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    SGI Brings Advantages of Altix to Mid-Range Clusters
    Thursday February 03 2005 @ 09:49AM EST

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (February 1, 2005)—Responding to growing demand for high-performance clusters that are cost-effective and easy to administer, Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) today unveiled enhancements to its award-winning mid-range server line. Delivering the unparalleled price/performance and ease of use of SGI® Altix® server for a broad range of cluster implementations, the new SGI® Altix® 1350 and SGI® Altix® Hybrid Cluster bring exceptional flexibility and scalability to any computing environment.

    SGI's expanded cluster offerings address key shortcomings of many competing cluster solutions. While clusters have grown popular as a means of economically increasing compute capacity, many "white box" or generically labeled computer implementations come with hidden expenditures that significantly increase the long-term cost of ownership of clusters, while reducing overall productivity. These include: system management, administrative and programming difficulties often faced by those operating sprawling generic clusters; an inability to efficiently run many high-performance applications on distributed memory clusters; and soaring software licensing and interconnect costs when nodes are added.

    "Clusters have rapidly transitioned from an emerging technology to a standard component of the high-performance computing environments. As with any technology, when an organization expands its use of clusters they begin to identify the "edge of the envelope" - areas where simply extending the technology, i.e. growing the size of cluster, hits a point of diminishing returns," Christopher Willard, Research vice president, High Performance Systems, IDC. "We believe that SGI's Altix 1350 clusters can address emerging end user requirements in such areas as providing powerful and scalable nodes, providing a unified cluster management environment both for homogenous Altix clusters and heterogeneous Altix with COTS clusters, and by providing a distributed computing environment based on a single file system."

    SGI Altix 1350: Scale Clusters at the Node

    Based on the acclaimed SGI® Altix® 350 server, the new Altix 1350 is a factory-integrated cluster that matches superior Altix performance and functionality while reducing total cost of ownership. Altix 1350 cluster nodes scale up to 32 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors on a single instance of the Linux® operating system. Having this ability to scale at the node - rather than by adding new nodes for increased computing needs - means that users have fewer nodes to connect, manage and provision. This also translated into spending far less on software licensing and networking.

    Unlike conventional clusters, the SGI Altix 1350 cluster is easy to deploy and administer, with simple, easy-to-manage configurations and the flexibility to scale up with more processors and/or out with more nodes to address changing business requirements. Altix 1350 comes ready to install as a full cluster solution stack which can be configured with industry-leading management, interconnect and storage technology including Scali Manage™, Platform Computing LSF®, Voltaire® VoltaireVision™ and InfiniBand, and SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions. Also with a rich complement of leading industry applications, Altix 1350 provides a shortened time-to-solution, leveraging the best of both worlds - large node capability plus cluster capacity - to efficiently handle a diverse, multi-job workload. (See related Scali and Voltaire press releases issued today: www.sgi.com/company_info/newsroom/3rd_party.)

    Altix Hybrid Cluster: Altix Power to Boost Heterogeneous Workflows

    SGI today also unveiled the Altix Hybrid Cluster. This single, cohesive computing solution leverages the best of two distinct computing environments by adding superior Altix performance to traditional 32-bit clusters. Common tools and interfaces for managing and using the hybrid cluster create one solution with two architectures, delivering maximum return on investment for heterogeneous or multi-vendor based, workflows.

    The Altix Hybrid Cluster is ideal for customers whose application workload increasingly requires strong computing capability and global-shared memory to complement 32-bit cluster technology. The Altix Hybrid Cluster delivers all the power of Altix to interoperate within any cluster environment. With an unparalleled range of services and technical expertise, SGI can design, implement, and support the optimal cluster computing environment to match each customer's unique requirements.

    One of the key benefits of an Altix Hybrid Cluster is that a customer can choose a multi-dimensional compute solution that fits their diverse workload requirements. They can add or subtract pieces of the cluster to create an optimal compute infrastructure and not be trapped with just one compute architecture.

    Record-Breaking Price/Performance

    SGI's latest cluster offerings are based on the successful SGI Altix 350 server, which recently demonstrated record-breaking price/performance in independent benchmark tests against a host of competing mid-range services. The tests were independently conducted by Multipath Corporation, developers of FMS™, a library that improves performance and problem solving capabilities of scientific and engineering applications. The SGI Altix system's FMS performance eclipsed that of all other similarly configured systems running the same test, and achieved new heights in price/performance.

    "SGI's Altix cluster solutions will help customers break through the mindset that the only way to scale is to add nodes - and complexity and cost - to their computing environments," said Jeff Greenwald, senior director of Marketing and Management, Server and Platform Group, SGI. "With the Altix 1350 and the Altix Hybrid Solution we are making it easier than ever for customers to deploy a cluster solution that not only meets their workload demands today, but also has the headroom to scale up or out in the future."

    Availability

    Factory-integrated Altix 1350 clusters will be available March 2005 and SGI Altix Hybrid Clusters are available immediately from SGI sales offices and SGI Solution Providers worldwide. For more information, visit www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/1350/.

    SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™

    SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: SGI), is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at www.sgi.com.

    < Ten Tips for Building Your First High-Performance Cluster | Voltaire Expands InfiniBand Alliance With SGI >

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