Hewlett-Packard Announces Server Road Map

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted May 9, 2002


In a white paper published late Tuesday, Hewlett-Packard unveiled the topography of the post-merger landscape for its combined server, storage, software, personal systems, and imaging and printing product lines.

In with HP ProLiant; out with Tru64 -- Hewlett-Packard offers a preview of what the post-merger server landscape will look like.

In the server area, HP announced which IA-32, Intel, RISC, Unix, and fault-tolerant server lines will remain and how they will be positioned going forward.

Although the company would not comment beyond the published report, it claims it started plotting its road map shortly after the merger was announced. HP also stated that decisions about employees and particular sites have not yet been made.

While HP will become the master brand for all server products, product families representing both companies will remain.

Detailed transition and migration plans will be provided at a later date.

IA-32 Servers

Before the merger, both HP and Compaq had IA-32 server offerings: the Compaq ProLiant and the HP Netserver (which was also known as the HP Server).

Since the Compaq products hold greater market share in this space, they will be continued and renamed the "HP ProLiant" server family. HP will position the server line as its single IA-32 server offering.

Along with the servers, HP will transition to the server-attached storage (Smart Array), rack, rack option and power infrastructure, and systems management families currently used with ProLiant platforms. The ProLiant Essentials software offerings will also be continued.

At the low end of the HP side, the vendor will continue to offer tc2210 and tc2100, re-branded as HP ProLiant servers.

HP has opted not to consolidate the blade space and will continue to offer products from both sides. The ProLiant blade server architecture will continue to be targeted at the data center, and HP's blade server will continue to be marketed at the telecommunications market.

As customers transition to ProLiant servers, Netserver customers will have the option of using their Toptools console, migrating to Insight Manager 7, or combining the two.

Intel

HP and Compaq each had Itanium-processor-based server lines. The next generation of these lines (which will be McKinley-based) will follow HP's previously published road map, with augmentation from the ProLiant IA-64 feature set.

By the release of the third-generation Itanium processor (Madison), HP will offer Itanium-based servers across its product line, including HP NonStop Itanium servers.

HP also plans to eventually enhance its original plans by including ProLiant management capabilities with Itanium servers.

HP is following this route based on the expected customer adoption of the Itanium servers, as it believes the enterprises that will initially purchase Itanium servers also require 64-bit computing.

HP believes customers in this target market currently use RISC-based servers, and this will give them a broad range of Itanium-based servers supporting multiple operating systems. HP also aims to give PA-RISC customers investment protection with in-the-box upgrades for 4-way servers and above.

RISC-Based Servers

The RISC server space is the only area where HP will retain both product lines. In most cases, the PA-RISC systems will be upgradable in the box to future Itanium microprocessors.

HP will continue to follow the previously published road maps for both HP PA-RISC and the Compaq AlphaServer. HP will continue developing PA-8800 and PA-8900 processors, as well as EV7 and EV79 Alpha processors, with different positioning for each line.

PA-RISC servers will be targeted at the PA-RISC installed base and all new business opportunities. AlphaServer systems will be primarily focused on the Alpha installed base and high-performance technical computing.

Unix

Because of HP-UX's larger market share and installed customer base of customers, as well as its broader ISV support, HP has selected HP UX over Tru64 as the Unix flavor it will support long term. Tru64 Unix's more-advanced features, such as clustering and file systems, will eventually be integrated into HP-UX.

HP also plans to deliver on the previously announced Compaq OpenVMS road map, including its port to Itanium.

Fault-Tolerant Servers

Compaq brings fault-tolerant servers to the HP server buffet. The NonStop server family from Compaq will be renamed the HP NonStop Server.

HP did not have a similar offering, so it will follow Compaq's server road map. Future releases will include the two planned MIPs processor upgrades and the transition to Itanium.

The complete white paper is available online at http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/07may02b.htm.

Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site, ServerWatch.

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