It's been just a little over two months since Rackable Systems acquired SGI and merged the two product lines. From all appearances, it has been a fairly smooth transition. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the new company has left both sets of product offerings intact, although the future "Ultraviolet" system will change that somewhat. I'll get to that plot line in a moment.
According to Geoffrey Noer, senior director of product marketing at SGI, they "have not discontinued any of the products and have no immediate plans to do so." The product continuity is a reflection of the company's intent to combine Rackable's established customers in the Internet/cloud computing space with SGI's strength in the high performance computing market. Even before the merger deal, Rackable was looking at the HPC technical and federal government markets as a way to grow the business. Now that they have the SGI Altix products in tow, they get to those markets by default.
the next generation shared memory system will be based on the new Ultraviolet architecture. That design will use Intel Nehalem EX chips along with the next generation NUMAlink interconnect. Presumably this means the future "Tukwila" quad-core Itanium chips will never find a home at SGI. Although the 4700 line will continue to be offered for some period of time, the idea is to eventually migrate all the current users to the new architecture. "The intention is that Ultraviolet is the future of the shared memory systems line," says Noer.
According to him, more information about Ultraviolet will be publicly revealed later this year (although SGI customers have been privy to some of the details for awhile now). I would expect to see the introduction of the first new machines coincident with Intel's release of the Nehalem EX processors, which probably means early 2010.
RIP SGI Itanium.