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Portly HP fires up double-wide Itanium blade

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A long time ago, in a data centers far, far away, blade servers ran on laptop chips from Transmeta. These days companies such as HP pop double-wide, scorching hot Itanium-packed blades into their chassis.

HP today rolled out the four-socket BL870c blade server. This puppy complements the existing two-socket BL860c rolled out at this time last year.

Customers can plunk up to eight of the BL860c systems into HP'c c-Class c7000 chassis. But you'll only be able to squeeze four of the tubby BL870c systems into the same chassis, and two into HP's smaller C3000 chassis. So, the extra sockets come with a price.

The new blades run on Intel's dual-core 9100 Series Itanium processors - aka the Montvale parts. You can pick from 1.6GHz (24MB), 1.6GHz (18MB) and 1.4GHz (12MB) chips.

The BL870c systems also support up to 96GB of memory, four hard drives (SAS) and three I/O slots. You'll find all the specs here.

Along with the fresh hardware, HP is trumpeting the release of more "Solution Blocks," which get capitalized letters because they're very important.

The Solution Blocks help customers learn how to use their blade boxes with HP providing sample configurations and advice on installing systems. As you might expect, these configuration tips cover specific software.

For example, HP has tips for ERP, SOA and IBM WebSphere rollouts.

"The Oracle PeopleSoft Solution Block for PeopleSoft Enterprise 9.0 is one example," HP said. "With this Solution Block, businesses have the option of configurations for basic, medium and high availability. They include combinations of Integrity BL860c, BL870c and ProLiant BL460c server blades, and a range of storage options. Using a high-performance, highly reliable and modular infrastructure, HP helps Oracle customers build long-term IT strategies that can dynamically change as the business environment evolves."

Dynamic? Evolution? Modular? Highly? Strategies? The Lollipop Guild? It's all there.

HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems will all sell far more x86 blades than RISC/Itanium gear, but that's not stopping the vendors from flashing their high-end wares.

So, go ahead and tub up with a Montvale blade. New Year's resolutions be damned. ®

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