IBM to purchase Cognos
The Anniversary That Won't Die

Alternate horsepower for new Windows steeds

When HP advised you to migrate from your 3000 — on that fateful day we all mark tomorrow — it might have had something like the latest Windows-Intel hardware system in mind.

There's a new line of quad-core servers based on the Clovertown version of the Xeon 5300 chipsets. If you recall, Xeon is that other processor that Intel manufactures. It outsells the Itanium, well-regarded by HP and the 3000 customers who've migrated to Integrity server, by a wider margin than anybody can calculate.

But popularity is a poor measure for anything except market longevity. (You don't need to tell HP 3000 owners about that.) The new Xeon systems will be 50 percent faster than their dual-core predecessors in what HP calls its ProLiant line. (Extra processors never add 100 percent more performance per addition, another fact that's not new to a 3000 community that operates many 2-way and 4-way servers. Quite a few of them drive mission critical applications, but that's not the point today.)

HP will ship nine of the quad-core models in all, and like much of the ProLiant line, the hardware acquisition cost is often lower than buying used HP 3000 systems. There's also the cost of managing a Windows environment to consider when making a migration. But lots of 3000 sites are already paying their Windows resource surcharge, albeit on the desktops of their workers.

In this case, cost of ownership includes the factor of popularity. People who gather comfort from building up their enterprise on industry-standard platforms choose Windows to replace HP 3000s. They do this in your community more often than they select HP-UX and Integrity, which is why the newest round of ProLiants is significant.

Xeon is less costly and more popular than the Itanium systems, but HP isn't standing still on the less-preferred solution. Integrity servers and server blades are now powered by the Intel's Itanium processor 9100 series, code named “Montvale.” Integrity servers run lots of operating environments. Well, not the one you know the best. On the other hand, Integrity support is important to the HP-UX community. Integrity will soon be the only chip where HP's Unix can operate.

But the new Wintel solutions won't be hemmed in by market acceptance. Dell and IBM both announced servers using the Clovertown chips. HP's new servers include three pedestal, three rack-mount, and three blade units. All come with one processor and at least 1 GB of memory but have no hard drive in their base configurations.The servers also have a socket for a second processor. (Remember, cores and processors are not the same thing.)

Servers with a 1,066MHz front-side bus began shipping today, and 1,333MHz versions are expected to become available in January.

List prices for the new quad-core pedestal servers start at $2,039. The rack-mount models start at $2,239 and blades at $2,629.