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What Led to the Fall of SGI? – Epilogue

by on May 1, 2009

sgi_cube_logoWell, it’s official.  The once Proud and Mighty SGI has fallen and Rackable is buying up SGI’s Assets for the sum of $42.5Million, to be closed by next Friday (May 8th).  The “What Led to the Fall of SGI?” Series is pretty much complete.   So what does this all mean?  And what have I forgotten in all this?

Huge questions remain, and I’ll talk about them.. Inside.

Unfortunately, most of the questions outstanding at the moment don’t have answer, and probably won’t for a while.

  1. What about SGI’s systems in the field? SGI has lots of systems currently deployed, and even has systems yet to be deployed.  While Rackable is taking over, there’s nothing to say they have to honor the existing contracts.  These systems could be left high and dry, or transferred over to Rackable.  It’s too early to tell.
  2. What about SGI’s Products? This one has some preliminary answers.  SGI and Rackable operate in totally different business sectors, so there’s really no overlap of services.  Both companies claim that they’ll be keeping pretty much all of the SGI products.
  3. What about SGI Employees? This one is another unclear question.  The press releases are very specific, oddly so, that Rackable is taking over SGI’s “Assets”.  Nothing is said about employees, unless you consider Employees as another Asset.  Either way, it’s a very dehumanizing and has to be pretty demoralizing for SGI staff.
  4. What about SGI Management? I imagine most of these guys are on the way out.  I don’t think anyone’s been very thrilled with the management decisions in the last few years, and there isn’t really a need for them once they’re folded into Rackable.
  5. What about large SMP architectures? For years, if you wanted anything over 128-core SMP, you were talking to SGI.  Surely Rackable will continue this trend, and possibly even license the architecture and technology to their competitors.  This transition could bring large-scale SMP back into the mainstream.
  6. What about the swag? SGI was known to have some great swag over the years.  TShirts, keychains, coffee mugs, mousepads, and more were given away by the thousands to guests and customers.  Surely they have entire warehouses of this stuff still around, and hopefully someone will open the floodgates before it’s all destroyed.

All of this still yields even more questions.  Rackable has to be reeling at the prospect of absorbing an 1800+ person company into it’s 300+ strong ranks.  Not only are they absorbing the people (maybe), but the high-performance computing resources and hardware which they have no experience in, and the legacy of everything we’ve covered in the SGI Behind The Scenes series.

So, with all of this, I formally invite anyone within SGI or Rackable to send in any information about the merger.  There will be alot of questions, answers, and rumors floating around both companies over the next few weeks and I invite them to fill the rest of the world in.  You can comment here (anonymously if you choose), send it via email to [email protected], or use the form on our About page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Also, if anyone cares to send some SGI Swag to us at VizWorld, to immortalize the once great SGI, drop us a line and we’ll work something out. 😉