Trio to Offer Mainframe Alternative

HP, Oracle and Intel team on a program that helps users modernize their applications that currently reside on mainframes.

Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Oracle are teaming up on a push to make it easier for users to modernize their applications that currently reside on mainframes.

The three vendors are unveiling the Application Modernization Initiative Oct. 24 at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. Mark Hurd, HPs chairman, president and CEO, will announce the program during his keynote address at the show.

The companies over the last six months began investigating the possibility of pooling their efforts in the area of application modernization, said Paul Evans, worldwide director of application modernization services for HP Services Consulting & Integration.

"We began to realize there was huge overlap in what the three of us were up to in application modernization, but not any one company had all of the solution," Evans said.

The companies are using a combination of SOA (service-oriented architecture)—a services-based approach to building composite applications based on specific business processes—and grid computing technologies to create environments that offer the reliability and security of mainframes on industry-standard products.

The initiative offers everything from an analysis of a customers current mainframe environment, pretested reference architectures using technologies from all three companies and a recommended solution.

HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., is contributing a portfolio of application modernization services and its high-end Integrity servers, powered by Intels 64-bit Itanium platform and armed with HPs Virtual Server Environment Reference Architecture.

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Oracle, of Red Shores, Calif., is providing its Grid Computing Platform, which includes SOA capabilities and Oracle Database 10g with Real Application Clusters, as well as Oracle Fusion Middleware and Enterprise Manager. HP, Oracle and Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., also will offer architectural design and consulting support.

The offering, which is available immediately, is designed to give mainframe customers a more flexible and less costly alternative environment, said John Pickett, worldwide manager of HPs Mainframe Alternative Program. He pointed out that using systems powered by Intels new dual-core Itanium 2 9000 chips brings power and cooling advantages, as well as I/O and application acceleration capabilities.

"[The entire package] allows us to architect a high amount of RAS [reliability, availability and security] that customers have become accustomed to with the mainframe," Pickett said. "Were providing an alternative platform. Were not saying mainframes are bad, but that [customers] can run their workloads at a significantly lower cost."

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