At least one interesting fact got drowned out today (for me anyway) in the raft of announcements following the launch of AMD’s 6100 series Opteron.
A quick scan of SGI’s announcement shows they are slotting it in their existing AMD-based enterprise and cloud portfolio, which is Rackable’s heritage business. But in conversations with the company today I realized that they are also now talking about AMD in the HPC lines.
This move makes sense as a competitive response to Cray, which is now making moves to grow Intel’s presence in its lineup. Here’s what the release says
As part of SGI’s increased commitment to AMD processor support, SGI expects to release AMD Opteron processor-based configurations of its Altix ICE high performance computing (HPC) clusters and Octane III personal supercomputer later this year. Similarly, the SGI HPC cluster software stack will also be available on the AMD Opteron platform for the first time.
In my discussions the company reiterated that both the ICE and Octane III will be available this year, but declined to be any more specific. It’s also significant that the software stack is being ported over to AMD processors. I think both moves make sense, and put the company farther along a path that makes their commitment to Itanium even harder to sustain long (or even medium) term — at least once UV becomes a shipping product.