Another Exciting Year

Pete's Blog_holiday 2013

As we near the end of 2013, Cray is closing out one of the most transformative years in our long and proud history. In just this year alone, we successfully integrated two strategic acquisitions, won a number of large supercomputing contracts at customer sites around the world, significantly expanded our business and portfolio of solutions, continued to build the financial strength of the company, and added a host of highly-talented individuals to our team. It’s been quite a year!

Since the early days of our company, starting with our iconic founder Seymour Cray, we have been a trusted partner to customers around the world with a commitment to do two things really well:  be focused on their success and help them to see around the next corner.  Our customers rely on Cray and our supercomputers to accomplish their goals and in many cases, give them the capability to literally change the world as we know it. This has led us to staying centered on our core competency of supercomputing so we align with our customers’ needs — building quality products that they can count on in very demanding computing environments, delivering new capabilities to meet their ever-evolving requirements and, most importantly, providing them world-class service and support.

We also look closely at the intersection of high-performance technologies, applications and IT operations, so customers can rely on Cray not only for their current needs, but also provide them with a roadmap for their next generation of high-performance infrastructures.

This partnership with our customers has led to some exciting initiatives that really started to play out in our product offerings in 2013. At the SC13 conference last month, we unveiled a new theme to reflect this evolution of our product line: Compute.  Store.  Analyze.  This is a great take on where Cray is today, so let me use this theme to highlight some of our activities and accomplishments this year.

Compute. 

In this area, two huge successes this year were bringing the Cascade product line to market and our successful acquisition and integration of Appro International, which added the Cray CS300 line of cluster supercomputers to our product portfolio.  Cascade, which is now known as the Cray XC30 and XC30-AC supercomputers, was the largest R&D project in the history of our company.  The XC30 line was also a big step forward in our Adaptive Supercomputing roadmap as we can now integrate not only Intel® Xeon® x86 processors into our unique, scalable supercomputers, but also accelerators like NVIDIA® Tesla® GPUs and Intel® Xeon Phi™. We have also future-proofed the XC30 systems for other types of processors as they become available in the market.

Some of the innovations from our XC30 supercomputers are being extended to our line of CS300 clusters. The first example of this is our Cray Complier Environment — and we have more in store for next year.  We announced several new customer wins for our XC and CS systems around the world, and we have an exciting roadmap in both product lines as we continue to push the limits on technology and new capabilities in supercomputing.

Store. 

Our Sonexion storage offering had another strong year, growing the number of new customers as well as increasing the size and complexity of implementations that require the fastest, integrated storage environments possible to improve the throughput of their Cray supercomputers.  In 2013, we significantly expanded our storage solutions and are now able to offer customers the highest-performance storage environments connected to any cluster in their data center with our Cray Cluster Connect (C3) offering.  We can now also help customers more effectively manage their data with our new Tiered Adaptive Storage (TAS) archiving solution.

These new capabilities enhance our ability to address our customer’s storage and data management needs across their enterprise, not just only when connected to our supercomputers.  Through our partnership with Versity Software, Inc. and with the addition of a strong technical team from last year’s System Fabric Works agreement, we have now greatly enhanced our ability to become a broader partner with our customers and their data.

Analyze.

Perhaps nothing is as representative of the changes going on at Cray than what we are doing in the world of data discovery and analytics.  All of our supercomputers can now handle scientific big data with the integration of Hadoop capabilities across our lineup.  Our growing YarcData team has helped customers with their data discovery needs across a wide array of industries – from financial services and biotech companies, to telco firms and even professional sports organizations.

Our vision of this fusion of supercomputing technologies with big (and fast) data for high-performance, data-intensive computing is beginning to take shape with both our traditional customers as well as commercial enterprise customers.  We can now empower customers to use supercomputing technologies to give them analytic capabilities they never thought were possible, and also use these same technologies to help them drive down TCO to below what commodity systems are able to do. I am very excited to see how customers are using Cray systems to tackle an entirely new class of business problems and opportunities.

All of our progress in these three areas has led to very fast growth in our company.  In 2013, we added a significant number of talented new “Crayons” into our ranks, the majority within our R&D and service and support organizations.  In just two years, our company has more than doubled our revenues and we’ve dramatically increased the number of commercial enterprises that have come to leverage our unique supercomputing technology.  As another proof point of our increasing global capabilities, we just completed the acquisition of Gnodal Limited to expand our R&D efforts in Europe.

As I reflect on a 2013 that all of us at Cray are extremely proud of, I’m even more excited about what’s in store for 2014.  I am very thankful for the efforts of all of our employees and partners around the world who have gotten us to where we are, and I am extremely grateful to all of our customers who put their trust in us to take on some of the world’s most challenging problems.

I wish everyone an amazing holiday season and hope you all get a chance to spend some quality time with friends, family and loved ones over the next couple of weeks.  And get ready… we have some exciting announcements up our sleeves for the New Year!

Peter Ungaro, President & CEO 

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