• United States

Gartner more bullish on Itanium

Apr 17, 20032 mins

* Gartner peers into Itanium crystal ball and likes what it sees

Gartner released predictions recently for Intel’s Itanium Processor Family (IPF) that may prompt some businesses into deploying servers that use the 64-bit Intel technology.

The analyst firm changed its rating for Itanium from “caution” to “promising” based on several factors it considers imperative to Itanium’s success.

Among those factors are:

* How many applications work on the 64-bit operating system

* The number of companies making Itanium-based servers

* The roadmap for Itanium and its capabilities

John Enck, Gartner vice president and research director, says that in spite of Itanium’s increasing popularity, it will not eclipse reduced instruction set computing (RISC) servers for another five years.

Itanium has, however, seen traction in the server market, Enck says. He has counted over 40 systems and 300 software packages that will use Itanium processors this year. In particular, HP has migrated IPF technology into its Superdome computer.

Enck also cautions Windows and Linux users from using the 64-bit Itanium for their 32-bit applications, saying that Itanium performance will be worse than that of Intel Xeon or other 32-bit processors.

He says that this year Itanium will be deployed in high-performance computing clusters and be ready for mainframe database adoption by year-end.

This month, Enck also notes, Microsoft will release Windows 2003, which will be the company’s formal release of an operating system that will support IPF. He mentions that a lower-voltage Itanium, codenamed Deerfield, will be released this year for high-density servers, possibly blades.

But he adds that Intel’s hyperthreading technology – which is available on its Xeon processors and lets multiple processes run on a processor and share resources such as memory – must be enabled on Itanium to make it competitive with servers from Sun and IBM. Both companies have already announced hyperthreading for their RISC-based processors.