HP now has an effort underway to build the same type of mission-critical capabilities on an x86 system, as is available on the Itanium Superdome class servers running HP-UX. Codenamed Project Odyssey, the effort will eventually lead HP to favor x86 and Linux over Itanium and Unix, according to Scott Farrand, vice president of Industry Standard Servers and Software in the Enterprise Group at HP.
“Our go forward strategy for mission-critical systems is shifting to an x86-based world,” Farrand said. “It’s not by coincidence that folks have de-committed from Itanium, specifically Oracle.”
HP’s plan is to bring the same high availability and resiliency that the Itanium business-critical systems deliver to an x86 base. HP’s top end Superdome Itanium servers will be succeeded by something now known as Project Dragon Hawk, on x86 with mission-critical Linux. Dragon Hawk will provide 32-way partionable processors and will be certified to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.
Unix vs Linux
While HP is moving toward an x86 base, Farrand noted that mission-critical servers have long lives. As such, HP will continue to support existing Itanium systems until they hit their end of lives, which is still far in the future.