HP and Microsoft Team Up for Superdome X SQL Servers

The companies collaborate on a new reference SQL Server-based configuration based on HP's servers for business-critical workloads.

HP Superdome X

Hewlett-Packard's high-end Integrity Superdome X systems are primed to run Microsoft's database, SQL Server 2014, the companies announced.

The tech giants joined forces to produce a reference configuration for deploying the database platform on the business-critical server hardware from HP. Announced late last year, HP's Integrity Superdome X (pictured) represents somewhat of a break from the brand's Intel Itanium-based past.

Powered by x86 processors, specifically Xeon E7 server chips from Intel, the systems are a response to the shrinking market for Unix-based enterprise computing solutions. Built for mission-critical workloads, the systems initially ran only Linux, with Windows and SQL Server support promised later.

This summer, businesses can start loading SQL Server 2014 onto Superdome X.

"HP, in collaboration with Microsoft, is now releasing a new Reference Configuration for running Microsoft SQL Server in Superdome X," Microsoft announced in a blog post from the SQL Server team. "A Reference Configuration is a specific solution designation that includes a solution bill of material (BOM), deployment steps and sizing testing to help users efficiently deploy SQL Server on Superdome X."

In May, in a refresh of the company's server portfolio, HP touted the hardware's enterprise-grade attributes.

"With a large memory footprint and high-availability features, including hard partitioning that is 20 times more reliable than soft partitions, HP Integrity Superdome X is also an excellent fit for in-memory computing applications that require the greatest levels of flexibility for the most stringent service-level agreements," said HP in a statement. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 features in-memory technology that uses large amounts of server memory to improve performance on OLTP, business intelligence, analytics and data warehousing workloads.

"The new in-memory OLTP engine can improve transaction throughput by up to 30x, and significantly improve concurrency in parallel by running memory optimized tables and store procedures directly in-memory," noted Microsoft's SQL Server team in the post. "In addition, SQL Server 2014 offers an enhanced in-memory ColumnStore that offers up 100x faster queries with much higher data compression."

Interested customers can take a peek at the configuration guide here. The 14-page technical whitepaper "covers the specific case for running SQL Server 2014 on the HP Superdome X platform for a large, scale-up, tier 1 OLTP workload," the group added.

While HP is now offering x86 Integrity systems, it should be noted that the server maker isn't ditching Itanium entirely, at least not for several years.

Itanium-based HP-UX (HP's Unix variant) systems remain on HP's server roadmap, at least until the end of the decade. Although the Unix server market is in a state of decline, there are several major corporations and institutions that have poured billions of dollars into infrastructures powered by Itanium.

"It's not a growing area, but we have an installed base we need to cater to," Jeff Kyle, director of product management for mission-critical systems at HP, told eWEEK last December. Meanwhile, Intel is readying at least one more revision of Itanium code-named Kittson. After that, the processor's future looks uncertain.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...