HP Reinforces Its Commitment To Itanium 2 - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure

HP Reinforces Its Commitment To Itanium 2

It's launching a new line of 64-bit servers using the Intel processor, a strategy that differs from rivals IBM and Dell.

Hewlett-Packard reinforced its commitment to Intel's Itanium 2 processor on Monday by launching a new lineup of 64-bit servers. This strategy is markedly different from rivals IBM and Dell. Although both offer Itanium 2-based servers, IBM also sells a server based on AMD's 64-bit-compatible Opteron processor. Dell hasn't embraced Opteron, and it has only one Itanium-based product. HP has added five new Itanium 2 servers to its Integrity server lineup--including the XC6000 HPTC Cluster, eight-way and 16-way standalone systems, a four-way rack-mounted system, and a NEBS-compliant two-way system tuned for the telecom industry.

The XC6000 HPTC Cluster is a self-contained, clustered rack of servers that can hold up to 512 Itanium 2 processors. The XC6000 is designed to further HP's clustered, scale-out server offerings through the addition of the 64-bit Intel processor and embedded interconnect hardware and software. HP also offers a 32-bit Intel Xeon-based version, the XC3000 HPTC Cluster.

Other models joining HP's Integrity lineup of Itanium 2-based servers are the four-way rx4640, eight-way rx7620, and 16-way 8620. The rx4640 has a dense design that's seven inches in height and will replace its predecessor, the rx5670, possibly within the next six months, says Vish Mulchand, director of server marketing for HP Business Critical Systems.

By February, CitiStreet LLC, a joint venture between Citigroup Inc. and State Street Corp., plans to replace 64 PA-RISC processors in its two HP Superdome servers with Itanium 2 processors. In 2001, CitiStreet migrated its recordkeeping application for retirement plans off an IBM mainframe and onto an HP Superdome running PA-RISC processors. The application, SunGard Data Systems Inc.'s Cobol-based OmniPlus, processes retirement-plan information for more than 5 million people working in academia, business, and government. CitiStreet CIO Barry Strasnick estimates the move from the mainframe to HP-UX on Superdome saves CitiStreet about $4 million annually.

CitiStreet is looking to save even more in operating costs with a move to Itanium 2. The migration from PA-RISC to Itanium 2 will require about six hours of planned down time, Strasnick says. This outage is required to swap out the boards and implement the operating system maintenance releases that will transform HP-UX to HP-UXi, which supports Itanium.

HP's partnership with Intel is a model that CitiStreet strives for in its business, Strasnick says. "Instead of spending the same billions of dollars as Intel," he says, "why not leverage their investment?"

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