HP Extends RISC, Itanium Server Lines, Offers New Migration Services

HP's 9000-series of series is being enhanced with the company's latest PA-8800 RISC processors, said John Miller, director of portfolio marketing for the company's enterprise servers and storage.

The PA-8800 is a dual-core processor, effectively doubling performance, according to Miller. Under this scenario, for example, a 4-way server can perform as if it was an 8-way server, Miller said. The processors operate with the current HP-UX 11iv1 Unix operating system.

They also use the same system bus as Intel Itanium processors--HP's server platform of choice--which should ease migration issues as HP works to transition it's customers to Itanium-based systems. The company is scheduled to bring out one more generation of its RISC processors, the PA-8900, in about 18 months, and after that customers will be directed to the Itanium platform, said Miller.

Among the new servers based on the PA-8800 processor are the 128-way HP 9000 Superdome, the 32-way rp8420-32, the 16-way rp7420-16, the 8-way rp4440-8, the 4-way rp3420-4, and the 2-way rp-3410-2.

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Existing 9000-series of servers can be upgraded to the PA-8800 processors via in-box upgrades. Starting price for the new Superdomes, expected to be available next month, is $309,000 including four processors and 4 Gbytes of memory.

The rp8420-32 starts at $93,000 with four processors and 4 Gbytes of memory. The rp7420-16 starts at $40,000 with two processors and 2 Gbytes. The rp4440-8 starts at $21,000 with two processors, 1 Gbyte of memory, and one 36-Gbyte hard drive. They are all available this week, HP officials said.

HP is also beefing up its Integrity server line with a new entry-level model, the rx1600, which fits one or two low-voltage Itanium processors in 1U of rack space. Price for hits server, expected to be released next month, starts at $2,800 with one processor, 512 Mbytes of memory, and a 36-Gbyte hard drive.

The low-voltage Itanium processors are also being introduced to the company's existing Integrity servers. The server line now also operates under SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8, and an evaluation release of the Open VMS version 8.1 operating system is now available. "This will help transition the AlphaServer base to the Itanium platform," Miller said.

HP's Integrity line of servers can also be clustered using InfiniBand under the HP-UX operating system, said Miller. Similar capabilities under Windows and Linux are coming, but timing has yet to be determined, he said

On the storage side, HP introduced a new pay-per-use financing for its EVA family, including the EVA3000 and EVA5000. This is being done with a metering technology that tracks capacity usage and lets customers pay for only the capacity actually used.

Also new from HP storage is the HP StorageWorks ESL E-series tape library, which can be configured for Ultrium 460 or SDLT 320 tape drive formats. Available starting next month, the libraries offer a capacity of up to 14.2 Tbytes per square foot of space, company officials said.

HP is also offering a number of migration services to its customers, said Miller. These include migration to the mySAP ERP platform from SAP r3, which is going end-of-life, he said. The company is also offering new migration services for customers looking to move from Windows NT, which is going end-of-life by year-end, to Windows Server 2003, he said.

HP is also expanding its Sun Migration Program which allows a credit of up to $50,000 to customers to port Solaris applications to Windows or HP-UX, Miller said. "We're looking at all the [Sun] E-12K and E-15K servers out there," he said.

All the services, including the $50,000 credit, are available from HP's channel partner or via its direct sales force.