The Week in Review

By John E. West

January 18, 2008

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s HPC news stream as reported at insideHPC.com and HPCwire.

>>10 words and a link

Sun offers $1B for MySQL (and I find HPC angle);
http://insidehpc.com/2008/01/16/sun-to-buy-mysql-for-1b/

How Google moves through 20 PB of data a day;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/01/14/googles-20-pb-of-data-a-day-habit/

Green Grid announces forum speakers;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/01/15/green-grid-forum-speakers-announced/

PSC buys two new SGI supers;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/01/17/psc-buys-new-sgi-supers/

Rackable launches 11 new “Eco-Logical” servers;
http://www.rackable.com/news/pr01102008.aspx

NSB’s 2008 science and engineering indicators report released;
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/seind08/

>>NY investigates possible antitrust behavior by Intel

Last Thursday the state of New York delivered subpoenas to officials at Intel, adding another bit of snow to the ball that was already rolling downhill.

From a story at CIO Today (http://www.cio-today.com/news/New-York-Launches-Intel-Antitrust-Probe/story.xhtml?story_id=02200215I0B4):

“Our investigation is focused on determining whether Intel has improperly used monopoly power to exclude competitors or stifle innovation,” said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. “We will also look at whether Intel abused its power to remove competitive threats or harm competition in violation of New York and federal antitrust laws.”

New York has said that its initial investigation has revealed sufficient evidence to launch a full probe, according to the report.

You’ll recall that the company is facing similar suits in Europe, Japan, Korea and other countries around the world. Apparently US regulators aren’t keen on a full investigation at the federal level, but are under increasing pressure.

In August, Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company. A letter to the FTC from the New York Democrats said: “If the allegations against Intel are true, the potential harm to consumers could be profound.”

The BBC’s Business Daily on Jan. 10 (about 18 minutes into the show, http://tinyurl.com/ypnw7r) included an interview with Intel’s Chuck Mulloy. In that interview Mulloy stated flatly that AMD is behind all of these actions, working regulators behind the scenes, and that all the suits are without merit.

>>Sun adopts 0 datacenter plan

Continuing to riff on the theme that high performance computing is entering an age of separation between users and operators (for example, Dan Reed writing in HPCwire last week), I bring to your attention a blog post by Nick Carr (http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2008/01/sun_behind_clou.php) in which he reports on the growing trend among large computing manufacturers to consolidate their own IT infrastructures.

Nick observes, for example, that HP is already reducing its own datacenters from 85 to 6, and cutting the number of servers in those centers by 30 percent. Then there’s Sun.

Now, Sun Microsystems is upping the stakes. Brian Cinque, the data center architect in Sun’s IT department, says the company’s goal is to close down all its internal data centers by 2015. “Did I just say 0 data centers?” he writes on his blog. “Yes! Our goal is to reduce our entire data center presence by 2015.”

Carr observes — rightly in my mind — that this move supports the company’s own future business ambitions in fulfilling its own “redshift” prophecy. Cinque’s post reads to my mind as being careful to say that he is reducing “SunIT” datacenters to 0, not that Sun is eliminating all of its datacenters. The company could be using this as an opportunity to eat its own Network.com cooking, which could both improve the service and provide a valuable marketing example for potential new customers.

>>Intel’s profit jumps, stock tanks

Intel has released their fourth-quarter net income numbers from 2007, only to disappoint investors. Their Q4-2007 net income rose 51 percent on record sales of their microprocessors and chipsets. This, however, fell short of Wall Street expectations on signs of a weakening demand for personal computers. The stock fell over 15 percent in after-hours trading. This after dipping to $19.38 during late trading and closing at $22.69.

Chief Executive Paul Otellini said, “We enter 2008 with the best combination of products, silicon technology and manufacturing leadership in our history.”

Intel reported their net income at $2.27 billion or 38 cents a share for Q4-2007. This compared to $1.5 billion or 26 cents a share from Q4 of 2006.

Read more at http://insidehpc.com/2008/01/15/intels-profit-jumps-only-to-dissapoint-investors/.

—–

John West is part of the team that summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at insideHPC.com. You can contact him at [email protected]. Too busy to keep up? Make your commute productive and listen to the Weekly Takeout, insideHPC.com’s weekly audio news summary of the HPC news week in review.

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