May 31, 2005 (12:05 PM EDT)
HP Adopts Itanium For NonStop Line

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday continued its strategy of migrating its high-performance servers to Itanium processors with the introduction of the first NonStop system based on the Intel processor architecture.

In addition, HP disclosed the availability of the last PA-RISC-based server, an expanded partner program for its BladeSystem product line, and extension of its Systems Insight Manager 5.0 software to manage storage as well as servers, clients, and printers.

HP's Integrity NonStop announcement is the latest in an ongoing effort to migrate customers who have used HP systems based on MIPS and PA-RISC processors to systems based on Itanium, a processor architecture the company helped design along with Intel.

Earlier this year, HP said it was stopping its internal development of the Itanium processor, which is being advanced solely by Intel, but said it planned to invest about $3 billion over the next three years in improving system-level design, software, and services to support Itanium-based server lines.

John Miller, director of portfolio marketing for enterprise servers and storage at HP, says the Itanium-based NonStop servers will be available at the end of July and will provide up to 100 times greater reliability than its previous NonStop systems, with seven nines of availability.

HP will continue to sell MIPS-processor-based NonStop systems through 2008 and will provide support for the servers through 2013.

"There will be tremendous value with Integrity NonStop," Miller says. "Users will see a two times performance improvement versus pervious-generation systems, and when coupled with pricing, they will see 2.5 to three times the price-performance over current NonStop systems. We are providing good value [by enticing] customers to move to Integrity NonStop."

The first Integrity NonStop sever will scale up to 4,080 Itanium 2 processors. Pricing for the system begins around $400,000.

HP will make one more generation of PA-RISC-based systems available to users while seeking to migrate those customers to Itanium-based systems as well. The new PA-8900 processor-based HP 9000 servers will provide up to 15% better performance than the PA-8800 processor and will be available in June, Miller says. HP also plans to support PA-RISC customers through 2013.

The Systems Insight Manager 5.0 is the first unified platform to integrate the management of both server and storage infrastructures, says Lee Johns, director of Velocity software and the software global business unit for HP.

The software provides fault monitoring, inventory reporting, and configuration management for HP ProLiant, Integrity, Integrity NonStop, and 9000 server systems, and now the HP StorageWorks XP, EVA, and MSA lines of storage arrays.

To accelerate integration of hardware and software products for use on HP's BladeSystem line of blade servers, the company has unveiled an expanded partner program.

HP is collaborating with hundreds of third-party vendors, including Brocade, Cisco Systems, McData, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, and VMware to simplify use of blades servers, Miller says. New products will include a 4-Gbyte Brocade storage area network switch and a 4-Gbyte McData Fibre Channel switch.