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HP Continues Itanium Integrity Push

HP is refreshing its Integrity line of servers, incorporating the latest dual-core "Montecito" release of Intel's Itanium 2 processor.

With performance that is more than twice that of its earlier generation, HP  said the new Integrity's have "mainframe-caliber high availability at entry-level server prices."

The latest Integrity's also sport the new HP zx2 chipset, which HP claims delivers more than two times the energy efficiency and cuts power and cooling costs by up to 50 percent.

"It's all about driving down enterprise costs," Tim Danielsen, worldwide product line manager, business critical systems at HP, told internetnews.com.

As one example, Danielsen noted HP's current rs 4640 single core Integrity can deliver about 130 database transactions per watt. The newer rx4640 can deliver about 270 database transactions per watt.

Pricing is about similar with the current generation. The low end starts with the Integrity rx2620 priced at $4,884. Other models include the Integrity rx3600 ($10,531), Integrity rx 4640 ($15,614), Integrity rx6600 ($14,771), Integrity rx7640 ($33,058), Integrity rx8640 ($74,725) and the HP Integrity Superdome ($209,389).

The Itanium has been a troubled processor dating from the initial hope that it would be a mainstream high performance replacement for Intel's Pentium. But Itanium has been a winner for HP, a co-developer of the processor before Intel took over. And Danielsen claimed customers are "lining up" to buy the new systems.

"If you forget for a moment that Itanium was going to take over the world, and judge it on its own merits, it's a very capable high end processor," Gordon Haff, analyst with Illuminata, told internetnews.com.

"HP is doing pretty well with it and with the multiple OS support, they have a good application portfolio."

HP announced there are now over 9,000 applications for Integrity, which can run a range of operating systems, including HP-UX, Windows, Linux and OpenVMS v8.3.

Danielsen noted that advances in HP's virtualization technology will make the multiple OS scenario more attractive. Later this year, HP said it plans to add support for Windows to HP Integrity Virtual Machines, allowing Windows and other OSes to run on a single processor.

"We see some companies that use SAP standardize on Unix, but they also want Windows for business intelligence," said Danielsen. "They can choose to standardize on one server or deploy the OSes separately in partitions."