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Supercomputing Linux Business

SGI Acquires Linux Networx Assets, LNXI Dead? 96

anzha writes "It seems that that Linux Networx, the pioneering Linux supercomputing company, has gone belly up. SGI announced that it has bought the core assets of LNXI. Furthermore, the rumors are that the doors were locked and employees were just given their paychecks. This analysis, on the other hand, claims that SGI has 'made employment offers to many LNXI engineers.' It's unclear what kind of support will be extended to customers of LNXI's Clusterworx Advanced products. What does this mean for the future of Linux supercomputing?"
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SGI Acquires Linux Networx Assets, LNXI Dead?

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  • What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Friday February 15, 2008 @10:14AM (#22433870)
    Weak company buys weaker company just to shut it down? Am I missing something? What percentage of the super computing market does SGI and Linux Networx have now? With the top 500 dominated by Linux systems I think Linux based super computing is in good shape. Sure customers that took a chance on Linux Networx MAY be screwed, but only because SGI isn't in a strong position to be around much longer. Someone who cares should look into the deal and the involvement of any LBO firms. Smells kind of SCOish.
  • Re:Belly Up? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday February 15, 2008 @10:18AM (#22433920) Journal

    Since SGI hasn't turned a profit in forever and usually loses about $100M a year ...
    False. Their net income [] for 2006 was -$146.19 Million while their net income for 2007 was $222.61 Million. You may have been correct but at least in 2007 it looked like they have turned things around.
  • by flaming-opus ( 8186 ) on Friday February 15, 2008 @12:37PM (#22435526)
    SGI probably got the technology for pennies on the dollar. When a company closes its doors, the investors and creditors are left holding the bag, and they're interested in getting out from under a little bit of that debt, and do it quick. If they don't unload the intellectual property quickly, it decays, looses mindshare in the marketplace, and falls out of date. This is doubly true in the world of linux, where you have to keep up with the kernel changes, and the changing distributions.

    Similarly, SGI has changed a lot of their focus from their expensive cache-coherent single-system-image servers to clusters of small/cheap nodes. SGI has great compiler technology, data-management software, and systems integration knowledge. They may not, however, have great systems-management tech. You don't need that for single-system-image machines. Even the big columbia machine at nasa is only a cluster of 20 machines. You can do a lot of stuff by hand, or with creative shell scripts, when you're dealing with 20 machines. With 400, it's tougher. I'm sure this won't solve all their problems, but I bet it will help quite a bit.
  • by ryanisflyboy ( 202507 ) * on Friday February 15, 2008 @12:40PM (#22435572) Homepage Journal
    The CEO of SGI used to be the CEO of Linux Networx:

    Robert "Bo" Ewald
    Chief Executive Officer

    Bo Ewald joins SGI as CEO with over 25 years of relevant industry experience in the high performance computing markets. He is a seasoned industry veteran with a successful track record as a CEO.
    Rather interesting, don't you think?
  • by Maller ( 21311 ) on Friday February 15, 2008 @12:43PM (#22435626)
    One Linux-based HPC vendor bought out another Linux-based HPC vendor, this will not really effect Linux on HPC. All of the Top 10 of the TOP500 use Linux in one way or another. The Blue Genes have SLES on the service nodes and CNK on the compute nodes. The SGI is SLES with add-ons. The HPs are Linux clusters. The Crays are SLES on the service nodes and either Catamount or Linux on the computes.

    Linux is very pervasive in HPC and becoming more so. Since I know a little something about Cray, the newest vector and scalar lines both use Cray Linux Environment (CLE) formerly called Compute Node Linux (CNL). Cray's CNL was released in second half of 2007 and already over half of the Cray processors in production are running CLE on the computes instead of Catamount, the very lean, proprietary compute node OS.

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