Japanese hardware maker Fujitsu launched a line of servers running on Intel’s new dual-core Itanium 2 processor and bundled with database software from Microsoft.
“It’s a mainframe killer,” said Simon Piff, Microsoft’s regional solutions manager, referring to Fujitsu’s PRIMEQUEST 500 server series.
Itanium 2, formerly code-named “Montecito,” is the first to bring hyperthreading, virtualization and multiple cores to the Itanium line, originally a collaboration between Intel and HP.
Those features are important to customers who use the chips for business analytics, large data warehouses and other high-performance computing tasks. More powerful Itanium 2 systems are seen to appeal to users looking to migrate from legacy mainframe computers that cost a lot to maintain.
Bundled with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, the new Fujitsu server is designed to provide organizations utilizing large databases with an integrated solution, officials said.
Fujitsu, however, did not give out pricing details.
The launch of Fujitsu’s Itanium 2 servers will also hasten the adoption of 64-bit computing among local users, according to a local Intel official.
“The interest has been growing exponentially,” said Carlo Subido, business solutions manager for Intel Microelectronics Philippines. According to Subido, Intel’s local arm has closed “some large deals” lately, but he declined to disclose names of companies.
Subido noted that one of largest Itanium installations is a local bank in the process of replacing its mainframe machines. “We already had a contract signing, and we are just waiting for the delivery of the hardware,” he said.
While the Philippines still lags behind other countries in the region in terms of adopting 64-bit computing, he noted growing interest on dual-core systems from local users and sees greater adoption this year.
“In fact, we are already seeing the start of 128-bit for some early adopters, but that is still a long way to go,” said Subido, noting adoption in verticals like banks, manufacturing, telecommunications and government.
“The adoption rate is growing and almost doubling by every quarter, including the possible opportunities,” he added.
Intel launched five versions of the dual-core Itanium 2, including a 1.6GHz version with 24MB of memory for US$3,692, a 1.6GHz version with 18MB for $1,980, a 1.6GHz version with 8MB for $1,552, a 1.42GHz version with 12MB for $910 and a 1.4GHz version with 12MB for $749.
-Jenalyn M. Rubio, Computerworld Philippines
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