HP today announced it is upgrading its Itanium-based Integrity server range to offer a blade chassis format for the first time.
The company also unveiled the next generation of its high-end Superdome server platform – Superdome 2 – which also takes on a standard blade dessign and is scheduled to ship in August.
Speaking on the phone from HPs Technology@Work 2010 conference in Frankfurt, HP UK Ireland business critical systems country manager Rod Curry said both systems would use Intels latest quad-core Itanium 9300 processors, formerly dubbed Tukwila.
The three new Integrity blade servers, which will ship on 1 May, are the two-socket BL-860, the four-socket BL-870, and the eight-socket BL-890. All are designed to integrate with HPs bladed storage and 64-bit Xeon blade server systems.
Curry said that HP was bringing volume economics to the mission critical environment, and using the wider HP infrastructure to drive down pricing and TCO around HP-UX.
Quocirca principal analyst Clive Longbottom said the new Itanium servers represented a welcome attempt by HP to provide a broad level of platform across its different products within the one blade chassis.
However he questioned the business rationale behind HP’s dogged commitment to Itanium.
How many Itanium chips are now being made every year a few hundred, maybe a few thousand,” he said. Theres no way that this can be cost effective, and either HP has to be taking a financial hit for each Itanium system being sold which I doubt – or users are having to pay over the top for a platform no matter how good its performance is at the high level.
HP UK Ireland business critical systems business development manager Tom Johnson said Superdome 2 will use 16 sockets at launch, but be upgradeable to 64 sockets, “so thats a 256 processor core system.
Curry said the new system would give organisations a settled platform for t he next 10 years. Its a modular bladed design using common components, and standard racks, he said.
Itll be more reliable – with infrastructure stability 450 per cent better than the original Superdome models, he added, quoting internal HP analysis comparingrates between Superdome and Superdome 2 systems.
Although no UK customers have been announced, Curry said that he knew a number of firms who would buy Superdome 2 systems, based on what theyre doing today.
Because of the cost profile were delivering, were certainly expecting current HP-UX customers to upgrade. Wed also expect big scale up application users – databases and ERP systems – to look at HP-UX more favourably.
HP is aiming its systems at firms across all industry vertical market sectors that require the greatest level of availability and reliability. Youre looking at healthcare firms and financial organisations, who cant stomach the downtime, said Curry.
Curry was also upbeat about Intels roadmap for its Itanium processors. There are two more chip generations in the pipeline. Poulson will be available in two years with Kittson two years behind that, he said.
Johnson said Intels clarity on the Itanium roadmap meant that Itanium would remain a core part of HP’s high-end server strategy.