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HP prepares new Integrity servers for Tukwila launch.

Hewlett-Packard Co. will make significant updates to its Integrity server line next year to coincide with the launch of Intel Corp.'s first quad-core Itanium processor, known as Tukwila, an HP executive said.<p>HP won't provide details about the new systems, but one analyst said HP may introduce a modular, blade-like design for more of its Integrity systems, much as it did last year for the Integrity NonStop. That could help to make the systems more energy-efficient and reduce HP's manufacturing costs.<p>It will be a good time for HP to update the systems. Tukwila will not be socket-compatible with previous generations of Itanium, and HP customers won't be able to use the new chip in most Integrity systems, Lorraine Bartlett, a vice president with HP's Business Critical Systems division, said in an interview.<p>That means customers will have to buy a new server if they want to use the quad-core Itanium processor. HP will try to sweeten the transition to the new chip by using it as an occasion to "modernize" its Integrity hardware, Bartlett said.<p>The Integrity line competes with Sun Microsystem Inc.'s Sparc and IBM's Power systems and is targeted at applications that require a large memory footprint or high levels of uptime. HP is by far the biggest customer for Itanium, which it adopted to replace its own PA-RISC processor running HP-UX and other operating systems.<p>The company is particularly keen to update its high-end SuperDome server, which has had the same enclosure since it was launched almost a decade ago, Bartlett said. The Tukwila launch "really is the opportunity for us to introduce a much more efficient, modern infrastructure for SuperDome," she said.<p>SuperDome is the largest Integrity system, scaling to 64 processors. The line also includes entry-class systems that scale to four processors and mid-range servers that scale to 16. Those systems today each have a different underlying hardware infrastructure.<p>"So what you'll find that we'll do in the next generation is a platform that can cover that entire space very cost-effectively and efficiently for customers. Today the servers are quite similar, but they are independent servers," Bartlett said.<p>She declined to elaborate, but Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff said the launch of HP's Integrity Nonstop BladeSystem last year may offer a clue where the company is headed.<p>That move saw HP move its fault-tolerant NonStop technology onto its BladeSystem hardware. That means HP gets to use some of the same hardware that it uses for other, higher-volume blade products, which reduces its design and manufacturing costs. HP says the blade systems are also more energy-efficient and require less floor space.<p>Copyright 2009 IDG Middle East. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Network World Middle East
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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