Intel ally Hewlett-Packard has demonstrated the Itanium strategy within its server technology.
Scott Stallard, HP's senior vice president for business critical systems, demonstrated the company's high-end Superdome server running HP-UX, Linux and 64-bit Windows on different partitions on the server.
Stallard also showed processor packaging technology being developed at HP's research labs that would enable HP to produce by 2004 a Superdome server configured with 128 processors. This system would be based on Intel's next iteration of Itanium, codenamed Madison, which is expected in the summer.
Stallard said the version of the company's HP-UX Unix operating system for Itanium now offered the same functionality as the recent PA-Risc release.
"Customers can start building out their infrastructure on Itanium and they can have a platform that can run HP-UX, Linux and OpenVMS," he said. Stallard showed Oracle 9.2 running on an HP-UX partition on the Superdome, along with a version of Red Hat.
Andy Buss, an analyst at Canalys, said, "64-bit Intel is offering comparable price/performance to PA-Risc, Power4 and UltraSparc -based systems."
He expected demand for Itanium systems within business to come from users who needed to run large, complex database systems, that required 64-bit memory supported by Itanium.
With many leading software companies including SAP and IBM supporting Itanium Buss believed the only piece of the enterprise jigsaw missing for Intel was production-ready 64-bit operating systems, although this will change when the 64-bit version of Windows 2003 is introduced later in the spring.