After the announcement yesterday we started rifling through our Rolodexes here at insideHPC HQ looking for industry comment. Predictably, most of the folks we got in touch with were at public companies and loathe to talk on the record (though in some cases I swear I was able to hear hands rubbing together in glee). But we did get in touch with Charlie Wuischpard, CEO of Penguin Computing, and in an insideHPC exclusive he was willing to share his take on the goings on:
Honestly, I’m not surprised at the deal since I knew Rackable was shopping but I think it’s going to be very problematic…not the least of which is because you now have two very different companies, with different focus and culture, who have both lost loads of money in the last 2 years. If you follow Rackable, they have still been touting the web business and the data center in a box (shipping container) concept. Very data center focused and no real IP or skill set in HPC (by their own admission and remember the failure of Rapidscale). I suppose you could plop Rackable’s management team and balance sheet into SGI and keep the focus on HPC but even under ideal circumstances, that will be difficult.
At the end of the day, as I’m sure you would expect me to say, we see this as a positive event for Penguin! It puts the SGI install base in play (and some of their remaining best people)…and I think Penguin should enter more short lists as a result.