smarter than tardist so I don't expect SGI to do anything about that.


...Are you sure? :roll:

And why every time I try to use seriously Linux in my office it gets me screwed with a lot of wrong-feels about his whole nature? :)

I don't think (REALLY) that the software packaging used by RedHat (RPM), Debian, or SlackWare can be better than thoses from IRIX at all... sorry, I can't share your opinion there...

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Unread postby zizban » Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:47 pm

I dont know. I love apt-get and dpkg. Awesome.

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Re: Itaniums? sgi to use Dorado line to boost workstations?

Unread postby SiliconBunny » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:04 pm

hamei wrote:Why would anyone want to buy this ? There's not a single thing about it that's special. You can buy anything you want from Sun and they haven't changed their minds every fifteen minutes about what their future is.


Because MIPS just isn't fast enough, no matter how balanced a system it's in.
Because making MIPS faster requires far more money now than it did in the past - the bar is much higher. Sun have quaterly revenue in the *billions*, and they can't do it anymore.
Because Sun don't have anything to touch this in terms of bandwidth.

Speaking of Sun, they have changed their roadmap massively:
- SPARC from desktop to enterprise, full binary compatability
- oops, we'll sell Intel kit as well now
- no Solaris x86 for you! Linux on our x86 kit
- oops, you can have Solaris x86 now. Sorry.
- behold our new dual core CPU!
- oops, no more UltraSPARC for you.
- behold our new multi-core horizontally scaling CPUs!
- meet Fujitsu, who will make our UltraSPARC replacements
- sorry, it's AMD64 at the low end and on the desktop now

Exactly what sort of roadmap is that?
Sun are now where SGI where 5-6 years ago - not enough revenue to continue to pay for extensive R&D, new chips getting more and more expensive to build (even with massively more volume than SGI at their peak), and introducing x86 stuff because it's what people want to buy.

hamei wrote:AND you can still run Solaris executables even on their newest workstations !


I'd like to see you running Solaris/SPARC executables on an Opteron workstation. Sun lost binary compatability across their range many years ago.

At least SGI are doing something about that. Sun just look embarassed and change the subject when you bring that up with them.

hamei wrote:Nothing on the desktop that SGI has done newer than the Octane shows any imagination whatsoever - so why spend four times as much money for half as much computer ? It was different when you were comparing an Octane to a Clunker, but hell - what has SGI done that's technically advanced or exciting since 1996 ? Nothing, as far as I can see.


Then you're not looking hard enough. The Origin 3000 is pretty advanced.
So's getting that architecture to work with Itanium.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall when you tell John Mashey that that stuff isn't exciting or technologically advanced.

Or is the market so flooded with scalable NUMA systems that Origin and Altix are now mundane?

Go and work with F25ks and you'll realise how far behind the curve Sun are.

CXFS is vastly more capable than any other shared filesystem out there. Do you have any idea how incredibly difficult it is to do something like that?

In what way is Onyx4 not advanced? Do you have that many machines with 32 graphics cores - that you can combine and split at will - that the Onyx4 is a mediocre box?

How many other machines have the bandwidth and raw CPU power of the Prism? Can you see any other machines - on the desktop - than can handle 4K imaging? In real time?

Have you seen the sort of bandwidth and sustained throughput that clusters of Altix and Origins can get talking to SGI storage? I fail to see how that is mundane or not advanced - it blows other vendors away.

There's more to life than the desktop.

In order to have any sort of R&D - or, indeed, any sort of future - SGI has to build and sell what the market wants.

This isn't 2000 any more. Companies don't buy IT equipment just because it's new and shiny. SGI are still innovating and still doing clever stuff, and still surviving because of that. If they were still doing pure MIPS/IRIX they would have gone under several years ago.

Would NASA have even bothered to talk to SGI for Columbia if it was Origin 3000 based? No, of course not - they would have gone to IBM.

I still look forward to the new machines from SGI, because they're still exciting, innovative, and ultimately very clever pieces of kit.

Cheers,
TOM
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Re: Dorado

Unread postby foetz » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:05 pm

Diego wrote:
zizban wrote:Linux has lot of software repositories, some of them much smarter than tardist so I don't expect SGI to do anything about that.


...Are you sure? :roll:

And why every time I try to use seriously Linux in my office it gets me screwed with a lot of wrong-feels about his whole nature? :)

I don't think (REALLY) that the software packaging used by RedHat (RPM), Debian, or SlackWare can be better than thoses from IRIX at all... sorry, I can't share your opinion there...


i second that. irix' inst format is the best i've ever worked with by far.

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Unread postby foetz » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:09 pm

very good report, tom :D

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Unread postby SiliconBunny » Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:07 pm

foetz wrote:very good report, tom :D


*bows*

Cheers,
TOM
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Unread postby LaLora » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:16 pm

Would NASA have even bothered to talk to SGI for Columbia if it was Origin 3000 based? No, of course not


In case you still don't know - "Columbia" was almost entirely "donated" to NASA by SGI. They rushed to set it up quickly right before November Top 500 HPC list, so they could be on or near the top of the list for Altix "promotion" purpose. "Columbia", various sources estimate, at that time represnted around 10% of ALL global Itanium2 processor sales. When somebody has to "donate" 10% of all global sales of a new processor just to convince customers about their new system then that is more a sign of weakness for that company than some big success.

No, of course not - they would have gone to IBM.


It's quite funny that you wrote this line because:

"..If Itanium2 failes, SGI will be bought by IBM and their engineers will be used to boost new IBM systems with their experince.."

..was (or similar) written just a few months ago at HPC forum by someone close to IBM or SGI. Then, about a week later, I checked again at that forum and saw a very wierd thing - the posted message, and even all messages posted under (actually almost all messages on forum) were deleted (it's quite empty now), by administrator(s). Lots of people from industry come to visit TOP 500 site, sometimes even SGI has ads there, and SGI probably demanded for those messages quoting that they'll be bought by IBM be deleted.
It probably is not a secret in industry and business world any more that SGI will be bought by IBM in the end. The primary force of any high-tech company is always (and ONLY) innovation, new technology, helping new scientific research and so on. Once you loose that - it's over. You can't reinvent another HP zx6000 or claim to be serious scientific supercomputing company while posting news on your website that should attract religion-decision based shareholders and customers!

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Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:27 pm

Why exactly would IBM buy SGI, and where did you get the notion that Columbia was "donated" by SGI to AMES, if anything... Columbia is what has kept SGI alive, seriously.

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Unread postby Cory5412 » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:45 pm

Hmm... While SGI is certainly ahead of the game as far as the technology that goes into their systems... I think that it may be time to start beefing up on some of the specifications of said technology.

I don't actually know how terrible it'd be for SGI or MIPS Technologies to produce a GHz+ processor, especially considering that Sandcraft and other similar vendors have got them going at 900MHz and other near-GHz speeds...

I think that once SGI approaches that four digit number closer, people will be less uneasy about their systems...

In addition, I think that a new workstation would be a great thing to see... inexpensive lil' thing, but also rather kickass... dual processors, inbuilt optical drive(IDE), two SATA channels, and an external scsi port.

I would not be offended at all if SGI started using not-so-expensive-and-proprietary memory too... so this thing's got to have DDR :P

Put it in a slab style workstation case, like the Indy and NeXTSlab, add in USB2 and 1394, onboard, with proper support in the OS and drivers, price it at $8500 (or less), and they'd sell like hotcakes. (maybe?)

I'd certainly love to see what might happen if you took the awesome underpinnings from an OS like IRIX, and applied that to Mac OS... and then applied the hardware innovations (with appropriate system modifications) to PowerPC hardware that could run Mac OS...

Can you say v14 and v16 in the new line of SGI PowerMac G5's, with quad 3GHz processors?

(yeah, I'm a dreamer :P)
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Unread postby Dr. Dave » Mon Apr 18, 2005 8:56 pm

SGI's 'swmanager' is the *only* package manager that I've found that can let you downgrade a whole OS a few notches, and not break very much, if anything at all. Apt-get, I've had dependency hell with in the past, and if you read the instructions, even *they* say that sometimes it's just easier to reformat and start again if you get into trouble.

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Re: Dorado

Unread postby Brombear » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:38 pm

Diego wrote:and good drivers for the ATI graphic boardset


Let me guess, that will happen right after hell has frozen over :lol:

Matthias
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Software Manager

Unread postby GeneratriX » Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:42 pm

Dr. Dave wrote:SGI's 'swmanager' is the *only* package manager that I've found that can let you downgrade a whole OS a few notches, and not break very much, if anything at all. Apt-get, I've had dependency hell with in the past, and if you read the instructions, even *they* say that sometimes it's just easier to reformat and start again if you get into trouble.


Thanks, I'm more happy now.

Seems that I'm not the only one saying that. ;)

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Re: Dorado

Unread postby Dr. Dave » Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:00 pm

Brombear wrote:
Diego wrote:and good drivers for the ATI graphic boardset


Let me guess, that will happen right after hell has frozen over :lol:

Matthias


I do believe the correct phrase is "When Satan skates into work"

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Unread postby R-ten-K » Mon Apr 18, 2005 11:43 pm

swmanager is IMHO one of the best assets of Irix, however my only pet peeve is that the installation process of the OS itself is a tad retarded, but once you get it going swmanager rules!

I do not think there is really any equivalent in the free software community. Although I am partial to the ports from the *BSDs and gentoo emerge when it comes to dealing with free OS. Apt-get is also rather powerful, but I do not think the dependency hell is a fault of the tool but rather the software being managed itself. You still have to deal with the dependency hell when installing gnu stuff under swmanager... so I think people are confusing the installation tool with the faults of the software being installed :) On the other hand, apt-get and its ilk can do things that swmanage can't like installing packages on demand, try updating a gnu software toolchain with swmanager vs. apt-get. Swmanager is a wonderful tool, but seriously it shows its age, I really do not think it has been updated in like 10 yrs or so... IMHO.

I know that hindsight is 20/20 but my feeling is that SGI should have concentrated on just furthering their key technologies with NUMA-link and continue their gfx engines, and adopt a 3rd party CPU earlier in the game once they decided not to make MIPS a competitive platform like 5 yrs ago. At this point, even if SGI releases an $8K workstation it is almost impossible to justify purchasing one, unless you are on a very specific set of requirments which reduces significantly the target audience for these machines which puts SGI back to square one. Oh well....


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