• United States
by Wayland Hancock

HP offers Itanium 2 Integrity

Jul 28, 20033 mins

* HP's Itanium 2 server lineup

HP on June 30 formally introduced systems based on the next-generation Itanium 2 processor, formerly codenamed Madison. The systems running Intel’s updated chip boast increased performance of between 30% and 50% – bettering the 20% to 30% performance boost per year that has been typical of previous Intel processors. The HP servers are scheduled to begin shipping this month through the company’s Business Critical Server division.

HP’s earlier versions of its Itanium 2 systems already match or outperform all other established server architectures on integer and floating point performance, at fewer GHz.  HP and Intel say the latest version of Intel’s newest processor boosts performance even more – between 30% and 50%.

The HP servers are being marketed under HP’s Integrity server moniker and are designed to be deployed in all tiers of the data center, either alone or in combination with HP’s ProLiant Industry Standard servers and NSK systems, which use the NonStop Kernel operating system. 

The front-end can include between one and four processors and the application and data-tier can have one to 16 processors.  The large-scale data tier may consist of 16 to 64 or more processors. All major technical applications are available now and many commercial applications will be available by year-end.

With key applications and verticals available on multiple operating systems, the Itanium 2 process offers unique capabilities on a single server.  You have the flexibility of choosing operating environments, types of systems, applications, when to adopt new technology, and options for scaling up and scaling out.

For example, you can run Windows, HP-UX, and Linux in separate partitions on a 64-processor Superdome server.  Partition 1 could run HP-UX based applications (ERP, Oracle, billing, data warehousing, etc.), while partition 2 could process Microsoft Windows software (e-mail, file serving, front-end app serving) and partition 3 serve Linux applications (Web serving, firewalls, and load-balancing.) For now, this multi-operating system consolidation is only available using HP servers.

HP worked closely with Microsoft in the development of 64-bit Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2000 (64-bit) for HP’s entire family of Itanium-based servers, including the midrange 8-way and 16-way, and the high-end Superdome 64-way. As a result, HP’s Itanium 2 server range will support the 64-bit version of Microsoft Windows .Net Server 2003, as well as Windows Advanced Server LE.  And more applications are on the way, since HP and Microsoft are collaborating with other industry players to provide support for Linux and OpenVMS platforms. 

Reports say that HP’s Integrity Superdome delivers the world’s fastest transaction performance. According to benchmark data on HP’s Itanium 2 Web site, the 4-way HP Integrity server outperforms an industry standard 8-way server, at a lower price point. HP says the goals for its new line of Integrity servers are to offer customers higher performance, lower acquisition costs and the ability to maximize investment in Integrity servers because they can be easily upgraded.

New Itanium 2 platforms maintain the same socket, bus and software compatibility as earlier systems.  They aim to help you to streamline operations with standards-based modularity, consolidating multiple operating systems onto a single server.

High end HP Integrity Servers include the Integrity Superdome 16, 32, and 64-way (announced June 30) and the Integrity xc6000 Cluster, which is scheduled for introduction this fall.  Also slated for introduction this fall are the midrange Integrity 8-way and Integrity 16-way servers.  Entry level servers introduced June 30 include the Integrity rx2600 (2-way) and the Integrity rx5670 (4-way).  Carrier grade (2-way) and small form factor (4-way) are scheduled to be available in the fall.

Wayland Hancock is business technology editor at Currid & Company, a Houston IT assessment company. You can reach him by e-mail at Learn more about Currid & Company at