SGI Completes Fiscal 2007 With Key Customer Wins, Launches New HPC Blade System

Fourth Quarter Sees Company Unveil SGI Altix ICE System as Altix XE and Storage Solutions Gain Momentum with Customers

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With a new CEO at its helm, SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) completed its fiscal year 2007 with the launch of a breakthrough blade system purpose-built for high-performance computing (HPC), while racking up significant customer wins across SGI's server and storage product lines. The company also released financial results for the Fiscal Year 2007 today,

The company's fourth quarter, which ended June 29, was SGI's first fiscal quarter under the leadership of Bo Ewald, who was named CEO in April. Working with SGI's leadership and global workforce, Ewald has focused on positioning SGI for sustainable long-term growth and innovation through delivery of uniquely competitive, customer-focused solutions.

New products and industry alliances

In June, SGI unveiled SGI(R) Altix(R) ICE 8200, the first in a new line of bladed servers designed to close the growing gap between performance and user productivity. Built to accommodate large and varied scale-out workloads, SGI Altix ICE delivers the advantages of blade computing without forcing users to accept compromises in price/performance, power and space efficiency, reliability and manageability. Its ultra-dense rack architecture delivers up to 40 percent more compute performance per floor tile than competing blades. Meanwhile, the Altix ICE system's highly efficient design minimizes demands on the data center's space and power, helping to relieve the growing burden of housing, powering and cooling today's HPC systems.

Also during the quarter, SGI joined the BioIT Alliance, a group of organizations working together to realize the potential of personalized medicine. The Alliance unites SGI with other innovators in the pharmaceutical, biotech, hardware, and software industries to explore new ways to share complex biomedical data and collaborate among multi-disciplinary teams to speed the pace of discovery in the life sciences.

Major NASA acquisitions and contracts

In August, NASA turned to SGI to acquire the world's largest shared-memory supercomputer as part of NAS Technology Refresh (NTR), a four-phase evaluation and procurement process that eventually will replace the Columbia supercomputer system, powered by SGI(R) Altix(R). Installed in August at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at the Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., the new system is the first supercomputer to operate 2,048 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor cores and 4TB of memory under a single copy of Linux(R) OS; as such, it is the largest Linux single system image (SSI) in the world. NASA also acquired two ultra-dense SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 10000 systems totaling 240TB to efficiently handle the massive data storage requirements.

Separately, SGI was again named a prime contract holder for a multi-billion dollar U.S. Government IT purchasing program, also administered by NASA. Under the seven-year NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) IV Program, every product SGI sells is available to NASA and other U.S. Government agencies at prices published on the SEWP IV schedule. The purchasing program represents total procurements that could reach as much as $5.6 billion through April of 2014. The program involves 37 Competed Prime Contract Holders offering a wide range of IT products. SGI is the only Contract Holder to win a Class 4, High-Performance Compute Servers, contract.

Customers embrace new SGI Altix ICE systems

Just weeks after its June launch, SGI reports brisk sales of its new SGI Altix ICE platform. Among the customer wins were:

    -- French oceanographers expect to make waves throughout the world, now
       that IFREMER, the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the
       Sea, has a acquired an SGI Altix ICE 8200 blade cluster powered by 256
       Intel Xeon cores and a 16TB SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 4500 system. IFREMER
       chose the SGI solution over competing clusters from IBM, HP, Sun, Dell
       and Bull for several reasons: SGI's ability to deliver excellent
       performance-per-core and on the institute's many scientific codes;
       increased reliability on the SGI Altix ICE system due to a design
       allowing for fewer cables; SGI's deep expertise in HPC; and SGI's
       reliance on industry-standard components, including Intel Xeon
       processors and SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 from Novell. Installed in
       August, the new SGI cluster and storage solution will allow researchers
       to work efficiently with ever-larger data volumes as they run a variety
       of applications, including WaveWatchlll, MARS, OPA, HYCOM, CORIOLIS.

    -- The University of Exeter purchased a 128-core, 16TB SGI Altix ICE 8200
       system to simulate the formation of stars and planets. The Altix ICE
       blade system's pre-installed software allowed Exeter's theoretical
       astrophysics team to get their new system up and running the same day
       it arrived. The university reports that achieving productivity so
       quickly on such a powerful system helped to realize a rapid return on
       investment. In fact, based on the performance of the system since it
       was installed at Exeter in June, researchers expect to reduce the time
       to it takes to complete a detailed simulation of a massive hydrogen
       field from a year to only six weeks.

    -- The Center for Parallel Computing (NACAD) at the Federal University of
       Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro: UFRJ) acquired
       a new SGI Altix ICE system and SGI InfiniteStorage solution to drive
       engineering, scientific, database and data mining applications. UFRJ
       researchers are leveraging the SGI deployment, which will augment
       existing SGI solutions and is expected to be installed in September, to
       solve a wide range of problems: simulating environmental impacts in the
       Amazon, understanding the effect of waves in offshore production
       platform, characterizing reservoirs, clustering analysis, and
       conducting complex OLAP queries. The new SGI Altix ICE system is
       powered by 152 Intel(R) Xeon(R) cores and 304GB of memory. UFRJ also
       upgraded its SGI(R) Altix 450 system to a configuration with 32 Intel
       Itanium 2 processor cores and 64GB of memory. The SGI systems, which
       run SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell(R), are backed by an
       expanded 32TB SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 4050 network attached storage
       solution. UFRJ selected the SGI solutions over offerings from IBM, HP,
       Sun and Bull.

Growing momentum for Altix XE

SGI also extended its reach into key vertical markets and geographies with solutions built around Intel Xeon processor-based SGI(R) Altix(R) XE clusters. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, those wins included:

    -- Miller Brothers Retail Ltd., a specialist electrical retailer selling
       more than 15,000 products and accessories, invested in an SGI Altix
       server solution to drive its PostgreSQL as part of a strategic move to
       conduct most of its business over the Internet. A lack of in-house
       expertise in deploying PC clusters prompted Miller Brothers to seek out
       a single system capable of handling its database, while enabling a fast
       and seamless installation to avoid impacting its fast-growing business.
       (In addition to selling electrical products via its  own  Web  site,  the
              company  operates  "white  label"  sites  on  behalf  of  several  large
              partners,  including  Wal-Mart  subsidiary  Asda,  one  of  the  UK's  largest
              supermarket  chains.)  To  meet  those  needs,  Miller  Brothers  purchased  an
              SGI  Altix  450  mid-range  server  with  eight  Intel  Itanium  2  processor
              cores.  To  meet  the  company's  tight  timescales,  SGI  configured  and
              shipped  the  system  within  24  hours,  and  it  was  fully  operational  the
              very  next  day.  Miller  Brothers  reports  that  its  new  SGI  Altix  450
              system  has  paid  unexpected  dividends:  the  additional  power  and
              scalability  of  the  Altix  platform  has  allowed  the  company  to  add  more
              trading  partners  than  it  had  originally  planned,  and  Miller  Brothers  is
              generating  new  business  as  a  result.

        --  Les  Taxis  Bleus  (Blue  Taxi),  the  leading  cab  company  in  Paris,  is
              moving  its  Oracle  software-based  order  processing  and  reservation
              management  system  to  a  new  SGI  Altix  XE  server  and  SGI(R)
              InfiniteStorage  solution  to  guarantee  fast,  reliable  service  to  taxi
              customers  24  hours  a  day.  The  company  serves  as  a  booking  center  for
              more  than  3,000  independent  cab  drivers  throughout  Paris  and  the  Paris
              Region.  Transaction  processing  and  radio  communications  are
              administered  via  a  four-core  SGI(R)  Altix(R)  XE240  server  equipped  with
              8GB  of  memory  and  running  Red  Hat(R)  Enterprise  Linux(R)  v.4.  The
              system  taps  an  Oracle  10g  database  and  1TB  of  SGI(R)  InfiniteStorage
              220  direct-attached  Fibre  Channel  storage,  which  neutralizes
              infrastructure  bottlenecks  that  might  otherwise  impact  service  delivery
              and  customer  satisfaction.  The  entire  configuration  is  repeated  in  a
              replicated  configuration  that  backs  up  the  primary  system.  Processing
              some  40,000  calls  and  transactions  a  day,  Les  Taxis  Bleus  relies  on  the
              SGI  solution  to  work  non-stop,  day  and  night.

        --  Vanguard  Animation,  to  successfully  create  and  complete  the  computer-
              generated  feature  film  Space  Chimps,  purchased  10  SGI  Altix  XE310
              servers  with  64GB  RAM  and  four  Quad-Core  Intel  Xeon  processors  running
              Red  Hat  Linux  Fedora  Core  5  and  PipelineFX  Qube!(TM)    software.  In  a
              head-to-head  server  comparison,  the  SGI  Workflow-Ready  Solution  for
              Render  Management  employing  PipelineFX  Qube!  and  SGI  Altix  XE310
              servers  came  out  on  top  in  terms  of  price-performance.  Because  of  their
              use  of  Renderman  and  Maya  software,  the  fact  that  SGI  Altix  servers  all
              run  the  Linux  environment  and  use  Intel  processors  was  critical  to  the
              studio.  The  Altix  XE310  servers  delivered  the  ultimate  performance
              density;  they  gave  Vanguard  Animation  a  20  to  30  percent  improvement  in
              rendering  speed.

        --  To  drive  its  increasingly  difficult  quantitative  interpretation,
              petrophysics,  seismic  time  processing  and  depth  imaging  studies,
              DownUnder  GeoSolutions  (DUG)  purchased  a  640-core,  320GB  SGI(R)
              Altix(R)  XE  1300  cluster  for  installation  at  DUG  headquarters  in  Perth,
              Western  Australia.  The  new  SGI  cluster  increases  DUG's  overall
              computational  performance  five-fold,  allowing  DUG  experts  to  provide
              global  energy  industry  clients  with  more  accurate  insights  into  what
              they  can  expect  to  find  when  drilling  miles  below  the  earth's  surface.

        --  At  the  University  of  Minnesota  Supercomputing  Institute  for  Digital
              Simulation  and  Advanced  Computation,  a  massive  new  SGI  Altix  XE  cluster
              will  ensure  that  current  and  emerging  generations  of  processor-hungry
              applications  won't  slow  down  scientists  and  engineers.  The  2,048-core
              SGI  Altix  XE  1300  cluster,  installed  in  May,  will  transform  the
              familiar  submit-and-wait  research  experience  into  a  vastly  more
              interactive  and  productive  one.  Outfitted  with  more  than  4TB  of  memory
              across  256  compute  nodes,  Minnesota's  new  Altix  XE  cluster  will  drive
              research  in  physical,  biological,  medical,  mathematical  and  computing
              sciences,  in  addition  to  engineering  studies  and  academic-industry
              collaboration.  Minnesota's  system  also  is  linked  via  a  high-bandwidth
              InfiniBand  connection  and  runs  SUSE  Linux  Enterprise  Server  10  from
              Novell.  Minnesota  acquired  the  system  by  working  with  SGI  and  James
              River  Technical,  Inc.

        --  Dedic,  the  contact  center  company  from  Portugal  Telecom  Group,  acquired
              an  SGI  Altix  XE  cluster  to  drive  a  payroll  system  for  Dedic's  14,000
              employees.  The  primary  Altix  XE  solution,  comprised  of  Altix  XE210,
              XE240  and  XE310  servers,  is  powered  by  a  total  of  56  Intel  Xeon  cores
              and  72GB  of  memory.  The  SGI  Altix  XE  platform  was  certified  by
              Microsiga  for  its  Protheus  payroll  software  system,  enabling  Dedic  to
              take  advantage  of  the  Altix  XE  platform's  leading  price/performance  to
              enable  a  reliable,  high-performance  payroll  environment.  Installed  in
              June,  the  Altix  systems  run  SUSE  Linux  Enterprise  Server  10  from

        --  Queensland  University  of  Technology  (QUT)  selected  SGI  to  provide  a  new
              HPC  infrastructure  to  enable  a  new  era  of  scientific  and  engineering
              research.  In  a  contract  won  in  conjunction  with  Intel,  SGI  is  providing
              a  hybrid  SGI  supercomputing,  cluster  and  storage  solution  that  is
              tightly  integrated  and  yet  flexible  enough  to  serve  multiple  research
              disciplines.  The  solution  will  include  a  96-core,  192GB  SGI  Altix  4700
              shared-memory  supercomputer  powered  by  Dual-Core  Intel  Itanium  2
              processors  and  a  112-core,  224GB  SGI  Altix  XE1200  cluster  powered  by
              Quad-Core  Intel  Xeon  5300  series  processors.  The  new  systems  are
              supported  by  a  high-performance  28TB  SGI  InfiniteStorage  solution.

        --  Two  facilities  at  the  Universidade  Estadual  de  Campinas  (UNICAMP),  the
              State  University  of  Campinas  in  Sao  Paolo,  Brazil,  invested  in  SGI
              compute  and  data  management  solutions  to  tackle  a  range  of  high-
              performance  computing  problems.
              --  In  an  effort  to  improve  downstream  processes  at  Brazilian  oil  firm
                    Petrobras,  UNICAMP's  School  of  Chemical  Engineering  purchased  a
                    136-core,  272GB  SGI  Altix  XE1300  cluster  supported  by  an  8TB
                    network-attached  SGI  InfiniteStorage  350  solution.  The  new  cluster
                    and  storage  deployment  will  help  solve  increasingly  complex  CFX
                    computational  fluid  dynamics  (CFD)  simulations.  Leading  performance
                    of  the  Altix  XE  platform  and  Intel  Xeon  processors  prompted  UNICAMP
                    to  select  SGI  over  HP  and  Dell.  The  Altix  XE  cluster  runs  SUSE  Linux
                    Enterprise  Server  10  from  Novell.
              --  A  mounting  need  to  provide  HPC  resources  to  a  growing  number  of
                    simultaneous  users  led  UNICAMP  CENAPAD,  a  National  Center  for  High-
                    Performance  Computing,  to  purchase  a  176-core  SGI  Altix  450  compute
                    solution  and  a  combination  of  new  and  upgraded  SGI  InfiniteStorage
                    systems  that  added  more  than  56TB  of  capacity  to  its  HPC  storage  and
                    data  management  infrastructure.  Selected  over  competing  solutions
                    from  HP,  IBM  and  Bull,  the  new  SGI  deployment  will  allow  CENAPAD  to
                    support  more  researchers  at  one  time,  while  reducing  their  time  to
                    discovery.  UNICAMP  CENAPAD  supports  users  from  many  different
                    research  institutes  and  Universities  in  Brazil.  CENAPAD  users  will
                    rely  on  the  SGI  solutions  to  derive  maximum  performance  from  such
                    applications  as  Gaussian,  VASP,  CPMD  and  other  chemistry  and  physics
                    codes.  The  Altix  450  system  also  will  run  SUSE  Enterprise  Linux
                    Server  10  from  Novell.

        --  Massey  University  in  Auckland,  New  Zealand,  acquired  an  Altix  XE
              cluster  to  drive  a  range  of  scientific  disciplines.  Outfitted  with  208
              Intel  Xeon  processor  cores  and  416GB  of  memory,  Massey's  new  Altix  XE
              cluster  will  form  part  of  the  New  Zealand  BESTGRID  project,  giving  the
              new  system  high  national  visibility.  Three  InfiniBand  switches  enable
              fast  communication  between  nodes.  The  university  selected  the  SGI
              cluster,  built  from  13  SGI  Altix  XE310  nodes  and  three  InfiniBand
              switches,  because  it  delivers  best-in-class  price/performance  and
              density,  while  InfiniBand  provides  fast  HPC-class  interconnect
              capabilities.  SGI  delivered  the  cluster  to  Massey  in  August.

        --  Central  Queensland  University  deployed  an  extensive  SGI  Altix  XE  and
              SGI  InfiniteStorage  installation  to  enable  new  areas  of  scientific
              research  and  data  management  at  the  Australian  institution.  The  Quad-
              Core  Altix  cluster  is  comprised  of  multiple  SGI  Altix  XE310
              computational  nodes,  an  SGI  Altix  XE240  file  server  and  SGI  Altix  XE210
              administration  and  head  nodes.  Delivered  in  June,  the  cluster  is
              integrated  with  a  6TB  SGI  InfiniteStorage  220  solution  and  SGI  Data
              Migration  Facility,  which  will  provide  the  ongoing  data  management
              capability  necessary  for  multiple  researchers  to  access  and  manage  data
              on  demand.

        --  Otago  University,  one  of  New  Zealand's  leading  research  institutions,
              acquired  a  turnkey  SGI  Altix  XE1200  Cluster  Solution  and  SGI
              InfiniteStorage  220  solution  to  equip  its  physics  and  chemistry
              departments  with  a  state-of-the-art  compute  and  data  management
              platform  powered  by  Intel  Xeon  quad-core  processors.  The  Quad-Core
              cluster  was  selected  in  a  competitive  evaluation  after  SGI  demonstrated
              the  Altix  XE  performance  advantage  through  extensive  benchmark  tests.
              Installed  in  July,  the  factory-integrated  Altix  XE  and  InfiniteStorage
              solution  will  allow  Otago  researchers  to  focus  on  science,  and  minimize
              system  management.


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