HP has bowed to the inevitable and expanded its HP Integrity Superdome and Integrity NonStop server portfolios with units based on Intel Xeon processors instead of the Itanium chips usually favoured for these mission-critical systems.
Announced at the firm's HP Discover 2014 event in Barcelona and available now, the HP Integrity Superdome X and HP Integrity NonStop X systems are designed to run the most demanding mission-critical workloads on the x86 processor architecture, with the level of performance, scalability and availability that customers have come to expect of HP's Integrity line.
HP's move could be seen as another blow to the ailing Itanium processor, which the firm adopted for its SuperDome and NonStop lines about a decade ago. But HP said it would continue to invest in these existing lines while starting to introduce x86 technology as part of its Project Odyssey initiative.
The HP Integrity Superdome X is aimed at Linux-based workloads, rather than HP's HP-UX flavour of Unix that is exclusively available on the Itanium-based Integrity systems.
It uses HP's BladeSystem Superdome enclosure, configured with up to eight server blades based on Intel's Xeon E7 v2 family of processors.
HP said that Superdome X takes the reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features built into the Xeon E7 v2 and incorporates its proven Superdome RAS capabilities to deliver unique mission-critical capabilities in the x86 market.
The system also supports hard partitions containing one, two, four or eight blades, enabling customers to configure a Superdome X as a single server with up to 16 processor sockets and 12TB of memory for running the most demanding workloads.
At release, the Superdome X supports Suse Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 6.5, 6.6 and 7.0. HP said it plans for Windows Server and SQL Server to be available on Superdome X sometime in the future.
Meanwhile, the HP Integrity NonStop X brings the capabilities of the fault-tolerant NonStop hardware and software to the x86 arena, HP said. The firm announced last year that it was developing an x86 NonStop system.
HP NonStop is a 100 percent fault-tolerant architecture, offering the highest level of availability for the most critical applications.
As with HP's other NonStop systems, these come with a fully-integrated software stack comprising the HP NonStop operating system and key applications such as the NonStop SQL database.
With the addition of NonStop X, NonStop customers have the flexibility to choose continued investments in the current Itanium-based platform or to migrate to the NonStop X platform at their own pace, HP said.
Like the Superdome X, the NonStop X can scale up to a single system comprising up to 16 processors online, or can scale out to a cluster of 255 nodes.
HP updated its HP-UX platform and introduced new lower-cost NonStop servers earlier this year.
With the new x86 Integrity servers, HP said it is bringing mission-critical solutions to a broader market.
"HP is extending our vast expertise in building mission-critical environments to help customers achieve the best business performance for large-scale workloads on an efficient x86 infrastructure," said Ric Lewis, vice president and general manager for HP's Enterprise Server Business.
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