HP sharpens Itanium blade plans

Blade systems will be based on 64-bit chips

Just days after NEC announced plans to ship blade servers based on Intel's Itanium 2 microprocessor, Hewlett-Packard said it expects to ship blade systems based on the 64-bit chips.

HP revealed few details about its upcoming blade systems, but said that the systems would ship in 2005, and would use a different chassis from the ProLiant BL systems HP ships.

Blades are densely packed servers that are slid into a common chassis like books in a bookshelf. Though analyst expectations were initially bullish, blades have not sold as well as predicted. Hewlett-Packard, for example, said it has sold 100,000 blade systems to date.

After halving its initial blade sales predictions, analysts at IDC now expect about 450,000 of the servers to be sold in 2004, which would account for about 8% of the server market.

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service

Read more on Server hardware