Computer World is reporting how early access customers will be able to start testing and benchmarking the proof-of-concept server, which will be part of a family of low-power servers being developed by HP under a new platform dubbed the Redstone Server Development Platform.
HP has high hopes for its Gen8 servers. They will use ARM based hardware and software which it thinks can deliver more value per watt of power. They are the result of a $300 million research programme, known as Project Voyager, which HP embarked upon to try to find new ways for data centres to cut costs and get home after being lost in the Alpha Quadrant without jettisoning Nelix into outer space.
The senior VP of HP’s industry standard servers and Software Group, Mark Potter, said that HP wanted to develop servers that would “take care of themselves.” We wonder if that means that they have been taking Judo lessons.
Gen8 will be replacing the Proliant G7 series that was introduced in 2010. This set will be made available in March.
Oracle has claimed in court that Intel was forced to produce new Itanium processors due to a secret contract it had signed with HP.
Intel and HP spent billions jointly developing the ill-fated Itanium processor but few server vendors other than HP carried the chip for long. However, Intel continued to develop Itanium, with the common consensus being that the chipmaker wanted to save face despite poor sales. But according to Oracle, it was due to contractual obligations with HP.
Oracle said, “As innocuous as HP tries to make that sound, the market has never been told that Itanium lives on only because HP is paying Intel to keep it going.”
HP roundly denied Oracle’s claims, saying, “Oracle’s trumped-up accusations in its November 15 filing are false and a transparent effort to avoid the early trial date set by the Court to adjudicate the contractual commitment Oracle undertook to continue to support HP’s platforms, and then abruptly breached. HP is resolved to enforcing Oracle’s commitments to HP and our shared customers and will continue to take actions to protect its customers’ best interests. It is time for Oracle to quit pursuing baseless accusations and honor its commitments to HP and to our shared customers in a timely manner.”
HP has repeatedly said that it keeps supporting Itanium because it stands by its customers. The point Oracle is trying to prove is that even Intel would give up on Itanium if it had not signed what must be an iron-clad contract with HP.
Oracle has been trying to get hold of this contract from Intel, but said that its attempt to get this document “in particular is proving to be contentious”.
HP is preparing ARM-based servers using chips from Calxeda.
HP, which is Intel’s biggest x86 chip customer, reportedly is readying servers based on ARM processors, which will make it the first high volume server vendor to take the plunge away from Intel. Bloomberg reports that HP has turned to chip vendor Calxeda, a firm that is part-owned by ARM.
For ARM the question of its chips appearing in servers is more a question of when, rather than if. The chip designer’s low powered processors have conquered the embedded world and enjoy a near shut-out in the smartphone and tablet market. Interestingly, ARM’s foray into the server market is the mirror image of what Intel is facing in the smartphone and tablet market.
The problem for Intel is that in the server market everyone is looking for a low power chip that will enable them to increase compute density. Luckily for ARM, that’s exactly what its chips are known for.
ARM hasn’t kept its server intentions a secret, however it was expected that it would take a couple of years before its chips were adopted by headline server vendors such as HP and Dell.
If HP really is close to inking a deal with Calxeda to launch ARM-based servers, then Intel should be worried. Not only does HP ship a vast number of servers, but the fact that such a big brand sees ARM-based servers as a viable market could open the gates for its rivals to jump on the ARM bandwagon.
HP will decide on the future of its PC business this month, according to a statement from its newly installed CEO.
While it was under the Apotheker captaincy the firm announced rather shocking plans to dump the PC business. Okay, it didn’t explicitly say that, rather it said that it would consider selling it or spinning it off, which apparently meant something else to HP than it did to normal people.
According to Bloomberg, new HP CEO Meg Whitman sprinkled a little more colour into the HP PC business tapestry, and in a conference call said that the firm is almost ready to say what its plans are.
It’s likely that shareholders and the board are still reeling from the suggestion, but the extra time will give HP room to decide on what it wants to do with the still profitable, but boring hardware arm.
While it was under Leo Apotheker’s rule the firm had given itself the deadline of the end of the year for a decision, but presumably sick of people asking her, “what are we going to do with the PC business?”, Whitman has bought the decision forward.
“We have to make a final decision about what to do with the PC division,” she said. “It’s a decision I want to make much faster than my predecessor. I want to make it before the end of October.”
Another factor that could have motivated a quicker decision is the fact that HP shareholders are suing the company because they believe that they were mislead over the future of the business.
HP has added to confusion about what it will do with its PC business by now saying that it wants spin off the unit.
According to Reuters, HP is working on understanding the larger implications of separating the PC business from rest of the company. An HP spokeswoman said, “We prefer a spin-off as a separate company and the working hypotheses is that a spin-off will be in the best interests of HP’s shareholders, customers and employees.
“However, we have to complete the diligence process and validate this assumption, including fully understanding the dis-synergies in separating the PSG business from HP.”
Last Thursday, HP strongly denied saying that it planned to quit its PC business, despite having said the previous week that it planned to spin it off or sell it. We debated whether spinning something off is the same thing as quitting it and, since we assume that means give it to someone else, we assumed that they meant more or less one and the same.
But Paul Hunter, MD for the HP PC business in the UK and Ireland told us in no uncertain terms that we were wrong. “I’d like to firstly clear up any misunderstanding that has arisen from the earnings announcement around the future of the Personal Systems Group,” he said in a letter to our editor.
“There have been a number of incorrect stories saying that HP is quitting the PC business. Let me be absolutely clear in saying that at no stage has HP said it is quitting the PC business. Three options are being investigated, and whether the company is spun off, sold or kept in the HP portfolio, the team in the UK remains committed to creating and supporting great products and services.”
HP said the whole process could take 12 months to 18 months, but a final decision about its PC unit is expected by the end of this calendar year. We won’t be holding our breath.
HP has been accused of producing “false and fabricated” evidence against a former sales executive who the firm claims stole confidential information.
Adrian Jones, who was a sales executive at HP, left the firm to join Oracle in February 2011. HP claims that Jones nabbed a load of confidential information between 10 and 11 February using a removable hard drive. Jones told the court that the hard drive was used by HP for backup and was never in his possession, saying that HP and its outside counsel have confirmed these facts.
Jones’ current employer Oracle said that the accusations leveled at its employee are simply not true, with Deborah Hellinger, a spokeswoman for Oracle telling Bloomberg, “The central allegation in HP’s employment lawsuit against Adrian Jones has turned out to be complete fiction…. If they did it knowingly then HP and their lawyers should be sanctioned. If they did it mistakenly then they simply owe Mr Jones an apology.”
HP is said to have probed Jones’ relationship with a female subordinate, for whom Jones allegedly arranged a 94 per cent pay rise and expensed travel that had no business purpose.
Jones’ case mirrors that of former HP CEO Mark Hurd who left the company after similar expense discrepances were brought to light. Hurd, a close friend of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, then joined Oracle as co-president within weeks of leaving his post at HP.
HP and Oracle have been going at it hammer and tongs in a largely public row over Oracle’s decision to dump support for Intel’s Itanium architecture. The two companies are in various other legal battles as well, with HP claiming that Oracle had gone from being a partner to a “bitter antagonist”. We assume the next lawsuit will claim that Oracle stole HP’s lunch money and beat it up behind the bike shed, or perhaps the other way around.
As for Jones, HP has asked him to turn over any additional computers, an Iphone and his alleged girlfriend’s Ipad. Perhaps HP will use the Ipad to see how it can improve its Touchpad.
HP has agreed to settle a case for with the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission for $16.25 million where they were charged with bribery.
This travesty was first uncovered when whistle-blowers from within the Dallas and Houston school districts let the cat out the bag, investigators found that HP gave lavish gifts to two Texas school districts in order to win government contracts. The bribes involved wining and dining, trips on a yacht and tickets to the 2004 Super Bowl.
All this was done by HP in order to gain an advantage and win contracts that were supposed to be awarded through a competitive bidding process. The move compromised the FCC’s Schools and Libraries or “E-Rate” program.
The E-Rate provides money to libraries and schools to buy computer and networking equipment for classrooms. HP was supposed to bid for school district cash under an open process program as other vendors. The government charged that HP was “conspiring to rig the competitive bidding of E-Rate contracts.”
Even though HP settled for $16.25 million, they admitted no wrong doing. With that said, does any company ever admit they did anything wrong?
HP has also agreed to a compliance program which involves training its employees in how to comply with E-Rate contracting rules. Hopefully, HP has learned a valuable lesson and will play fair moving forward.