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SGI Brings Real-time Performance and Streamlined Cluster Management to Open Source Linux with SGI Propack 5


Latest Release of SGI ProPack Software Pushes Linux Further into HPC with Features Exclusive to Altix Servers, Clusters and Supercomputers

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.(August 15, 2006) -- SGI (OTC: SGID) today unveiled SGI ProPack™ 5 for Linux®, the latest version of its software supplement that boosts the capabilities and performance of industry-standard Linux on the world’s most scalable Linux servers.

SGI ProPack 5 brings unique and powerful capabilities to SGI® Altix® 4700 and 450 systems running on Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, while simplifying the deployment and administration of SGI® Altix® XE clusters built around Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® processors. SGI ProPack 5 will be offered as an optional enhancement to SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server 10 from Novell®.

SGI ProPack 5 on Altix 4700 and 450 Servers
The latest release of SGI ProPack brings SGI’s REACT Real-Time Extension for Linux to a standard Linux distribution for the first time enabling real-time capabilities and support on an unmodified version of the open-source kernel. REACT guarantees interrupt response times of no more than 30 microseconds in configurations of 2 to 64 Intel Itanium 2 processors. Interrupt response time is the time that passes between the instant a hardware device raises an interrupt signal, and the instant the system returns control to a user process.

For customers conducting flight simulation, satellite data analysis, or command and control activities, the inclusion of REACT in SGI ProPack 5 means users can easily run real-time applications on the largest support single system images (SSIs) in the industry.

This latest support for real-time computing on Linux is the result of years of contributions to the open-source community by SGI, which has consistently identified hold-offs and submitted kernel modifications that, once accepted into the Linux kernel, have resulted in better latencies. Yet even as it has contributed innovations that benefit all Linux users, SGI remains the only vendor to provide a real-time solution designed to use with a leading Linux distribution. SGI ProPack 5, in conjunction with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, provides another industry first: support for systems running 1,024 processors under a single copy of Linux. By driving the capabilities of SGI Altix and 64-bit Linux to record heights, SGI continues to push the boundaries of what even the most demanding high-performance computing (HPC) customers can expect from Linux.

“With SGI ProPack 5, we continue our long-standing effort to bring to the Linux platform the same HPC capabilities we had built into our IRIX systems,” said Steve Neuner, director of Linux, SGI. “With enhanced support for real-time computing and the largest single systems ever to operate under Linux, SGI ProPack 5 ensures that only SGI can deliver the very best of HPC to a truly open-source, industry-standard platform.”

SGI ProPack 5 on Altix XE Servers
For SGI Altix XE servers, SGI ProPack 5 offers enhanced system administration and performance monitoring tools that result in better application performance and simpler cluster management. The latest release is the first time SGI ProPack has been available for x86 architecture processors.

For instance, a premium new feature of SGI ProPack 5 on Altix XE is support for flexible file I/O (FFIO). Never before available for systems based on Intel Xeon processors, FFIO support enables every application that runs on SGI Altix XE servers and clusters to automatically take advantage of optimized I/O speeds when accessing data files. This can result in I/O performance enhancements of up to 15 percent by reading files either backwards and forwards to reduce wait time.

SGI ProPack 5 also incorporates a full slate of tools that help system administrators better manage system resources, both on single systems and across clusters. In particular, NUMA tools such as cpuset allow administrators to more efficiently assign cluster CPU and memory resources to handle application workloads. SGI ProPack 5 also provides users with other important features, such as the Intel MPI runtime environment and Linux jobs support.

While such SGI ProPack 5 features as REACT today are supported only on Intel Itanium 2 processor-based systems, the latest release lays the groundwork for further enhancements to SGI Altix systems based on Intel Xeon processors.

“Bringing HPC-class capabilities to standard Linux distributions on a broad range of systems is a key element of our product strategy,” said Neuner. “Throughout the Altix product line, customers benefit from SGI innovation, SGI performance, and SGI reliability.”

“While SUSE Linux Enterprise can now support single Altix systems of up to 1,024 processors, we recognize that scalability is about far more than processor count,” said Roger Levy, Novell vice president and general manager, Open Platform Solutions. “By taking advantage of such SGI ProPack features as real-time performance and bundled Intel tools, SUSE Linux Enterprise shows once more its commitment to meeting the business needs of the rapidly growing community of performance-minded Linux users.”

The SGI Altix family leverages the built-in SGI NUMAlink™ interconnect fabric, which allows global addressing of all memory in the system and delivers data up to 200 times faster than conventional interconnects. For the first time, more complex data sets and complete workflows can be driven entirely out of memory, enabling productivity breakthroughs that traditional Linux clusters or repurposed UNIX® servers can’t achieve. Altix systems offer breakthrough flexibility and configurability, scaling to up to 512 processors per node. Based on a 64-bit Linux operating environment, the Altix family is uniquely capable of independently scaling Intel Itanium 2 and Intel Xeon processors, shared memory and/or I/O on a single, standard chassis with different expansion modules, providing optimal resource usage for demanding technical applications.

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery.™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.

Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, IRIX, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks, and NUMAlink and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. Intel, Xeon, and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the U.S. and other countries. Novell is a registered trademark, and SUSE is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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