HP updates Itanium-based Integrity servers

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) Thursday announced an upgrade and expansion of its Itanium-based Integrity server line to include new low-end models, a processor upgrade and improved virtualization support that it hopes will make the systems more attractive to Windows and Linux users.

This is first major update to HP's Integrity line in about 18 months. One of the changes unveiled today will enable Windows to run natively on the system in a virtual environment on a shared processor. Today, Windows needs underlying Unix operating system support for virtualization on Integrity. Windows can run natively on Integrity, but not in a virtualized environment.

HP expects to have this Windows virtualization capability ready later this year and plans to do the same for Linux and OpenVMS, two other operating systems that run on Integrity hardware, next year. This new capability will increase server utilization, simplify management and allow applications to be isolated, the company said.

HP is hoping that its virtualization efforts will broaden Integrity's appeal as a platform for supporting multiple operating systems. The virtualization feature will be available in the next release of Integrity Virtual Machine software, which is due later this year, HP said.

"This is an industry standard server that runs four operating environments," said Joe Nadler, HP vice president of Americas, Business Critical Servers and High-Performance Computing. Although Integrity has never been a exclusively Unix system, Nadler said that getting that message through has been difficult.

HP said it has about 9,000 applications that can run on Integrity, a number that continues to increase, and said large vendors are broadening their application support. For instance, Oracle Corp. in March said it would be supporting Itanium with its E-Business Suite.