Despite his enthusiasm for Madison, Deepack Advani, vice president of IBMs eServer xSeries, said his company expects to see more server consolidation activity on its Gallatin servers. "We [dont see] Itanium taking over the 32-bit world," Advani said. "The majority of the opportunity is in the 32-bit space. The Itanium ecosystem continues to evolvethe [64-bit Windows] OS just came out a few weeks ago, applications are coming online. [But] without the software stack the hardware is not that interesting."IBM does see a place for 64-bit computing. It is working with SAP AG, SAS Institute Inc. and its own IBM software group to optimize database and business intelligence applications and middleware to run on Madison, Advani said. "Our focus with Itanium is to have tuned apps over time," he said. "The applications that will take advantage of Itanium are databases and business intelligence that require access to a lot of data in memory." Included in Madison is a 32-bit emulation layer that will enable businesses to consolidate 32-bit applications onto the chip. This compatibility with 32-bit computing has been a key point pushed by AMD for its Opteron chip, which officials there say allows for easy migration to 64-bit computing. AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., on Monday expanded its Opteron offerings to include chips for one-way and eight-way systems. When it introduced Opteron in April, AMD rolled out the 200 Series for two-way systems. The 800 Series is aimed at four- to eight-way servers, while the 100 Series it targeted at one-way systems and work stations. The 800 chips are available in three models: the 840, 842 and 844, with pricing ranging from $749 to $2,149 per 1,000 unit quantities. Similarly, the 100 processors are in three models, the 140, 142 and 144, with pricing starting at $229 and going as high as $438. The new 100 and 800 series fills out the Opteron line, although AMD will continue to enhance the chips, said Ben Williams, director of the companys server/workstation business segment. Williams also said that a key advantage to the Opteron family is that the same chip sets can be used with all processors. "The simplicity that Opteron brings to market to 64-bit computing is key," he said. AMD on Monday also announced its Validated Server Program, an initiative with Celestica Inc., a Toronto-based company that is offering two serversa 1U two-way rack server A2210 based on the 200 Series, and the 4U four-way A8440 based on the 800 Seriesthat systems builders can use in their portfolios of products. They also come with wide-ranging support, Williams said. He said the program was a way of offering products that were not yet being built by AMDs partners.
Enterprises "are not going to change their binaries," to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit chips, Advani said. "We feel the 32-bit large SMP server is a better consolidation platform because the applications [enterprises] want to consolidate are 32-bit."