Feeds

HP sees EPIC time for Microsoft

HP sees Montecito as a lever on Microsoft

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Montecito, the dual-core implementation of the Itanium processor, formally arrives this month and its chief protagonist, HP, is expected to launch a revamped range of Integrity servers using the processor early in Q4. Said to be a `significant revision’ of the Integrity range, it is likely to include further expansion beyond HP-UX, Linux and Windows with more development of the ex-Tandem Non-Stop technology.

HP is unsurprisingly bullish about using Montecito, pointing to recent benchmarks that show significantly improved performance and a reduction in power consumption. It is also willing to address some of the issues that the new dual-core processor may raise for users looking to run Windows in the datacentre – a role to which Microsoft certainly now aspires.

“People don’t laugh now at the idea of a Windows datacentre,” said Peter Hindle, HP’s enterprise solutions manager in the UK, “but it does mean that Microsoft has to understand the specific needs of that marketplace.”

That the potential for doubt about that understanding exists was demonstrated recently by Pat Gelsinger, head man for Intel’s Server Processor line, during a presentation at Stanford University reported in El Reg here. His reported conversation with Microsoft founder Bill Gates indicate that Microsoft’s operating system and applications may only just be facing up to a world beyond using lots of single processor boxes. But simply making single core processors faster runs up against the Laws of Physics – faster processors equals hotter processors. But in the datacentre arena, this runs up against the the increasingly punitive economics of energy consumption and heat management – two areas where even Intel would admit it has lagged behind its main rival, AMD.

“SQLServer 2005 actually runs faster on Itanium Integrity than on x86 servers,” Hindle said, “so it does look at though Microsoft is starting to understand where the advantages lie in the datacentre sector.” This does suggest that a datacentre-specific set of applications could emerge from Microsoft, possibly with a stronger orientation towards Itanium. Not even HP is expecting to see an Itanium version of major sellers such as Office or Exchange, where the x86 more than well suited for that job. Hindle suggests that the reasons for utilising Itanium’s EPIC architecture remain valid. Superscalar RISC architectures are running out of steam, and this is particularly the case with parallelisation. The multicore, even in the x86, is one way round this problem, but the EPIC architecture puts more of the parallelisation functionality into the compiler, leaving the processor to crunch numbers.

In Hindle’s view, if Microsoft has real aspirations in the datacentre/enterprise market then it has to start thinking in terms of fully exploiting both EPIC and multicore architectures. “For example,” he said, “if it really wants to break into the enterprise BI marketplace it really will have to think in terms of Itanium as the platform to choose.”

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.