HP refreshes Integrity servers with supercharged Intel processor

Intel says new Itanium 9500 processor is more than twice as powerful as predecessor

Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) is refreshing its current line of high-end Integrity servers--from blades to its large Superdome servers--with Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC) new Itanium 9500 processor.

HP estimates that with the new Intel processor and other enhancements, companies will be able to process transactions up to three times faster than previous generations while using 21 percent less energy.

Intel said its new 9500 processor is more than twice as powerful as the previous generation of processor, making it well suited for large enterprises with vigorous computing needs such as business analytics, large databases and large-scale enterprise resource planning applications.

HP explained that its new offerings include:

  • A faster Superdome 2 server with new blades and other improvements
  • Three new Integrity server blades for the BladeSystem c-Class enclosure
  • A new entry-class Integrity server for branch offices or expanding businesses
  • HP-UX operating system advancements that deliver improved security and management to speed threat detection and optimize resource utilization, and
  • New advisory workshop services, financing programs and cost assessment tools.

The first new HP Integrity systems, including the Superdome 2 server blades, will be available worldwide beginning next month at a starting price of $6,490 per blade. The HP Platform Advisory Workshop services are available worldwide with pricing based on location and implementation.

Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst serving infrastructure and operations professionals with Forrester Research, thinks the marriage of the Itanium 9500 processor with the HP Integrity servers is "good news" for enterprises currently using Itanium and the HP-UX platform.

"The fly in the ointment (I have never seen a fly in any ointment, but it does sound gross), of course, is HP's dispute with Oracle. Despite the initial judgment in HP's favor, the trial is a) not over yet, and b) Oracle has already filed for an early appeal of the initial verdict, which would ordinarily have to wait until the second phase of the trial, scheduled for next year, to finish. The net takeaway is that Oracle's future availability on Itanium and HP-UX is not yet assured, so we really cannot advise the large number of Oracle users who will require Oracle 12 and later versions to relax yet," Fichera wrote in a blog.

In August, a California judge ruled in favor of HP and against Oracle over the latter's decision to end support for HP servers using the Itanium processor. The dispute began when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, which placed Oracle into the server hardware business in competition with HP, according to a Reuters report carried by Business Insider.

These announcements by HP and Intel are good news for enterprises already committed to the Itanium processor and the HP-UX operating systems. However, for other enterprises considering an infrastructure investment, Intel's more widely used x86 server architecture is probably a better choice.

For more:
- see releases by HP and Intel
- read Fichera's blog

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