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.