HP Fills out Integrity, ProLiant Server Lines

HP filled holes in its new Integrity and ProLiant
Itanium 2 server lines Monday, adding 8-way and 16-way midrange servers and
a 4-way high density machine to the former line and new small-and
medium-sized business (SMB) servers to the latter.

The Integrity series now ranges from low end 2-way systems to the high
performance 64-way Itanium Superdome machines, said Vish Mulchand, director
of server marketing, Business Critical Systems at HP. Joining the rx2600 and
the rx4600, which were announced this past June, are the Integrity rx7620 8-way and rx8620 16-way midrange
servers and rx4640 machine, all of which run the Itanium 2 1.5 GHz chip.

Mulchand said Palo, Alto, Calif.’s Integrity line now has more than enough
firepower to compete for the lion’s share of the market versus IBM’s pSeries
Unix server line and Sun Microsystems’ Sun Fire Unix servers. Though HP has
been widely figured to be the global Intel server leader since it acquired
Compaq’s broad server assets two years ago, the company wants to continue to
gobble more Unix market share, where it competes with chief rivals IBM
and Sun.

One of its chief differentiators, HP says, is that the Integrity line is the
only server family that can run the proprietary Unix operating system, HP-UX
11i, Linux and Microsoft Windows Server 2003. OpenVMS is expected to be
available on Integrity products in 2004.

HP is also universally acknowledged as the lead purveyor of Intel’s Intanium
chip-based servers as rivals were initially reticent to get on board.
Mulchand said the fact that HP has already met its goal of getting software
vendor to port at least 1,000 applications available for HP-UX, Linux, and
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on Integrity is an indication of how folks are
taking an interest in its young line. Hundreds of OpenVMS applications are
expected by mid-2004.

Gartner this week released preliminary third quarter server statistics,
finding that HP sold 408,000 units for 3Q, leading the race. HP garnered
26.6 percent of total U.S. server shipments. HP’s shipments increased 21
percent compared to the year earlier, according to Gartner.

HP also posted sequential (7.8 percent) and year-over-year growth (21.6
percent) for unit shipments of x86 servers worldwide. With the additions to
the ProLiant line, HP has aimed for the heart of the SMB market, which James
Mouton, vice president of Industry-Standard Systems at HP, said is an area
of high demand with the potential for tremendous growth — so much so that
rivals IBM, Sun and several other niche players have been taking notice in
the last few months.

“It’s a very ripe market,” Mouton told internetnews.com. “And not
just in the type of mom-and-pop dentist office SMB, but it’s being used to
buy trade, especially in China and Russia. Moreover, Mouton said SMB
customers are not just asking for simple 1 to 2 processor machines, but
those capable of completing high-performance computing tasks, which vendors
traditionally include in high-end servers. Vendors have been more than happy
to supply in their push to grab up market share.

The new ProLiant 100 server series for general-purpose workloads address
SMBs and HPC. The ProLiant DL140 server is geared for grid computing and HPC
clusters while the new HP XC3000 and XC6000 Linux clusters are designed for
HPC. These new products effectively bookend the midrange ProLiant 300, 500
and 700 series machines.

Mouton said the ProLiant 100 series is designed with simplicity in mind, and
they employ OS management tools to make life easier for administrators and
help customers
focus on their business instead of the infrastructure in their data centers.
The HP ProLiant DL140 server features floating point performance and cluster
scalability, making it ideal for grid computing.

Running Linux, the new clusters are targeted for scientific and engineering
technical computing needs and join a cadre of offerings from IBM, Sun Dell
and SGI. The HP XC6000 Cluster is based on the Integrity rx2600 systems and
the HP Cluster XC3000 is based on ProLiant servers. Each system is available
with up to 512-processors.

To sport HPC clusters, HP has formed the HP Collaboration and Competency
Network to make sure HPC technology and standards are in lockstep.

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