Final Refresh Of AlphaServers At HP World


Hewlett-Packard will give its channel partners and customers the chance to say hello to the last of the AlphaServer line and welcome the latest EVA storage array at the HP World conference in Chicago this week.

The AlphaServers, a high-end server line inherited by HP with its Compaq acquisition, will be missed, said Carl Wolfston, director of Headlands Associates, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based HP solution provider.

"I will miss the Alphas," Wolfston said. "But the joke now is, just look at Sun [Microsystems]. They're doing the same thing with their servers."

Wolfston said he hopes HP will at least carry through on earlier plans to port the AlphaServer's VMS operating system to the Itanium platform, but he has yet to see any movement in this direction. "It's the best OS around," he said. "It's rock-solid."

HP is bumping up the performance of its GS1280 server with the new 1.3GHz EV7z processor, and doing the same with its ES47/80 server via the new 1.15GHz EV7 CPU, said Don Jenkins, vice president of marketing for HP's business critical systems. Prices for current members of the AlphaServer family will have processor and memory price cuts of up to 40 percent, he said.

HP plans to sell the AlphaServers through 2006 and support them through 2011, Jenkins said. "This is the final refresh to the Alpha line," he said.

Also new this week is the unification of HP-UX 11i for HP 9000 and Integrity servers into one common code base. The unification, expected in October, means HP-UX applications for either server will work on the other without the need to recompile or retest them, Jenkins said. Installation, patches and updates will be the same for both.

HP also plans to introduce the EVA 3000 Starter Kit, a low-cost bundle built around the company's EVA 3000 array, said Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for HP's online storage division.

The kit includes the array, installation, multipath software license for two host servers with choice of operating system, two controllers, and cables in a single SKU for customers looking to adopt Fibre Channel connectivity to reduce storage costs and complexity, Fitze said.

Also included is management software that can be installed on an industry-standard server instead of the more expensive management appliance normally required with the EVA, he said.