SGI to provide locally supported Linux servers

SGI will offer locally supported Linux servers, along with its new Windows NT and traditional Unix products, in a line-up set for release next month. New Zealand general manager Peter Vanderveke says the server market is crucial to SGI's growth plans, particularly in the commercial space.

SGI will offer locally supported Linux servers, along with its new Windows NT and traditional Unix products, in a line-up set for release next month.

And in another tip of the hat to the open-source market, SGI has announced that it will make the heart of its Irix operating system - its 64-bit XFS file system - available to the open-source community. The move is seen by some observers as a necessary technical boost for Linux, which has been criticised as not robust enough for certain operationally intensive, enterprise-class applications. XFS will enable Linux to scale high enough to handle file systems with as much as 18 million terabytes of data and files as large as nine million terabytes. The final code is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

New Zealand general manager Peter Vanderveke says the server market is crucial to SGI's growth plans, particularly in the commercial space. SGI New Zealand is poised to conclude a good financial year, which ends in June. Vanderveke says growth will be in the order of 35%-plus, on constant staff numbers of 22.

Two supercomputer sales have contributed strongly to that growth: a Cray to NIWA, and a 32-processor Origin to Auckland University.

"Internally, we've split into two - low-volume, high-value and high margin; and a channels market for our workstations," Vanderveke says. "We've got about 40 resellers and our strategy is not to compete with them."

He expects SGI locally will launch a Web site for its resellers to order directly from, ahead of a similar planned site in the US.

It's been a year of changes for SGI - both internationally and locally - with the company revamping its branding focus and introducing a horizontal, global selling model. After a survey on the logo and brand SGI found that while Silicon Graphics is well known as a graphics brand, it was not known in the server market, Vanderveke says. SGI has become the overall brand, with the Silicon Graphics name for graphical workstations but SGI the brand for new server products.

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