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HP Refreshes Integrity Server Line

HP announced this week it has passed the $1 billion mark in sales of business solutions based on its Integrity servers during fiscal 2004, and tossed in the immediate availability of the newest Itanium 2 processors in its server line to boot.

The company pointed to the $1 billion milestone as proof that its long-term investments in Itanium-based servers is beginning to pay off. “More than 3,000 applications run on Integrity systems [and] the largest single instance of SAP runs on Integrity,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP’s technology solutions group during a Webcast of the announcement.

The announcement comes on the heels of last month’s announcement that HP is relinquishing further development on Itanium processors to Intel although it is continuing to use the chips in its own server products. At that time, HP also committed to spending $3 billion over the next three years on research and development, server and system software design, partner-led application solutions, and sales and marketing efforts to promote Intel Itanium 2 Integrity servers.

All of this comes as some critics charge that Itanium came to market too late to have a significant impact. However, that is not a view that all industry observers share.

“Companies with vested interests in Itanium technology should view these announcements as a positive development, but should also recognize that Itanium still lacks critical mass,” Gartner analysts said at the time of the December role realignment announcement. Indeed, crossing the billion dollar line – while not a “finish” line per se -- may help shore up optimism for Itanium’s long-term prospects.

Meanwhile, this week’s announcement enabled HP to underline other recent developments. Included among those are new production releases of OpenVMS 8.2, and SUSE Linux ES 9 with the Linux 2.6 kernel; and new virtualization capabilities including a pay-per-use for Microsoft Windows option.

HP is also readying NonStop servers built around Itanium 2 processors which the company plans to begin shipping mid-year, according company statements.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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