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HP gives mission-critical Integrity systems a new lease of life with Itanium 9500

09 Nov 2012
HP Integrity with BL860c i4 Itanium 9500 blades

HP has unveiled new Integrity systems with a claimed 3x performance increase for mission-critical workloads thanks to Intel's new Itanium 9500 processors, while promising a roadmap for its HP-UX platform for at least the next decade.

Together with HP's Project Odyssey, under which Xeon blades running Windows or Linux can be merged into Integrity systems, the announcement is designed to reassure HP's enterprise customers that the platform still has a future.

"Today's announcement represents breakthrough value for our Integrity and HP-UX customers," said Mark Payne, vice president of business critical systems for HP in EMEA.

Payne promised future announcements for both Itanium and Xeon-based Integrity systems, and claimed that HP is giving customers more choice than any other vendor in the industry, thanks to Project Odyssey.

"If you buy a SuperDome today, and decide you want to move some workloads to Windows or Linux in 18 months' time, you just slide a new blade in. You've protected your investment as the chassis and other infrastructure remains the same," he said.

HP's new "i4"generation of Integrity systems comprise the entry-level Integrity rx2800 i4, a twin-socket rack-mount server; the 2, 4 and 8-socket BL860c i4, BL870c i4 and BL890c i4 blades for HP's c-Class enclosure infrastructure; plus new CB900s i4 blades for its HP SuperDome 2 systems.

The firm also recently released a new HP-UX 11i v3 September 2012 update with extra resiliency and security enhancements.

When compared with the previous generation, the new Integrity systems offer savings of 33 percent on the cost of ownership, up to 3x greater performance and 10x faster threat detection speeds, according to Payne.

Most of these improvements can be attributed to the newly launched Intel Itanium 9500 processor line, codenamed Poulson, which doubles the number of cores to 8 and bumps up the clock speed to a maximum 2.53GHz.

As the HP-UX operating system is now licensed on a per-socket basis, customers will not pay any extra to get the benefit of the extra cores, HP said.

Meanwhile, Itanium 9500 introduces a new microarchitecture and so is "not just Tukwila with more cores," according to Intel's Alan Priestley, director of enterprise marketing for EMEA.

As well as being capable of double the instruction throughput, the Itanium 9500 brings new reliability features such as instruction replay technology, which allows the processor to re-run an instruction if an error is encountered during execution.

Taken together, these developments are likely to reassure HP Integrity customers that their best course of action is to remain with the platform for their mission-critical applications and workloads.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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