EU charges Intel with abusing monopoly power, HP rumored to buy Bull, MS sketches its future, the HPC money roundup, and more

In today's enterprise HPC news summary, the EU charges Intel with abusing its monopoly power to crush AMD, HP is rumored to be in talks to buy Bull, MS sketches its utility computing future, the HPC money roundup, and much more.

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from the recent enterprise HPC news stream as reported at

The Friday money roundup

This is earnings season, so everyone is talking dollars. Here’s a roundup:

  • Voltaire has priced its 5.77M share IPO at $9 per, lower than initial expectations (more)
  • Network hardware maker Mellanox made money in Q2 (more)
  • As did network company Qlogic (more)
  • Hardware vendor Rackable didn’t (more)
  • Storage vendor Isilon gets more customers (more) but is still losing money (more)
  • Network processor company Bay Networks closes new venture round (more)

EU charges Intel with using kickbacks to crush AMD

According to the AP the European Union has charged Intel with abuse of monopoly power to crush its AMD competition. The EU alleges Intel gave illegal “rebates” to computer makers for buying from Intel, and made illegal payments to manufacturers to get them to hobble product lines using AMD chips.

Intel has 10 weeks to respond, and getting it wrong could cost Intel up to 10% of its global revenue each year it broke the law (sales last year were $36B US). (More on this HPC news item)

Money for SiCortex

HPC hardware startup SiCortex has announced [PDF] that they’ve closed a deal for $10M in venture debt from Hercules Technology Growth Capital to accelerate production and sales and marketing efforts in response to demand for its products. (More on this HPC news item)

Rumor: HP to buy European HPC vendor Bull?

Reuters reported yesterday that shares of French HPC vendor Bull were up over 10% today in European trading on Thursday on speculation that HP is set to spend $1B US to buy the company. HP stands to gain a strong native “in” with the growing EU HPC market with another company that has also built its offering around Intel’s offering. (More on this enterprise HPC news item)

Microsoft’s utility computing transformation

Nicholas Carr has a post today about a presentation Microsoft’s Ray Ozzie made to analysts yesterday in which he outlined the company’s utility computing future.

There are three stages of building to be done: physical infrastructure, software layer, and services. There’s the hardware:

As with Google, Microsoft is building its data centers out of huge numbers of cheap servers and other “commodity components,” both to keep costs down and to “achieve reliability through redundancy.” Over the last year, Ozzie said, Microsoft has doubled the number of servers installed in its utility plants “and we will keep investing.”

The OS:

The second level is “our cloud infrastructure services layer” which forms the “utility computing fabric upon which all of our online services run.” This is essentially the operating system for the data centers, or the “cloud OS,” as it’s sometimes called

And the apps:

The third layer - what Ozzie calls “the Live platform services layer” - consists of a set of shared services, such as identity management, contact databases, and advertising, that the company’s online applications will draw on.

The services will be aimed at consumers, IT staffs, businesses, and developers. Why is this an HPC post? Because its certainly a small leap to think that MS will be providing HPC services based on CCS ala Sun’s

John West summarizes the HPC news headlines every day at, and writes on leadership and career issues for technology professionals at InfoWorld. You can contact him at