Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

By Tiffany Trader

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate’s ClusterStor HPC array business for an undisclosed sum as part of a “strategic deal and partnership.”

“In short we’re effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray,” said CEO Peter Ungaro on the company’s Q2 investor call yesterday.

Cray will be taking over development, support, manufacturing and sales of the ClusterStor product line, including Cray’s Sonexion scale out Lustre storage system, which is based on ClusterStor. The supercomputing company expects to add more than 100 Seagate employees, primarily in R&D, customer service and channel and reseller support.

“Cray will be a great home for the ClusterStor, employees, customers and partners,” said Ken Claffey, vice president and general manager, Storage Systems Group at Seagate.

Seagate acquired the ClusterStor assets for $374 million in 2014, when it purchased Xyratex. The Lustre arrays have their origins in a company called ClusterStor that was founded by Lustre inventor Peter Braam and whose assets Xyratex acquired in 2010.

Cray has been working with Seagate since 2012, and is the biggest OEM for the ClusterStor line. Supporting Seagate’s other ClusterStor resellers figures prominently in Cray’s play here. The arrangement “provides a new route to market for our storage solution and potentially other products down the road,” said Ungaro.

Brian C. Henry, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Cray, told investors that Cray was already a significant part of Seagate’s ClusterStor revenues, so the added revenue that Cray would get from the transaction will come mostly from resellers. But the more substantial benefit to Cray’s bottom line, according to Henry, is due to improved gross margins, split roughly 50-50 between Cray and third-party resellers.

Cray, with new market vistas in mind, is intent on broadening its portfolio and reach. They’ve put their technology into a public cloud offering via a partnership with the Markley Group. And they’ve formed an impressive (according to IDC/Hyperion) security partnership with Deloitte. Now Cray is further investing into high-performance storage, generally held as the healthiest growth sector in the HPC market.

“The [HPC storage] market has a TAM [total addressable market] of about $1-2 billion in that range depending on how you want to slice and dice it, but the growth rates of that market are better than the overall supercomputing market. It’s been growing in the 10 or 11, even 12 to 13 percent range recently, so it’s growing a little bit faster than the overall supercomputing market, which is great for us and part of our excitement around this,” said Ungaro.

These trends are backed by findings from HPC market firm Hyperion. According to Hyperion’s latest update, global HPC external storage revenues will grow 7.8 percent over the 2016-2021 timeframe (to $6.3 billion), while HPC server sales, by comparison, will grow a modest 5.8 percent to $14.8 billion.

Cray didn’t reveal the terms of the deal, noting that “there are still many moving parts” but Henry anticipates staffing costs will add about $20 million to 2017 operating expenses.

The news of the acquisition comes at the same time as Cray is undergoing restructuring to as Ungaro puts it “better align the cost structure of our company to the current market conditions.” As a cost-cutting measure, Cray reduced its workforce by about 14 percent, laying off 190 people. Ungaro traced the decision to the market slowdown that has continued into 2017.

“That, combined with our estimates for the timing of a rebound and the need to continue to invest in several areas to enable future growth drove our decision to adjust our workforce,” he said on the investor call, adding that the company’s competitive position and win rates remain strong.

Cray expects the transaction to be be finalized late in the third quarter of 2017 and cites an overall net financial impact for Cray “in the range of break-even” for 2018.

Even with major consolidation plays like the Dell-EMC union and now the folding of ClusterStor into Cray, there is still a lot of diversity in the high-end storage vendor space. You can bet that established and aspiring HPC storage providers alike will be looking to mine this market disruption as an opportunity. Although they might not all be so bold as DDN, which today launched an outreach program targeting “the many users left stranded in the wake of Seagate shutting down its ClusterStor product line.”

EnterpriseTech Managing Editor Doug Black contributed to this report.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

February 15, 2018

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penalties to HPC applications. Even as these patches are rolled o Read more…

By Pete Beckman

Intel Touts Silicon Spin Qubits for Quantum Computing

February 14, 2018

Debate around what makes a good qubit and how best to manufacture them is a sprawling topic. There are many insistent voices favoring one or another approach. Referencing a paper published today in Nature, Intel has offe Read more…

By John Russell

Brookhaven Ramps Up Computing for National Security Effort

February 14, 2018

Last week, Dan Coats, the director of Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was likely to meddle in the 2018 mid-term U.S. elections, much as it stands accused of doing in the 2016 Presidential election. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Safeguard Your HPC Environment with the World’s Most Secure Industry Standard Servers

Today’s organizations operate in an environment with ever-evolving threats, and in order to protect themselves they must continuously bolster their security strategy. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Intel® are addressing modern security challenges with the world’s most secure industry standard servers powered by the latest generation of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. Read more…

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended to make it easier, faster and cheaper to train and run machi Read more…

By Doug Black

Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

February 15, 2018

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penal Read more…

By Pete Beckman

Brookhaven Ramps Up Computing for National Security Effort

February 14, 2018

Last week, Dan Coats, the director of Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was likely to meddle in the 2018 mid-term U.S. elections, much as it stands accused of doing in the 2016 Presidential election. Read more…

By John Russell

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Food Industry’s Next Journey — from Mars to Exascale

February 12, 2018

Global food producer and one of the world's leading chocolate companies Mars Inc. has a unique perspective on the impact that exascale computing will have on the food industry. Read more…

By Scott Gibson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Singularity HPC Container Start-Up – Sylabs – Emerges from Stealth

February 8, 2018

The driving force behind Singularity, the popular HPC container technology, is bringing the open source platform to the enterprise with the launch of a new vent Read more…

By George Leopold

Dell EMC Debuts PowerEdge Servers with AMD EPYC Chips

February 6, 2018

AMD notched another EPYC processor win today with Dell EMC’s introduction of three PowerEdge servers (R6415, R7415, and R7425) based on the EPYC 7000-series p Read more…

By John Russell

‘Next Generation’ Universe Simulation Is Most Advanced Yet

February 5, 2018

The research group that gave us the most detailed time-lapse simulation of the universe’s evolution in 2014, spanning 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution, is back in the spotlight with an even more advanced cosmological model that is providing new insights into how black holes influence the distribution of dark matter, how heavy elements are produced and distributed, and where magnetic fields originate. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

V100 Good but not Great on Select Deep Learning Aps, Says Xcelerit

November 27, 2017

Wringing optimum performance from hardware to accelerate deep learning applications is a challenge that often depends on the specific application in use. A benc Read more…

By John Russell

SC17: Singularity Preps Version 3.0, Nears 1M Containers Served Daily

November 1, 2017

Just a few months ago about half a million jobs were being run daily using Singularity containers, the LBNL-founded container platform intended for HPC. That wa Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This