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Itanic sinks at Lloyds Register

Risk managers think again

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Intel’s list of potential Itanium customer case studies grew a little shorter on Friday, when Lloyds Register said it had reconsidered an earlier plan to shift from Unix (RISC) servers to Itanium boxes.

The risk assessment and mitigation firm embarked on a wide-ranging IT overhaul three years ago, which has seen it move from Unix to systems running Microsoft software such as Exchange Server 2000. This shift helped slash its server fleet from 76 systems to 56 systems. Over the current financial year, its server base will sink to 20 boxes as the firm completes an upgrade to Exchange Server 2003.

Group IT director Stephen Hand, speaking here in London at a Microsoft organised roundtable today, said that the plan had been to move from its original HP PA-RISC systems to Itanic boxes. A daring strategy, but one which meshed with the grand vision Intel and HP were pushing at the time.

A couple of years down the roadmap though, and the risk profile presumably looks a little different to Lloyds Register.

“We weren’t happy with the development [of Itanium],” said Hand. So while the firm has already brought in a couple of the Itanic behemoths, it doesn't expect to be buying any more as it continues to squeeze its server roster.

Of course, it’s not all a complete disaster for Intel or HP for that matter. Hand said Lloyds Register is sticking with HP, which presumably means Intel will get to sell plenty of Xeons to the group. AMD, however, could also now have a play given HP's broad Opteron line.

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