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SGI Defies Death – Again

Rackable Systems said Monday that it’s changing its name

Having just bought poor old SGI out of bankruptcy, Rackable Systems said Monday that it’s changing its name and will call itself Silicon Graphics International, SGI for short, from now on. The Rackable name will become the brand used on x86 clusters.

Rackable evidently figures that as tarnished as the once-iconic SGI brand has become over the years, it’s still better known and more valuable than the younger, seemingly more chi-chi Rackable’s, especially overseas.

Redeeming SGI and its products from bankruptcy proved pricier than Rackable’s original bid. It wound up paying $42.5 million in cash, not the $25 million initially advertised. The difference includes the old SGI’s international subsidiaries and federal systems business.

The new debt-free SGI says it will have a customer base of over 5,000 in more than 25 countries and – after a layoff Monday – approximately 1,350 employees worldwide including three salvaged SGI execs: operations boss Diane Gibson, CTO Eng Lim Goh and visualization chief Robert Pette.

Rackable, er, SGI, will maintain its corporate headquarters in its current Fremont, California facility. Reportedly manufacturing will go to Wisconsin.

Onlookers say the company has a long ways to go to achieve profitability and will probably need to take on debt, a thing that haunted the old SGI. Last week Rackable reported a Q1 loss of $13.4 million on sales down 34.5% to $44.3 million.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara