The acquisition should help SGI build Linux-based clusters for high-performance computing.
is looking to boost its supercomputer profile.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.,
company, which continues to rank as one of the leading builders of
supercomputers, announced Feb. 14 that it has acquired Linux Networx, a company
best known for developing Linux clusters for HPC
In the world of supercomputing, clusters remain the dominant architecture
for building these massive machines. Of the Top
406 are designated as clusters. In addition to its role
in building clusters, LNXI (Linux Networx) also specializes in developing and
building systems that use Linux, which remains the dominant operating system
used in HPC.
The supercomputing market is controlled by just a few players, such as
Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SGI
which continue to dominate the list of the Top 500 machines year after year.
The market is also expected to grow about 9 percent through 2011 and many of
these same players are looking to expand that market by bringing more of these
machines out of labs and research facilities and into mainstream enterprises.
The cluster design allows supercomputers to scale to meet the needs of mainstream
businesses. It also allows vendors to use off-the-shelf and commodity
parts, such as x86 microprocessors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, to
build high-performance computers that are much more affordable.
Another company, Appro,
has had success in recent years in building these types of supercomputers.
In a statement, SGI executives said the
software and other technologies SGI acquired
from Linux Networx will help develop "production-ready high-performance"
supercomputers. The deal also gives SGI
access to power and cooling designs.
In addition to its acquisition of Linux Network, SGI
announced that it has received new funding from Oak Investment Partners and
Lehman Brothers, which should allow the company to continue to invest in its
core HPC business.
"We're in a position to acquire key technology and expertise to further
power our growth," SGI CEO
Robert "Bo" Ewald said in a statement. "This represents the
first of such key technology acquisitions and will help further the development
of our software environment and support for our clustered systems."
SGI designed and built 22 of the machines
on the current list of the world's Top 500 supercomputers. Linux Networx, which
a few years ago boasted of more than 15 of its machines on the Top 500 list, is
now credited with nine. IBM remains the
dominant vendor with 232 supercomputers listed on the Top 500.