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Silicon Graphics

Silicon Graphics Will Put Linux On Origin 102

deran9ed writes: "Silicon Graphics plans to introduce a version of its Origin 3000 series computer built around Intel's 64-bit IA-64 Itanium processor running Linux, according to SGI Chairman and CEO Robert Bishop. The current Origin 3000 computers from SGI are built around processors from MIPS Technologies and run SGI's proprietary Irix operating system. SGI has not decided as yet on the name for the new product line. Infoworld article."
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Silicon Graphics Will Put Linux On Origin

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Origin line of machines are not really meant for graphics work - you're thinking of the Oynx machines, which are SGI's high-end graphics machines.

    The Origins are meant more for server and high-end scientific computing. What makes them cool is that every processor can address every piece of RAM without any extra software, just like a big SMP machine. Some people buy them to run web servers and other shit on, but most of the sites that I know use them in place of more traditional supercomputers.

    And furthermore, I'd just like to say that most of your comments are total horseshit:
    A. x86 is certainly the most tried architecture out there (if not always tested as well as it should be by Intel...)
    B. If Apache isn't enterprise-class, what the fuck is?
    C. Graphics applications are undemanding of the operating system? Maybe your lame little everything-fits-on-the-32-meg-TNT2 QuakeIII, but once you get a real fucking application, like the shit you run on an Onyx3k (things like volumetric renderings of 500 meg fMRI datasets) and you hope the OS underneath doesn't start making bad paging decisions...
    D. Few people accuse Linux of being a minimalist kernel. It's not bloated, but it's not minimalist.
    (And before you come back at me with Windows points make damn sure you know the difference between the kernel and the API's...)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You are a moron. Linux had ia64 action before 2.4 came out.

    Although you're not quite as moronic as the dip who moderated this retarded post to +2
  • Yes, I played long time ago with Irix (on Indy). It's a sweet OS. Great Multitasking, great MP support, great graphics etc...

    So what made you think that the PEOPLE who DESIGNED the Irix cannot do it to Linux too?? it's not like they're taking your Redhat and changing it - it's IA-64, a whole new ball game.

    Give them credit. If they wrote Irix and done what they did - they can surely make Linux something that no one have ever dreamed of that Linux can be...

    Just wait
  • I didn't say the responses would be justified. :)
  • Using my psychic powers, I predict 5 replys to this calling you not-nice things for removing Irix and putting Linux on a MIPS workstation.
  • They didn't say they were going to replace Irix with Linux on *all* of their machines. They just don't want to port Irix to IA-64.
  • Posted by BarfooTheSecond:

    honhon, you won't get a 1024 CPUs supercomputer for less, especially not one running MS WinDOS 2000 (maybe Windows3000...)

    Don't forget that SGI's work concerns the supercomputers area, not home PCs...

  • ...that SGI is in the process of recreating Irix with a Linux kernel?

    I'm running 2.4.2-XFS right now.

    And the fixed font in the TEXTAREA in Konqueror I'm typing into right now is iris. :-)

    --

  • I wonder if they will lead in clustering using this, currenlty compaq is leading..
    see Clusters @ TOP500 [top500.org]

    -A

  • SGI is becoming just another Packard Bell.
  • Umm... have you played on the SGI 550's?

    They aren't proprietary like the 320's were. From tests I have ran, the 550 was better than the Octane and almost as fast as the Octane 2.
    It is expensive for an Intel box, and you could probably build one for 2/3 the price... but SGI support is still SGI support, and to many buisness that means something.
  • (Okay, this is more of Uninteresting Whining About Matters of Taste rather than serious OS debate, but...)

    Irix is a powerful, beautiful, and slick OS that most of you have never even used before! Get with it! Dont reply to this unless you HAVE used Irix, and know what you are talking about.

    I haven't used IRIX much (save ocassional Blender work [www.iki.fi], ocassional scan - Blender on SGI O2 blows same thing on my PIII-600 way away =), and I have only one thing to whine of.

    Motif.

    ::sigh:: No problems with 4dwm and Magic Desktop, but... MOTIF!

    (If anyone has any ideas where I could find clone of Magic Desktop's icon box thing, I'd be grateful... 5dwm.org didn't have one ready yet =)

  • Itanic to McKinley is a harder comparison to make because the people who know how many functional units McKinley has, aren't allowed to post that information here on Slashdot due to signing NDAs, but it would be really messed up if McKinley had less units than Itanic does...

    "Only" about twice as many if you beleve comp.arch leaks. I think those were mostly baised off of some parts of the IA64 compiler (mostly done by SGI). At least that was the roumor six months ago. Havn't seen anything else since.

    In this case, comparing Itanic to current RISC cpus on a frequency basis is pretty valid for floating-point (SGI's market) as almost all current RISC cpus have the same number of functional units as Itanic does (2 FP).

    Yes, but it also has way more registers, and modulo addressing of those registers so software pipelining can be used. If you look on comp.arch there are some really impressave code snippits that can make great use of those features. There is also a lot of head scratching about how to get compilers to do a good job cranking them out.

    Worse yet there are a lot of code sequences shown where a IA64 follow-on with more functional units runs slower then the existing one because of how the explicit stops work.

  • by stripes ( 3681 ) on Saturday March 17, 2001 @12:05PM (#358166) Homepage Journal
    SGI has been working on NUMA support for Linux for quite a while now. They've been the ones doing the discontiguous memory patches and a bunch of other related things.

    Rock on! That's cool.

    It is missing things needed to make NUMA systems useful (as opposed to "can boot and run"). For example:

    • Phsycally coping shared pages. 500ns is a long time to wait for memory, it is common for NUMA kernels to be able to copy pages from one memory board to another. Very useful for code, also useful for read-only data, sometimes useful for infrequently-written data.
    • Physacally moving pages from one memory board to another. If one thread is doing a lot of writes to a page, it can be very useful to move the data page closer.
    • User level hints to the kernel about when to do these things.
    • A scheme to let sysadmins partition up a big machine (letting a compony/university pool money from multiple departments), allowing unused boards to be used by non-owers is good, or at least allowing something like a cron job to change it...
    • Support for draining and pulling boards, as well as plugging in new ones to a running system.

    I have no doubt SGI can add those things to Linux, IRIX does (almost) all of that allready.

    What seems odd to me is that it is pretty clear that Itanic will not be cost nor performance competitive when it finally ships - all the other big boys have said they aren't going to bother with Itanic for anything but 1-4 way type boxes. McKinley (the successor to Itanic) is looking pretty good, recent reports say that it will debut at 1.4GHz around the end of the year (whereas Itanic can barely do 800MHz today).

    Normally when being told one CPU only runs at 800Mhz and another runs at 1.4Ghz, so the 800Mhz one is crap, I have a lot of objections. Like "the 800Mhz one may do a lot more work per cycle", or "they could be designed for diffrent markets". However in this case both are for the same market, and McKinley is likely to do more work per cycle. The Itanic is a shammbling disaster, if anyone but Intel was behind it, they probbably would be bankrupt by now.

    That said, there is a good chance that both IA64 systems have the same memory interface, making it a useful test run to design multi-way systems around this. It also has probbably been in the works a lot longer then it has been known that the Itanic is a dog.

    There is also the chance that Intel is subsidising (or outright funding!) this thing. That makes it less of a risk to build.

  • by stripes ( 3681 ) on Saturday March 17, 2001 @06:21AM (#358167) Homepage Journal
    [Let's all hope that..]
    they do a better job with these then with the Intel based workstations they sell now.

    Well the current Intel boxes don't have any more CPUs then you can get elsewhere (they do have more memory bandwidth, by a factor of around 3). The O3000 supports 100s of CPUs, if the O3000 IA64 does as well they will at least have a nice story to sell people on. I don't know if it something people are willing to pay a lot for, but time will tell that.

    It is interesting that they will port Linux to it. As far as I know Linux isn't tuned to work in a large NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access -- local memory in maybe 5ns, memory from a few racks away at 500ns) with 100s of CPUs. It will be interesting to see what they change to make it happy. Esp if they don't go the simple route (treating it as a bunch of total different machines with a fast network).

    What I would really like to see is a port of Linux to the MIPS based machines though. If SGI tweaked it all out that would be sweet.

    I don't really see why they don't do that either. It isn't like there is anything special about the IA64 or MIPS that makes Linux or IRIX better on one or the other. Even if they think putting Linux on the MIPS boxes will scare off existing IRIX users, won't porting Linux to the IA64 O3000, but not porting IRIX to it will be even worse?

    SGI does lots of good and interesting stuff, but they really are inscrutable sometimes.

  • Thank ex-CEO and now Microsoft President & COO Rick Belluzzo for that one.
  • Actually, the whole "We are now SGI, not Silicon Graphics" thing was a policy from the much despised ex-CEO Rick Belluzzo. Bob Bishop, the current CEO, interchangeably refers to the company as Silicon Graphics and SGI.
  • On their OSS pages they have a port to MIPS, even with X-windows on the Indy series. I think SGI is
    more committed than even other companies to free software, which is evident if you look at their free software pages.
  • What's even better is that the page mentions that they will do any necessary development to bring Linux to a robust and scalable operating system if the community doesn't do it beforehand.
  • Yes they do. In fact, SGI has been a great contributor to the scalability of Linux. Look at their free software pages. They aren't holding anything back. They've release (just to name a few), XFS (journaling filesystem), a high-availability clustering solution, a Linux kernel profiler, an OpenGL toolkit, a system management framework, a Linux kernel debugger, and a host of other things that you can find on their website. Make no mistake, SGI is all about free software these days.
  • john hoperedhatputXFSin7.1 jones

    They won't. 7.1 features are pretty much frozen at this point AFAIK.

    But please do write to them and ask for it in their next release. :)

    Also, there will be an unsupported XFS-root installer available from SGI that works with the RH 7.1 release, like there was for RH 7.0.

    ---

  • High Performance Computing
    MFCF has received a gracious donation from Silicon Graphics of an Origin
    2000 supercomputer(http://www.sgi.com/origin/2000/). This machine has 8 CPUs and 2 gigabytes of RAM with plenty of disk. Its ccNUMA design offers excellent scalability while maintaining the ease of programming in a shared-memory SMP model. SGI's comprehensive suite of compilers and related
    tools are installed. SGI is interested in our help with developing Linux for this platform, and in the meantime, we can use it with its native IRIX operating system. Researchers interested in making use of this high performance computing resource (tuxor.math) are welcome to send their proposals to dabrown@math. Also, MFCF has established a mailing list called "hpc" as a forum for those interested in high performance computing. This mailing list also serves as a
    means of circulating announcements from the C3.ca group(http://www.c3.ca/).
  • When it comes to fast graphics an dual 440Mhz Ultra60 with an Elite3D M6 card or a Expert3D card just plain sucks. The only thing it's good at is bitmap text, lines and polygon filling. Throw some heavy texturing and everything goes painfully slow.

    A simple GeForce beats the shit out of Sun so called fast graphics cards.

    Why am I upset. Well when you're trying to develop a crossplattform 2D/3D Graphics Library based on OpenGL things like this is very annoying indeed.

    Why can they just use the 64bit PCI bus, take a GeForce 3 chip, make a card and write a driver and you'll have a fantastic Graphics Worstation. I'm sure it would make me and my boss a lot happier.
  • I smell victory. The OS skirmish is over. Unix won. Linux will be everywhere that matters.

    Windows will never be able to compete with Linux on the 64-bit architectures. They've already failed to migrate it before. (Okay, arguably, they've never been able to implement one properly on 32-bits either. :-)

    The racks get better, wider and faster. Linux grows along with them while NT 4.0 SP4 is an aging, bug ridden, insecure, closed-source and expensive option.

    Nobody trusts SP beyond 4 or ME. My employer has one ME evaluation machine while the servers are Alpha's running VMS or NT racks and we have NT boxes on the desktops. (but our clients are starting to ask for Linux for servers and desktops. As soon as IBM ports VisualAge Smalltalk, we go.)

    The internet connected desktops need to be biometrically secure, crypto-secure and 32-bits just doesn't cut it. Look for desk-top Alphas, Sparcs, Itaniums and G5s to win that market share too.
  • I question SGI's overall commitment to Linux.

    They agreed to host our local Linux user's group meetings, and right after that our founder declared the LUG dissolved and went away.

    Between the confusion on that and the change of location (they're way off the beaten path here and a lot of people couldn't find the place), we had two meetings with light attendance. This is after years of 30 to 50 people coming, and was during the summer when many of our college-student users weren't around anyway.

    Based on these two small meetings, SGI told us they weren't interested in hosting our meetings anymore, because we weren't bringing enough people for them to advertise to.

    That's right, their concern wasn't helping the group, it was getting people into a room where they could make sales pitches.

    So if they decide next week that they can make more money on Irix than Linux, Linux is gone.

    If you're going to deal with SGI, take a page from Ronald Reagan:

    Trust, but verify.

    -
  • * Alta Vista (I see that a mountain is back in the logo)

    Yes, but that mountain is their debt.

    -
  • You can brag to people that you have meetings at some SGI place while they're at their local library for meetings.

    The libraries here won't let you bring in computers.

    Kind of makes it hard to hold an installfest.

    -
  • That's sort of the point.

    A business exists to make money.


    That's exactly MY point. This isn't about promoting Linux, it's about making money.

    That's a good thing, I was just trying to pre-empt all the cheering from folks who don't realize that. They'll be the ones bitching later when SGI includes proprietary software with their systems, and starts selling proprietary programs for Linux, and suggests changes to the kernel that enhance their interests, and even when they hire somebody important who writes some program that is Open Source and that SGI feels needs work to be more palatable to businesses.


    -
  • Windows 2000 is just mediocre as opposed to awful. Active Directory is the typical Windows byzantine mess. Whoever had to idea to do what they did to DNS ought to be taken out and shot.

    I think the war on 32 bit platforms is only over in your head.

  • They switched OS GUIs from home-grown to Sun-NEWS
    to XWindows to keep up with the time.
    They toyed with NT, but that couldn't be as
    competative as the clone makers.
    So why not Linux?

  • I used to go to UG meetings and the like that were hosted in vednors spaces. What I found when I got there was a lot of anti-competitor FUD and pro-product marketing. The people from the vendor that hosted the meeting were a bunch of suit-wearing geeks who knew shit about their own products and nothing but corporate PR about anything else. The UG "facilitator" was some dork lackey for the vendor who managed to turn the meeting into a 1 hr commercial.
  • SGI machines rock

    these are the orginal big bad boys they lost their way wdoing M$ stuff and their chairman left the company loseing money and found a Job at M$ VP

    sucks

    NOW they see the light

    LINUX the whole way clusters NUMA the lot

    and more even more cool XFS file system !!!

    now they have realised the docs/code for trusted IRIX

    and NSA are actualy doing their JOB and sorting linux out with decent security for the US

    hopefully SGI will sell them their stuff and it will make the a stoke load of money and we can all point and say "look SGI does linux and makes Stakes of money"

    regards

    john hoperedhatputXFSin7.1 jones
  • Go have a look at HP's systems. Their graphics hardware far outperforms apple, suns and sgi's stuff. Their chips are also quite fast, though I do not have numbers handy at the moment.
  • I own a Irix Based O2 workstation, an Indy (R5k based). (I administrate a Origin 3k (only a 4 CPU system, so don't get to excited)

    Irix is great, but I believe that Apples OSX is going to eat their shorts as far as graphics workstations are concerned. Unfortunately you don't get a lot of performance boost on a MIPS R12k processor than you do on a PPC-G4. It's the backplane architecture (ccNUMA) that gives the interesting twist to their architecture.

    For example, our application pushes a LOT of image data to lots of machines (actually to linux based clusters). I am not using the machine so much for it's 'crunching power' but it's sustainable IO and reliability.

    The fact that XFS allows us to scale a growing image database to multiple terabytes without having to ever take the system off-line was pretty surprising.

    Also the fact that I can add NUMA bricks as as my business grows is quite interesting.

    To make it even more intersting, you can get into a Origin 3000 for as little as 40-50k$. To buy into that scalability with HP or Sun and have the feature set that my applications require was not economic.

    To have one monster Origin system for 100k dollars that can scale and be managed with minimal human resources (total cost of ownership) is much better than having 20 linux machines with 4-5 administrators and engineers to keep the things running.

    They are neat toys to say the least, but it's crazy. I have compiled some open source software with my O2 and it runs great on the Origin 3000.

    Anyway, this is a bit of a rant, but the reason it would be nice to see intel based hardware on SGI numa architecture is the level of scalabilty without having to cluster. Some applications you can have clustering, some it just doesn't make sense.. (Where inter-process communication, backplane bandwidth, etc is important).. that where the Origin 3000 shines.

    not every application is going to benifit from such a server. For us a HUGE image store was justification in such a machine. if you are going to run a web server or applications such as that which will cluster, you will get a lot more bang for the buck out of a Linux ia32 system.

    Anyway, it's late here and this is a bit of a rant. previous poster is a troll anyway.

    Cheers



    --------------------
    Would you like a Python based alternative to PHP/ASP/JSP?
  • I question SGI's overall commitment to Linux. They agreed to host our local Linux user's group meetings, [...] we had two meetings with light attendance. [...] Based on these two small meetings, SGI told us they weren't interested in hosting our meetings anymore, because we weren't bringing enough people for them to advertise to.

    SGI hosted the Metro Detroit LUG [mdlug.org] for several years, from its inception up until last year. They moved to a new facility in January and we had to find a different place to meet, but they've always been supportive.

    We got an Internet connection and space for installfests, etc., etc. I don't remember more than two "sales pitches", and they were at our invitation. (And I was quite impressed with the graphics performance of their Linux boxes.)

    They've been good to us and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt their commitment to Linux. The comments from their employees on our mailing lists are good evidence to me.

  • You are talking about NT 4, which isn't fair to Microsoft.
    Next year we will be talking about Windows 2000, and that will also be unfair to Microsoft.
  • by macpeep ( 36699 )
    There is no such thing as "Silicon Graphics" anymore. They changed their name to SGI a good while back.
  • > (i.e. you couldn't plug that nice LCD screen
    > on anything else, so you were stucked with a
    > cheezy card)

    Or you can use a MultiLink adapter and connect to something like the Hercules Prophet DDR/DVI or Prophet2 Ultra running Linux or Windows.

    MultiLink adapter [sgi.com]
  • I don't understand. I would think the hardest part of changing to Linux is writing all the device-drivers for NUMAplex and other special hardware in Origins. The processor part should be the easy part, since a MIPS port already exists for lower end SGIs (Indys). So.. why not support Linux for both MIPS and Itanium? By replacing processor boards, the Origin 3000 can be switched from MIPS R12k to Itanium, so the machines are essentially the same.

    Next question: How much processors will Linux support? Origin can scale to 1024 cpu's, where multiple images of IRIX form one virtual OS. Last I heard, Linus was planning support for things like that, but I never heard much of it.

    Last question: when will Linux be ported to their high-end graphics machines (Onyx)? Those machines use the same memory/bus architecture, only spiffier graphics boards...

  • Surely a multi-CPU alpha system would make a great Linux box - why would SGI use Intel when the Alpha, clock for clock, kicks almighty ass on the Pentium4. A 1.5 GHz 21264 would almost certainly destroy a P4, but nobody seems to be shipping them outside of Compaq's high-end server department.. So theres no real incentive for the price to come down either.

    The 21364 and 21464 sound like monster trucks in a world of SUVs from Intel, and i imagine they would kick ass when coupled to a fast OpenGL system and an array of U160 disks.

    I'm pretty sure i heard that Alphas have special instructions for MPEG encoding too, but i've never really had the chance to do much with an Alpha.

  • Apple? Hey, and maybe you'll be able to get 'The world's fastest graphics workstation' in the Flower Power colour scheme too.

    All of Apples machines are completely outclassed in terms of clockspeed, memory bandwidth, SMP capability, memory capacity, expandability and flexibility, reliability (can you rack mount a macintosh, or order one with a hot-swap power supply?).

    Sure, the G4 is a fast chip, and Altivec is interesting only because its puzzling why you would bother hooking such a fast vector unit up to such a slow memory system.

    The G4 certainly has potential, but I very much doubt you'll be seeing anyone who currently depends on either SGI or x86 hardware to move to the Macintosh until MacOS X has proven itself up to the task, and Apple has either licensed another vendor to produce G4s for the server market, or starts producing servers itself.

    You can't run a shop on workstations alone, and Apples track record for interoperability isn't exactly stellar.

  • Sometimes I think censorship can help. Heres the ONLY reason why.
  • SGI has been working on NUMA support for Linux for quite a while now. They've been the ones doing the discontiguous memory patches and a bunch of other related things.

    See: http://oss.sgi.com/projects/ [sgi.com]

    If you read the notes under some projects, you'll see that they already have a mips64 port in-house that they are running today on the O3K which they are using as a testbed for the stuff they want to run on Itanic.

    What seems odd to me is that it is pretty clear that Itanic will not be cost nor performance competitive when it finally ships - all the other big boys have said they aren't going to bother with Itanic for anything but 1-4 way type boxes. McKinley (the successor to Itanic) is looking pretty good, recent reports say that it will debut at 1.4GHz around the end of the year (whereas Itanic can barely do 800MHz today).

  • Page Copying
    I don't think SGI's hardware does it, so that would need OS support, but other vendors, like HP, support page caching, or at least cache-line levels of page-caching in the hardware.

    Page Migration
    With a page cache, then you probably do need page migration. But, for a large number of applications, it is sufficient to default to 'local allocation' such that that whatever thread allocates the memory gets it from node/cell local memory. Sure, there are pathalogical cases where that doesn't work at all, but for the general case, it works quite well. I thought I saw in there that SGI's work included local-allocation.

    User level hints
    Being able to specify location at allocation goes a long way for this, I don't know, but I would suspect that the work going to local-allocation would include the ability to hint for remote-allocation too.

    Partitioning and seperate OS instances
    I haven't looked at it for while, but I think the current 2.4.x kernel supports linux-on-linux. E.g. you can boot and run a second (or third, or fourth) linux kernel as a process on the first linux kernel. I believe the impetus for this development was to make kernel debugging easier, but it seems like it would be just a couple of steps away from a poor-man's OS partitioning system. Now, if you want fault isolation and online-replacement, you'll probably have to go quite a bit further than the current implementation, but I think Sun with their E10k is the only common box short of mainframes that support this kind of thing today - although most vendors have announced that they want to get there (SGI had their Cellular IRIX project canned a few years back, I don't know what they are doing today, probably nothing because it is more of a feature that the commercial world cares about, than the technical world which is SGI's primary market).

    800MHz vs 1.4GHz
    In this case, comparing Itanic to current RISC cpus on a frequency basis is pretty valid for floating-point (SGI's market) as almost all current RISC cpus have the same number of functional units as Itanic does (2 FP). Itanic to McKinley is a harder comparison to make because the people who know how many functional units McKinley has, aren't allowed to post that information here on Slashdot due to signing NDAs, but it would be really messed up if McKinley had less units than Itanic does...

  • That's right, their concern wasn't helping the group, it was getting people into a room where they could make sales pitches.

    So what? They were allowing the useage of their facilities. You can brag to people that you have meetings at some SGI place while they're at their local library for meetings. Its the price to pay for being able to hold gatherings at SGI's pad. They're a company in it to make money, not to give a bunch of crazy GPL nutties something for nothing.

  • a thousand pardons then.
  • This is happening on IA-64? Guess that means it will be running the 2.6 kernel...
  • Actually, you are the moron for not realizing that I was making fun of the IA-64 delays. A year ago I met with a Dell rep who was promising to have me IA-64 servers in October 2000.

    At this rate, by the time IA-64 is a reality Linux will be at 2.6. Get the joke?
  • What are they using for a compiler, I wonder? The VLIW beast needs an optimizer with near-omniscience to get halfway decent performance.

    A few years ago Intel bought KAI, a C++ compiler vendor (they do really good stuff, BTW). I supect the main reason for the purchase was so the people there would work on an IA-64 compiler for them.

    Even with a good compiler, I think Merced will still probably suck. HP's implementation looks like it may actually be usaeble, however.
  • They have 2000 now, which is *gasp* really good. Now, they might not be able to scale to 64 bits, but I don' think they'd be THAT dumb.

    Maybe so. But I have yet to see the code. Where is W2K running on Alpha, MIPS, UltraSPARC, POWER, HP-PA, etc?

    Linux has the advantage of being first, and having to simply recompile it's software, Microsoft the benefit of barrels of money.

    I think Linux will win. Pretty much everyone who writes Unix software makes reasonably sure that the software will run on 64-bit platforms, big-endian machines, etc, because enough people run Unix on them that you'll find out fairly quickly if you code is broken on them.

    Consider how few commercial apps are done for Linux on x86, even - the numbers just don't make it commercially viable (this is not my opinion, but what is obviously the opinion of a lot of software shops out there). W2K on (insert 64-bit RISC chip) is going to have far, far, far fewer users than Linux on x86. The only people who are going to even consider doings apps for is MS.

    Also, I saw on the Register an article stating that any ports to IA-64 would be using 32-bit pointers and longs. Why? Because Windows programmers (this probably includes MS itself), have long assumed that they're running on a 32-bit little-endian CPU, and moving the code breaks. I can't find the article now, however, or I would give a link, sorry.

    You may be thinking, "Only a real moron would assume a 32-bit CPU, etc". Story time:

    Last month, Micrsoft gave a presentation on XP here. XP has support to "emulate" 98 or NT for applications that need it. Seems that some software (*cough* *Tomb Raider* *cough*), instead of accessing COM objects the normal, sane way (ie, using the documented access functions), simply looked into the object at a certain byte offset and expected the data to be there. I suspect this sort of thing happens a lot on Windows software.

    Well, in any case, the emergence of 64-bit CPUs on the desktop should make things very interesting.
  • >>I have no doubt SGI can add those things to Linux, IRIX does (almost) all of that allready.

    From what I understand the problem with IRIX is that it's tied to the mips architecture where Linux has already been ported to the Itanium. (I think it's still called Itanium but maybe the name has changed).

    Long term, SGI seems to be talking about moving to Intel and Linux. (5-10 years from now). It's cheaper to work that way, and they have to change to stay competative...

  • >>So if they decide next week that they can make more money on Irix than Linux, Linux is gone.

    That's sort of the point.

    A business exists to make money.

    In a 5 years Linux will be far more capable than it is now. Capable enough to compete with IRIX in many features. SGI could try compete or they could use Linux to cut developement costs. It looks like SGI is choosing the sensible alternative.

  • Right. Just like KFC is still Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • But hang on, I administer a couple of Origins, and I have never been asked to pay for a IRIX license. They dont charge for it. In my experience most of the time these things happen because either the latest tools are more easily accesible for Linux, or there are more people around who know linux than IRIX, or the fact that the incremenets in performance/proce are smaller, so you can better match the required grunt. Or lastly you can start a hell of a lor smaller and scale up later (although this doesnt make good economic sense - it is a risk management decision).
  • Yes! It costs more! It goes slower! It's hard to program!

    Intel should call it the Inanium. Few really like the thing, even inside Intel, but their marketing operation is good enough that they're getting quite a number of design wins. Whether it will sell is something else.

    What are they using for a compiler, I wonder? The VLIW beast needs an optimizer with near-omniscience to get halfway decent performance.

  • And as I recall there still isn't even decent framebuffer support for low end sgi's. Kind of useless to run a computer built especially for its graphics abaility in text mode.

  • Without the DNS stuff, AD is pretty cool. I don't think it's that unique but it is nifty. When you throw the DNS stuff into the equation, it is a mess. I wonder what possesed them to do that?
  • The university of Waterloo has an SGI origin which they have apparently been given to develop Linux for. Some information can be found here [uwaterloo.ca].
  • by tcc ( 140386 )
    Great, the NT workstation had that stupid number nine card as a bottleneck (i.e. you couldn't plug that nice LCD screen on anything else, so you were stucked with a cheezy card) Now it's gonna be the processor, IA-64 is dead on arrival (compare it to alpha, AMD's solution which is way better for backward compatibility + performance, and heck, I'm sure even MIPS got something better. The only way I do see intel's pulling an "intel" out of this one would be with their marketting "lies" again.

    Then again both companies needs prestigieous PRs to please the shareholders
  • Howabout 'Gin4Lin?
  • What, you didn't know they couldn't use "chicken" because they use headless beakless featherless footless soulless genetically modified frankenpullets? 'Strue, friend of a friend told me...

    (Yes. This is a troll.)

    /Brian

  • Dear Santa.....
  • Hahaha! Yeah... too many. Uh-huh.

    O2, Octane, Origin, Onyx

    VisualWorkstation 320/540


    At least in 1999. I had no problems keeping that straight.
  • SGI building Itanium-based supercomputers is old news [zdnet.com]. SGI's been openly moving into non-proprietary processors for a couple of years now. Everyone who still works there acknowledges that it's something they should have done even earlier. Their NT box (cheap, powerful) probably would have done a lot better if it had been introduced a year earlier.

    Given this strategy, the rest of the system is very predicatable. They're not going to abandon their other supercomputer hardware technology, so the architecture has to look like an Origin with Itania instead of MIPS. And it's a lot cheaper to subsidize efforts to scale up Linux than to port IRIX. IRIX die-hards will mostly stick with the MIPS systems anyway.

    What's new here is yet another round of SGI rebranding. They dropped "Silicon Graphics" so their server customers would stop thinking of them as the Jurasic Park company. They phased out most model brands because there were too damn many of them. There were going to phase out all model brands (one extreme to another!), but somebody realized that just putting a "2" in the model number [sgi.com] wasn't enough to distinguish their servers from their workstations.

    __________________

  • No no that is not at all what I said. In this case I said that I hoped SGI would port and put it on. Irix does somethings very nice but there are many things about it that I don't like. I do although think that if it ever goes on one of their MIPS based machines that they should tweak tune and port it (with help of course). This is also the course that I see them taking over the next few years. I did not suggest that we should take Irix off and replace it with something the community had built that would get ugly fast.
  • Linux and the x86 already do very well on the Intel based workstations that SGI sells now. That and on to your two other points if Apache is not enterprise-class what is? and since when is the Linux kernel "minimalist" have you looked at the feature list? or more likely are you just a stupid troll?
  • they do a better job with these then with the Intel based workstations they sell now. Which while pretty sweet machines when they are working tend to break (hardware) *much* more often than they should. What I would really like to see is a port of Linux to the MIPS based machines though. If SGI tweaked it all out that would be sweet.
  • Only if they distribute it ,selling machines with the code installed on it would count, besides SGI has shown many times that they get the GPL and like it. Look at the code that until recently they where sending back to the Apache project. You won't be able to afford one of these for awhile if you can't afford it now. The Octane under my desk still costs in the 10s of thousands of dollars range.
  • Link please cause I've spent lots of time looking for it and can not find it.
  • I asked this of our rep a few months ago, asking about the port work of Linux to Mips. What he said was that Irix has a buch of special magic going on in conjunction with the Mips CPU. i.e. make sure code gets to the cpu through at the same time, special read ahead things, tweaks with the bus and cpu, etc. to put them into a Linux system would fundamentaly change how things are currently done in most of the kernel . Think how hard they've been trying just to get big memory support into the kernel, could you imaging trying to get a completely different core change that would only help Mips cpu's.

    They are doing porting work, and Linux is running on Mips currently (so is NetBSD), but the special performance enhancements aren't in the kernel. Currently running Irix on a Mips Origin will be much faster than with Linux, but on the smaller workstations O2, Indigo II, etc. Linux will be faster (for non gui work) because it's so light-weight.

    Don't plan on getting a speedy Linux on your Onyx, Origin systems anytime soon, unless you want to take a big performance cut.
  • SGI's daftness is beginning to be offensive. Linux fails pimping pixels on IA32 to WindowsNT, where Linux would claim to be a better OS. Now we have a 64bit proc and a 64bit OS, written by the Linux people, and we have Win2k for 64 bit procs. I'm betting Win2k will pimp pixels faster. SGI will always fail on a platform that is not IRIX, and is not proprietary, because you can get anything other than both of those for less.
    --
  • This is freakin' awesome! 64 bit architecture getting major support on Linux. It will be nice to have this help from people in making the transition to 64 bits, if they stick with it.
  • SGI has not decided as yet on the name for the new product line.

    Maybe they should have a contest, with a free one to whomever comes up with the best name? Here are my suggestions for an "Origin" box running "Linux":

    • Penguingin
    • Linigin
    • Orinux
    • Linorgin
    • Orux
    • Luxorgin

    We could have a lot of fun with this... Any other ideas?

  • Origin 3000 series will be IA-64 based when Intel gets off their lazy distended fat asses and releases their 64 bit chips. So this is in effect vaporware until intel can meet production. I can't get all too jizzed up because of that.

    Merced hotter, harder slower [theregister.co.uk]

    5: Intel's Itanium chips: Two years ago Intel said it would have powerful new 64-bit chips for workstations and servers out by the summer of 2000. But delivery of Itanium (also known as IA-64 and Merced) has been pushed back so consistently, the Register is calling it Intel's "Itanic."

    from wired's article Vaporware 2000 [wired.com]

  • ...about as good an idea as changing your logo from an awesome three-dimensional cube, to some lame initials.

    I realize you Linux fans are happy... but we SGI fans are crying right now!


  • The Register [theregister.co.uk] had it best, though it applies to the CPU itself: Itanic.

    (end comment) */ }

  • veryevilone,

    First of all, I used Irix as the primary OS doing research for almost 4 years. The machine was (and is) a Powerchallenge 8000 running 5 CPUs.

    Irix is a good operating system, certainly, and stable, and relatively well supported. I would say that besides GL hardware related things, it's slightly nicer that the large commercial Linux distributions. Linux distributions are growing so fast that things are not necessarily thought out completely.

    As far as Linux running on SGI hardware, I think they're seeing the writing on the wall. On slashdot several months ago, there was an article highlighting the machine that is doing the rendering for the _Lord of the Rings_ film. They bought a rack full of dual-CPU SGI boxes, but they're running Linux. As it turns out, it was cheaper to just buy more CPUs to make up for the performance hit of Linux than it was to licence Irix for that many machines.

    Irix is an excellent, solid, operating system that is great if you need to close ties to graphics. But unless you need that particular graphics capability, it's not particularly extraordinary.

  • x86? You mean IA-64, right?

    --

  • The Itanic? SGI? ...please... Go look at Alphas.

    --

  • Of corse, hou sillye of mi.

    The Itanic colydid wythe ane Indenburg and thunke.

    --

  • "Silicon Graphics plans to introduce a version of its Origin 3000 series computer built around Intel's 64-bit IA-64 Itanium processor running Linux, ... SGI has not decided as yet on the name for the new product line.
    Umm... Hindenburg?

    --

  • Jumping from MIPS/Irix to IA64/Linux would be a major hurdle for any company. Think SGI is strong enough? I worry. Changing too many horses in midstream, if you ask me.

    --

  • A certain student organization I belong to has about 10 SGI's: Indy's and Indigo 2's. But we can't do anything with them because we don't have Irix. What SGI Linux distros are there that will work on these machines, and have a network install option?
  • Wow. That's a big move. I wonder if it'll be an improvement.
  • Well, except for the Itanium part. ;>

    Personally though, I suspect this is yet another attempt at pulling their heads above water for a little while.

    SGI used to be about innovation and advanced technology, and seriously high-end graphics. Now their relegated to making servers, and ones based on foreign, Intel chips at that.

    I love Linux and I love SGI - but none of this will be what gets SGI out of the gutter.

    Interestingly, there's a hotbed of activity in the Apple/G4/Mac OS X world that the Mac might be the platform to watch for 3D. Without OS X though, the G4 lags pretty far behind the Pentium in performance, as per a recent CGW article.

  • Why does Slashdot use the Old Silicon Graphics logo? Silicon Graphics effectively became SGI [sgi.com] as of april 99 [prnewswire.com]. So is this just graphics trolling? Or should slashdot reflect the current branding strategy of a corporation? Wasn't this a News site once?
  • You're a dumbass. You are talking about NT 4, which isn't fair to Microsoft. They have 2000 now, which is *gasp* really good. Now, they might not be able to scale to 64 bits, but I don' think they'd be THAT dumb. 64 bits will be, instead of being a total victory, a new beginning, where both are fighting on almost even turf. Linux has the advantage of being first, and having to simply recompile it's software, Microsoft the benefit of barrels of money.

  • "We would be happy to see Linux become more scalable based on its own development, but if it doesn't, then we will scale it ourselves and offer it to the market," Bishop said.

    ??? If they introduce their own code into the kernel and modify it for better scalability, do they have to release that source code or not?

    Too bad I wont be able to afford one of these when it comes out, better start saving now.

    Lord Arathres

  • Yes it is.
    Hugs and kisses 2U2.
    • Linorgy
    • Oxvirgin

  • mmmmmm...SGI... wonder when that $1,000,000 publishers clearing house promissed me will arrive.
  • Have you checked out the Linux support for the AMD Hammer? Granted, the silicon isn't available yet but the emulator is free. I don't think we have anything to worry about getting Linux to work on 64-bit architectures.
  • That's Linux running beta, propritary drivers, against very old and well-tested drivers on WindowsNT. They are two very different systems (especially at the kernel-call level), so I can't help but give linux some props for managing to come _very close_ to Windows in its pixel-pushing attempts.

    Basically, it's a half-assed Linux port against the glorious, tested NT driver, and the NT driver won -- but not by much.

    --

  • I cannot beleive they are doing something so half-minded as switching their origin servers over to Linux! I find it incredibly hilarous how the writer of this article states "...proprietary Irix operating system..." HAHAHA! IRIX IS A UNIX VARIANT! It is not anything like the highly limited, and quirky Linux operatintg system. Irix is a powerful, beautiful, and slick OS that most of you have never even used before! Get with it! Dont reply to this unless you HAVE used Irix, and know what you are talking about.

    I want you all to watch as SGI's stock goes to crap yet again(it's already way down). Everyone didnt want to buy SGIs anymore because they started going intel. People who have a passion for SGIs hate Intel even more than Mac Lovers. Intel is not the answer, there are much much better processors out there. The rest of the industry understands this. Origin has been their lead over Sun for a while, now I expect them to lag behind considerably. Irix is amazing, Linux is a joke.
  • How about -JokeBox -BobbitBox -StockKiller -BurningShipJump -TheMarkOfWhyWeNowSuck
  • Ahh Hemm! Did someone say Solaris? Didnt I hear someone say Solaris? Hmm. I thought I did. Im sure that person never realized Solaris is a choice ahead of AIX. Our systemadmin laughs when you say "AIX" or "Let's go with IBM." He's had 30+ years of experience, most of you arent out of high school.
  • My friend, go grab a nice Sun machine. Dont put Linux on it. Grab Solaris 8. If Linux is the best thing to happen to you, it will be like taking a self improvement class several times over. You will be amazed. It's like giving a pair of shoes to someone sally struthers has sponsored in a nasty part of the east. "Do you want to use a real operating system, sure we all do"

    Better yet, you could also grab yourself a cheap Irix machine. They have much lower resale values than Suns. An old Irix machine with a big graphics card is a wierd thing. Usually the processor isnt too great, but the graphics card is amazing. Dont expect to get the same effect from finding a way to put a FireGL or some other phat card into a 386.
  • Apple at this moment, beleive it or not--at least in terms of price/performance. They have a 128 bit vector processing unit attached to their processors, that provides many software programs with now 7 gigaglop performance. They are banned from export because they are classified as supercomputers, unlike intel crapola. Their OS was way behind until OS-X, which is a UNIX operating system. As far as brute force, Sun is way ahead of SGI. Check out their Elite3D graphics attached to their SunBLADE 1000 (not the 100). Expect to pay over $10,000 for this beast, but you get to have an UltraSparcIII processor that has been in development for many long years. All Sun's stuff is 64 bit, and has been for a long time. Sun had a lead over PC performance with their 400mhz 63 bit Ultrasparc processor, which outruns 1ghz Intel Crapola. Now their stuff runs at 900mhz. Sun has special on chip instructions that are similar, but superior to MMX and for the 64 bit world. Im sure you really dont give a crap, you're not worried about the best "Graphics Workstation" Im sure all you want to do is play games. In that case, Wintel is certianly superior with its vast array of games.
  • Don't worry. SGI will almost certainly go back to the cool old logo one day. Most corporations eventually realize when they make mistakes like this. Consider for example
    • Coke (eventually removed stupid gray stripe from ribbon)
    • NBC peacock
    • Alta Vista (I see that a mountain is back in the logo)
    I think that /. is actually just anticipating the change.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.

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