Meshing the high-performance compute power of SGI with HPE’s strong portfolio | #HPEDiscover


The recent acquisition of SGI gives HPE a view into high-end, specialized supercomputing markets. While it has been in the High-Performance Compute space before, with Apollo, SGI gives HPE a big boost into the arena, according to Bill Mannel, VP and GM, high-performance computing and big data, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

Mannel and Eng Lim Goh, PhD, senior VP and CTO of Silicon Graphics International Corp. (SGI), joined Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and Paul Gillin (@pgillin), co-hosts of theCUBE*, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during HPE Discover EU, held in London. (*Disclosure below) They discussed what the merger means to both companies, as well as how it gives access to some of the top HPC bids.

The merger and what it means for HPC

Mannel and Goh explained how the match between SGI and HPE is a good one, as much of the technologies between the two companies are complementary. “We felt it was a good fit for HPE to advance in both high-performance computing and mission-critical areas,” said Mannel. He also explained that HPE’s existing HPC system, Apollo, is focused more on the commercial space, whereas SGI is focused on the public sector, such as research and life sciences. In many ways, the portfolios of both companies mesh well.

Goh said that SGI’s two main products — ICE (fifth-generation supercomputing) and UV (a first-generation mission-critical memory system) — will be carried over into the HPE product line, integrating SGI into the overall continuum of HPE’s product offerings. In particular, “UV’s scale-up architecture will be incorporated for SAP HANA,” said Goh.

Time to bid for the ‘big boys’ of HPC

Gillin asked if there were markets SGI couldn’t approach as an independent company, for lack of resources, but now they can as part of HPE?

“Our biggest machine today is NASA’s, at number 13 on the list [of the top 500 HPCs]. … We’ve been given opportunities to bid for the top 10, and there are times, [because of] the financial [resources] of our small company, we decided not to bid,” Goh said.

He went on to explain while that wasn’t usually the only reason, it was certainly one of the reasons. With this acquisition, as part of a bigger organization, with stronger financial resources, the top 10 is now within reach, he added.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of HPE Discover EU(*Disclosure: HPE and other companies sponsor some HPE Discover EU segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither HPE nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo by SiliconANGLE