Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday began shipping a new server based on the companys Alpha chip technology and unveiled new tools designed to help Alpha server users migrate to Intel Corp.s Itanium architecture.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company has begun shipping 32-way AlphaServer GS1280, based on Alpha EV7 chips, and reiterated plans to unveil a 64-processor system later this year.
New AlphaServer systems, which can run both Tru64 and OpenVMS operating systems, based on the upcoming Alpha EV79 technology, are due out next year.
HP gained the AlphaServer systems when it bought Compaq Computer Corp. last year. The company has laid out plans to phase out the systems as it standardizes its high-end systems on the 64-bit Itanium architecture. HP officials have said they will introduce the last new Alpha chip next year and stop selling Alpha systems in 2006. The company will then end support of the systems in 2011.
Competitors have begun targeting HPs Alpha users, hoping to leverage the move to Itanium to convince them to move to their systems. Sun Microsystems Inc. earlier this month announced its HP Away program, a combination of free migration options, trade-in offers, financing and application porting services aimed at luring away Alpha customers. The Santa Clara, Calif., company estimates that about 200,000 businesses run more than 400,000 AlphaServers.
To keep these customers, HP in October 2002 started its Alpha RetainTrust program designed to give these users the tools and time to easily migrate to Itanium on its Integrity line of servers. The new tools are aimed at helping business move custom applications from the Tru64 Unix operating system to HP-UX running on Integrity systems.
Included in the package are appscan, a tool to ease the planning for porting the applications; a transition kit to determine the technical needs for porting and a deployment tool to help make Tru64 applications native to HP-UX.
Also new to the retention program are free Tru64 and OpenVMS software license trade-ins as they move to HPs Itanium servers running HP-UX or OpenVMS.
The server and migration tools “demonstrate HPs commitment [to AlphaServer users] through its acts, not just its word,” said John Bennett, AlphaServer marketing manager, in Marlborough, Mass. “Were delivering on promises weve been making to our customers.”
Bennett said the company is still working on other tools businesses will need to make the move to Itanium, including to ease database migration and to bring legacy applications to the new architecture.