HP Strengthens its Integrity Line

HP is standing behind its recent $3 billion
re-investment in Itanium with the coming of new server hardware and
software.

Company executives, such as CEO Carly Fiorina, Anne Livermore
and Rich Marcello, are scheduled to roll out new high-end and mid-range
Integrity servers this week, starting with more announcements today.

Six new HP Integrity servers powered by multiple Intel Itanium chips and ranging in price points between $4,119
for an Integrity rx1620 server and $185,252 for a Superdome are slated
to get an unveiling at a company event on Tuesday. Fiorina and team are
also expected to announce a host of enticing service features including
the industry’s first ever pay-per use pricing for Microsoft Windows.

HP is also expected to announce new multi-operating system
virtualization software; expanded high-availability and disaster
recovery features for HP-UX 11i and Microsoft Windows Server 2003
operating systems; new production releases of the OpenVMS and SUSE Linux
operating systems; as well as server services for the company’s HP
NonStop server family.

“The reality is Sun and IBM are scared of what HP can do with
Itanium, which is why they are adopting things like Linux and AMD’s
Opteron,” Brian Cox, worldwide product line manager for business
critical servers at HP, told internetnews.com.

The fanfare follows a 180-degree shift in HP’s involvement in the
development of the Itanium chip architecture. In December 2004, HP brass
sold
off
its development assets including its engineering division, to
Itanium co-developer Intel. But by that time, HP had already abandoned
its plans to produce Itanium-based workstations in September 2004
in favor of focusing on the estimated $20 billion worldwide server
market.

HP said its first selling point is Intel’s new Itanium 2 processors
(codenamed Madison) with up to 9MB of cache for mid-range and high-end
Integrity servers. Previously, the company has reserved Itanium for only
its high-performance boxes.

The new HP Integrity boxes also introduce new production releases of
OpenVMS v8.2, and SUSE Linux ES 9 with the Linux 2.6 kernel. Cox said HP
plans on offering a similar Red Hat product based on the Linux 2.6
kernel when it is available.

“The whole gambit is the realization that the advances in industry
standard processors will have such great price performance that we have
to offer value added features,” Cox said. HP is scheduled to release its
final PA RISC chip later this year making way for an exclusive
Itanium-based Integrity family.

To augment the processor capabilities, HP’s Cox said other value adds
include new virtualization capabilities such as the industry’s first Pay
per use for Windows.

Similar to the leasing program HP started with its HP-UX servers, the
hardware is metered in computing cycles. Cox said the program would be good
for companies that have Microsoft site licenses but which need extra
computing power for temporary projects.

“The structure also allows the IT department to set up a utility
model to bill other departments,” Cox said.

Another aspect of HP’s strategy is the delivery of its previously
announced Global Workload Manager and its Secure Resource Partitions —
sometimes called software containers — for HP-UX 11i.

Cox said HP will also start offering expanded high availability and
disaster recovery for HP-UX 11i its with HP Serviceguard, HP
Metrocluster (100 miles or less between cluster nodes), and HP
Continentalclusters (multi-state, multi-country and potentially
multi-continent).

“Historical back up is relatively close by to the main data,” Cox
said. “With Metrocluster you could have one primary site and one mirror
or secondary site outside the city limits in real time. With
Continentalclusters, you could host a primary site in NY, with
additional ones in Nebraska and California. It’s expanding multiple
sites feeding into one set that gets updated on a schedule.”

HP is also scheduled to release new services for its HP NonStop
serves along with new services for HP OpenVMS customers as well as for
migrating SAP applications to Integrity servers running
Microsoft Windows. HP said it will recommend the new servers, software
and support for only the highest priority data center functions for its
Microsoft Windows and OpenVMS customers.

“Customers are voting with their IT dollars,” HP’s Cox said. “We have
seen success over the last year. We sold more than $1 billion of that
value add.”

HP said it anticipates Integrity server unit sales to grow to more
than 50 percent of what it usually sells annually by end of 2005. The
company also raised its estimate for 2006, saying it should achieve 70
percent in sales and service contracts better than what they are doing
now. Recent HP Integrity server customers scheduled to be highlighted on
Tuesday include the Bank of New York, CRI/Criterion, a wholly owned
subsidiary of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies, and Premier
Bankcard.

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