Hewlett-Packard last week reinforced its position that its Itanium-based Integrity servers will be the foundation for HP business-computing initiatives in the years ahead, introducing platforms that have expanded operating-systems options and virtualization capabilities.
"The ability to collect, analyze, and act on information in real time is the new IT imperative," HP chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina said in a Webcast last week. "Your data center is at the heart of your IT strategy, ... and for the most demanding workloads, the HP Integrity server family delivers the superior choice."
The Integrity platforms, based on new Intel Itanium 2 processors with higher clock speeds and increased on-chip memory, provide a 25% performance boost over previous Itanium systems, Fiorina said.
HP will continue to sell RISC-based servers through next year and support them through the end of the decade, but it wants to accelerate the move away from the older architectures. To ease the transition, HP will make available OpenVMS v8.2 and SuSE Linux Enterprise System 9 with the Linux 2.6 kernel for use on Integrity systems in the second quarter. With Linux for Integrity, the operating system will be able to provide support beyond two- to four-processors, supporting configurations up to 16 processors on a single instance, says Brian Cox, worldwide product-line manager for HP servers.
Integrity systems should serve HP well in migrating its RISC processor customers, although HP won't likely pull many customers away from competitive RISC platforms, says Gordon Haff, an analyst with Illuminata. "People don't switch platforms at the high end casually," he says. "But it's also true that the Power5 from IBM isn't going convince a lot of customers to switch away from HP."