Hewlett-Packard Co. on Monday will push standardization as a key part of its Adaptive Enterprise initiative, backing it up with new server offerings that move the company a step closer to its plan to standardize its high-end systems on Intel Corp.s 64-bit Itanium chip.
The Palo Alto, Calif., company is undergoing a multiyear project that will consolidate its multiple server lines—including those acquired via its purchase of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002—to three, including the Integrity and NonStop systems running on Itanium.
New server offerings bring that ideal closer to reality.
In addition, HP officials are touting the benefits of reusable components and consistent implementation of technology.
“The ability of IT to support changes that business demands is the key to the Adaptive Enterprise strategy,” said Don Jenkins, vice president of marketing for HPs Business Critical Systems unit. Standardization—using industry-standard technology, for example—is fueling that initiative.
HP is rounding out its Itanium-based Integrity offerings with the unveiling this week of two dual-processor entry-level offerings—the 1U (1.75-inch) rx1600 and 2U (3.5-inch) rx2600, both powered by 1.4GHz Low Voltage Itanium 2 processors and both starting at less than $3,000.
“It brings Itanium systems really into the price range of [Intels 32-bit chip] Xeon and [Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit] Opteron,” Jenkins said.
HP also is looking to widen the number of operating systems running on the Integrity line, which currently supports Windows, Linux and HP-UX. The company this week is rolling out the evaluation release of Open VMS 8.1, a move to help AlphaServer users migrate to the Itanium-based systems. Officials expect Open VMS to be available to customers later this year. In addition, HP is supporting InfiniBand switches and host channel adapters on clustered Integrity servers running HP-UX.
Officials also will announce that the first of the companys high-end NonStop servers running on Itanium will roll out later this year. This is the first step in migrating the users of those systems, which currently run on MIPS processors, over to Itanium systems.
The move is part of HPs NonStop Advanced Architecture, which not only will be based on Itanium, but also will support industry-standard storage.
Next page: PA-8800 chip to improve performance by 50 percent.
In addition, HP is unveiling the latest generation of its PA-RISC chips, the PA-8800, a dual-core processor that will be available in all of the 9000 systems by the end of March. Officials said the new chip will improve performance by at least 50 percent and will enable HP to grow its high-end Superdome system from 64 processors to 128. The chip also interfaces directly with the chip set and bus interfaces on Itanium, widening the migratory path for users.
Sixty-four-bit computing is becoming an increasingly high-profile subject. AMD, of Sunnyvale, Calif., is pushing the ability of its Opteron and Athlon 64 processors to run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Itanium, via emulation software, also can run 32-bit applications, but at a lower performance level than 64-bit software. Intel and HP co-developed Itanium.
However, HP officials have said that while they are still committed to the IA-32 and Itanium platforms, they have heard customer requests for 64-bit x86 computing and are keeping their options open. All that is fueling rumors that HP will use Opteron chips in ProLiant systems later this year.
At the same time, Intel officials are saying that they probably will offer 64-bit extensions in their 32-bit Xeon and Pentium chips once enough software is released to support it. Industry observers expect Intel to demonstrate systems running chips with 64-bit extensions at its Intel Developer Forum next week.
Also as part of its standardization push, HP is introducing a new Enterprise Grid API based on Web services that will enable IT administrators to add or subtract processing power or servers from a virtualized environment, and also is enhancing its OpenCall suite of telecommunications software.
In addition, HP is offering migration services programs to help customers move into the new mySAP ERP (enterprise resource planning) software from SAP AG and Microsoft Corp.s Windows Server 2003, and is expanding its program designed to entice customers away from Sun.