Itanium hits 10-year mark, less Windows
Armour moved his Windows Server operating system and SQL Server from HP's Itanium-based Integrity line to HP's ProLiant, Xeon-based DL980 servers with eight sockets and a total of 64 cores.
Armour said his firm's investigation of the Itanium and x86 benchmarks left him confident that the x86 systems, with 512GB of memory each, could handle the workload. That work includes processing payroll and HR services for some 19,000 clients, representing about 700,000 employees.
The x86 systems, which were also less costly, have been running since November. "They are definitely as reliable" as the Integrity systems, said Armour.
In announcing its decision to end Itanium support, Microsoft cited the "natural evolution" of the x86 64-bit multi-core processors, and their improved scalability and reliability.
Microsoft will continue support mainstream support for Itanium to July 2013 and extended support to July 2018.
Matt Eastwood, an analyst at IDC, doesn't see Microsoft's decision hurting Itanium. Microsoft use on that platform has been declining, and "the primary Windows workload, SQL Server, runs very well on x86 systems," he said.
Similarly, George Weiss, an analyst at Gartner, said Microsoft's decision is "of no great consequence of the general position of the platform. But he did note that being able to show that the Itanium supported multi-platforms would have had marketing value.
"We continue to see a decline in Unix over the decade and a zero-sum game in market share among the RISC/Itanium vendors," said Weiss. "Each vendor will be pressed to come up with sustainability strategies for their non-x86 business."
Katie Curtin-Mestre, director for software planning and marketing, Business Critical Systems, at HP, said Windows on Itanium "represents a small percentage of HP's overall Integrity sales."
The changes in Windows support for the Itanium architecture will not impact the roadmap for Integrity hardware or the roadmap for HP-UX, OpenVMS and NonStop running on those servers, she said.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Read more about Processors in Computerworld's Processors Topic Center.
- Big Data, Big Mess: Sound Risk Intelligence Through Complete Context This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Using Cyber Insurance and Cybercrime Data to Limit Your Business Risk This paper examines the challenges of understanding cyber risks, the importance of having the right cyber risk intelligence, and how to use this...
- 5 Tips to Secure Small Business Backdoors in the Enterprise Supply Chain This paper examines the insecurity of the small businesses in the supply chain and offers tips to close those backdoors into the enterprise.
- Confront consumerization with convergence Virtualization expert Elias Khnaser spotlights the security, compliance, and governance issues that arise when enterprise users "consumerize" with shadow IT and public cloud...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Processors White Papers | Webcasts