Push Toward Integrity Servers Highlights HPWorld - InformationWeek

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8/13/2004
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Push Toward Integrity Servers Highlights HPWorld

The continuing drive to migrate customers to the Itanium-based servers is behind many of the product introductions scheduled for the conference.

Hewlett-Packard's continuing efforts to migrate its customer base to the Itanium processor-based Integrity server line highlights a large number of product introductions to be unveiled at HPWorld 2004 in Chicago this week.

"Definitely our focus is to bring capabilities to our Integrity product line," says Nick van der Zweep, director of virtualization and utility computing for HP. "It's our platform of choice for customers moving forward. The common theme HP is trying to demonstrate at HPWorld is proof points that show how we can help customers be flexible and adapt to change."

The company is extending capabilities of its virtual server environment to support Integrity as well as systems based on the PA-RISC architecture, which is being phased out by HP, van der Zweep says.

"We want to extend the virtual server environment on Integrity to include multiple operating systems, beginning with Linux this year and Windows shortly thereafter," he says.

Three new offerings that will make multiple operating-system capabilities possible for virtual server environments include the Global Workload Manager, Integrity Virtual Machine, and an enhanced utility-pricing portfolio, van der Zweep says.

The Global Workload Manager automates resource allocation among multiple physical servers to optimize utilization and ensure that service levels are met. The Integrity Virtual Machine optimizes server utilization by allowing multiple instances of the HP-UX 11i and Linux operating systems to share a single CPU as well as input/output resources. HP will also extend its server utility-pricing model to its Integrity customers, allowing them to pay based on usage. Already available for HP-UX 11i, it will be available for Windows based systems as well.

Illuminata analyst Jonathon Eunice says the HPWorld announcements are aimed at bringing "parity" to support for Integrity with the support for the traditional HP9000 systems based on PA-RISC.

"One of the things that has been challenging for Itanium in general, and HP in specific, has been getting the right kind of software packages and support for Itanium systems," Eunice says.

Support has been an impediment to adoption of Integrity because even if there's 60% of the support in place that's available to the older systems, many customers will continue to wait until the support is bolstered to near equity, he says.

The company is also unveiling a faster version of HP-UX 11i that will run on both HP9000 and Integrity systems. It includes new features allowing it to run high-performance data centers and clustered environments.

Also being unveiled is the last upgrade to HP's AlphaServer product line. HP will continue to sell the AlphaServer line through 2006 and will support customers through 2011, says Markus Berber, product marketing manager for HP.

The new systems will use an EV7 processor at 1.15 GHz for the ES47 system (two to four processors), and ES80 system (two to eight processors). A 1.3-GHz version of the EV7z processor will be used in the GS1280 system (two to 64 processors). The new systems will deliver performance gains of 13% to 16% compared to those previously available, Berber says.

He says the upgraded AlphaServer systems will be particularly attractive to customers that have existing programs or applications they aren't ready to move to Integrity-based systems.

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