HP Adds New Itanium Servers

Remember those HP Itanium servers that Oracle didn't want to write any more software for because Intel secretly planned to end Itanium development?

Well, HP's got new ones based on a new Itanium chip, dubbed the 9500, made by Intel, which claims to be committed to the silicon and its customers past 2013.

Intel's even managed to line up a new customer for Itanium, a Chinese outfit called Inspur.

Itanium customers are thin on the ground. HP's the biggest - even after sales plunged something like 20% because of Oracle's pullout - and include NEC, Hitachi and Bull.

Of course, HP sued Oracle and the court ordered Oracle to start writing, a decision Oracle has promised to appeal. HP in turn wants $4 billion in damages, less for its hardware losses than the juicy support and services contracts that brought in something like 15% of its profits.

And since it's expecting further weakening in the business it's unclear it'll get its money's worth out of new iron.

HP's new boxes are supposed to deliver 2.4x the performance for 8% less power than the prior generation.

A hopeful HP introduced blades that plug into its Superdome 2 and BladeSystem chassis, and an entry-level machine for branch offices or smaller companies.

Customers however are aware that HP is planning a migration to cheaper Xeon machines with Windows and Linux, not HP-UX, running their applications.

Intel said some key features found in the Xeon would turn up in future Itaniums.

HP said the first new HP Integrity systems, including the Superdome 2 server blades, will be available worldwide beginning next month at a starting price of $6,490 a blade.

Nobody said anything about Oracle and that includes Oracle.

© 2008 SYS-CON Media