HP Gives Peek at Itanium-Based Superdome

Server will enable users to run Windows, Linux and HP-UX simultaneously.

Hewlett-Packard Co. this week is giving people a peek at its upcoming Itanium-based Superdome server, which will enable users to run Windows, Linux and HP-UX simultaneously.

At the Gartner Group Data Center Conference running from Monday to Wednesday in Las Vegas, HP will demonstrate a 32-processor Superdome server with three partitions, each one running one of the operating systems.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company is expected to release a version of its high-end 64-processor server based on Intel Corp.s Itanium 2 chip in mid-2003. Currently, Superdome runs on HPs PA RISC 8700+ chip and supports HP-UX.

HP officials said the new server will play into the push in data centers for server consolidation by enabling users to run different operating systems at the same time. The 64-way Superdome will support up to 16 partitions, according to Vish Mulchand, high-end server marketing manager for the companys Business Critical Systems unit.

HP last year said it was going to migrate its hardware onto Itanium, and Superdome will be part of that move. Added incentive comes from Microsoft Corp., which said its .Net initiative will support 64-bit computing. The Redmond, Wash., software maker recently released Candidate 2 of the .Net beta, Mulchand said.

The upgraded Superdome server will ship with the latest technology from both Microsoft and Intel, said Lorraine Bartlett, Windows-Itanium marketing manager for HPs Industry Standard Server unit.

Mulchand said HP wanted to showcase the new Superdomes potential at the Gartner conference, but because of the servers size, it made more sense to run it in a 32-chip configuration rather than a 64-chip.