Hewlett-Packard (HP) will today outline plans to streamline its five existing server lines to three by 2006 and will reveal support plans for its outgoing products.
HP has claimed the move will allow users to standardise data centres with common architectures, reusable components and consistent processes for server and storage environments.
From 2006, HP's server lines will be branded Non-Stop for the high end, Integrity for the 64bit Itanium line and Proliant for x86-based architectures.
The outgoing range includes the Risc-based HP3000, Superdome 9000 and the 64bit Alpha range. All three will be supported until 2011, but production will wind down from 2006.
The firm said recent quarterly reports show 80 per cent of Superdome servers shipped were PA-Risc-based, while the other 20 per cent were Itanium-based.
HP hopes to increase the volume of Itanium-based Integrity and Superdome 9000 servers to 50 per cent of shipments during 2004.
"Standardisation solutions can help partners find sales opportunities and reduce the need for specialised training," said Thomas Ulrich, enterprise systems group marketing director at HP.
Anthony Head, technology director at HP reseller Kavanagh Systems, said: "It's logical to consolidate the servers around Itanium. It simplifies things, so sales teams don't get bogged down in different architectures.
"For example, the HP3000 has been around for an awfully long time and, by migrating its users, HP will reduce support costs and open them up to new standards."
Tony Lock, principal analyst at Bloor Research, said: "The increased server range based on Itanium is to be expected."
Separately, HP has released self-aware tape libraries for SANs and unveiled a pay-per-use pricing model for its StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array.
Lock said it was good to see HP focusing on storage and its management and added that the vendor's moves support a utility computing model.
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