October 28, 2005 11:36 AM PDT

HP to unveil Itanium blades next week

Hewlett-Packard is expected to announce its first blade servers that use Intel's Itanium processor on Tuesday, sources familiar with the product plans said.

HP is currently the second-place blade seller after IBM, and together the companies account for the lion's share of shipments and revenue for the thin servers. Right now, one difference between their products is that IBM's Power processor-based blade can run the company's version of Unix, AIX, but HP's machine can't run its own take on the operating system.

That will change with HP's Itanium blades, which can run the HP-UX version of Unix. Itanium-based computers also can run Linux and Microsoft Windows.

Blade servers are slim machines that slide side-by-side into a chassis that supplies common power, cooling and networking infrastructure. Server makers are interested in the market as a way to stand above the common herd of mainstream servers and to tap into a business that's growing 10 times faster than the overall server market. In the second quarter of 2005, blade server revenue grew 49 percent to $419 million compared with the overall server market's 4.7 percent growth to $12.2 billion, according to Gartner research.

Most blade servers use x86 processors, such as Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron, which both IBM and HP use in their blade servers. Rival Dell sells Xeon-based blades, and Sun Microsystems, the fourth major server maker, plans to release Opteron-based blades in coming months.

HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif., declined to comment. However, in 2004, the company said it expected Itanium blades in mid-2005.

HP initiated the chip project that became Itanium and helped Intel develop early models. The next Itanium, a dual-core chip code-named Montecito, has been delayed until mid-2006.

9 comments

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hp sure loves to try and force this processor on people.
if they sell 5 of these to a commercial client in a year i would be astounded...
Posted by Yukimi Konomi (48 comments )
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3B$ revenue last year...
...isn't that facts enough.
Posted by gmarsolo (1 comment )
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This year?
They dont even sell to anyone but resellers, much less you will have to wait a few months to just get them! Buy dell blades!
Posted by mayerjr (8 comments )
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They have a long term investment here.
They have put some of their technology borrowed from the Alpha acquired with Compaq into Itanium. They have a definate interest in seeing this processor suceeed.
Posted by zaznet (1138 comments )
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HP set to launch the first Itanium based printer the following week
In a move to increase less than spectacular processor market share HP is set release the worlds first Itanium powered printer. Sources close to #1 printer maker have told us that the printer model will be the HP Color Laser Jet 10000bfd. An HP spokesman released the following statements "Customers wanted more choice and value when it comes to printing, we have delivered in a big way"..."We have proven with our Itanium blades that this processor is not just for high end tasks, this product announcement is further testament to that"..."We are showing our customers our commitment to this architecture by deploying this processor across all of our product lines, none of our competitors have demonstrated this level of commitment". This comes at a time when most vendors have dropped the processor or have relegated it to high end tasks. The future roadmap has all of HP's printer models moving to the processor by early 2008. Analyst estimate that this will increase Itanium markets share by 1,000,000% first year alone.
Posted by zkysr (78 comments )
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