HP has unveiled a roadmap to meld its Itanium-based Integrity servers with x86 systems in order to deliver a unified mission-critical architecture, giving customers the choice of running Windows and Linux workloads as well as HP-UX and OpenVMS.
Dubbed "project Odyssey", the plans will see HP introduce Intel Xeon-based blades for its Superdome 2 system enclosures, as well as bringing some features from its Integrity platform to the mainstream c-Class BladeSystem enclosures to beef up the mission-critical capabilities of Windows and Linux.
HP said the move is about offering greater choice to its Integrity customers, who are increasingly looking at moving workloads to Windows and Linux as a way of reducing costs, but some observers might interpret it as another nail in the coffin of the ill-fated Itanium processor.
However, speaking to V3, HP denied that Odyssey is the first step towards migrating its Integrity platform from Itanium over to x86, and said it will not offer an x86 version of the HP-UX operating system.
"None of the existing published roadmap commitments from HP on HP-UX or the future of the Integrity platforms will be changed as a result of this announcement," said Mark Payne, vice president of HP's Business Critical Systems (BCS) in EMEA.
Instead, HP is offering customers more choice and innovation going forward, he insisted.
"What we're saying to Integrity customers is that If you so choose, you can move to a more Linux-based or Windows-based world, and we will offer you investment protection by using your existing infrastructure, but running on x86 blades," Payne said.
The Xeon-based blades for HP Superdome 2, codenamed DragonHawk, will provide customers with 32-socket x86 systems capable of scaling to hundreds of cores and able to support complex mission-critical workloads, according to HP.
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