HP Intros Capacity-On-Demand Features

Hewlett-Packard today revealed product developments and buying options that aim to make it easier for customers to increase system capacity. The company unveiled capacity-on-demand options that let customers pay for processing power only when they begin to use it. In addition, the company also demonstrated the same applications running on its PA-RISC architecture and the IA-64 architecture, which is due out in volume by the middle of next year.

With so many customers investing in system infrastructures supporting E-business strategies, it's increasingly difficult for IS executives to anticipate the kind of capacity required for customers or partners doing business over the Web. Spikes in demand have brought some systems to a halt, a fate from which HP is trying to protect its customers.

With HP's new instant capacity-on-demand (iCOD) offering, customers will be able to use and pay for only the processors they need. Starting in January, customers choosing the iCOD option will receive a server with up to 32 processors, in the example of the high-end V-class server, but only pay for the processors they plan to use. They are not required to use a minimum number of processors, and when they need more processing power, they can instantly activate the needed processors with a simple HP-UX command. The feature is also available on HP's N-class and L-class servers. The HP offering follows a similar move by Sun Microsystems last week.

Also, at the Oracle OpenWorld 99 conference in Los Angeles, HP moved an Oracle 8i database loaded on HP's PA-RISC processor architecture to a system based on Intel's first IA-64 processor, Itanium. The dynamic translator used by HP is supposed to allow binary compatibility and data compatibility between the two architectures, so customers with investments in PA-RISC can easily migrate to new systems based on IA-64. HP plans to deliver Itanium systems supporting HP-UX, NT-64, and Linux in the second half of 2000.

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