HP, Sun Microsystems and IBM are waiting in desperation to release new servers based on AMD's dual-core Opteron chip. The vendors will get some relief when they show off the fresh kit on April 22 at an AMD product launch/Opteron anniversary event. The New York gig will be hopping with every server vendor that counts - except Dell - showing product based on AMD's new dual-core dandy.
HP plans to make a splash by upgrading its four-processor ProLiant DL585 server with the new dual-core Opterons. The box should start shipping in volume in May, according to one insider. In the near future, HP will also outfit its dual-processor DL145 server with the dual-core chips.
Last but not least, HP is expected to unveil its compact BL45p Opteron-based blade server at the AMD product launch. This will be the third member of HP's AMD blade line and a welcome choice over the Xeon-based blades that are being end of lifed.
The servers should be available with 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz Opterons, sources said. The price of the 2.2GHz dual-core chip will be the same as current single-core Opterons, as AMD looks to drive demand for the product and put pressure on Intel which won't have a comparable dual-core part until next year.
At the moment, HP is having some trouble differentiating its Opteron gear from Sun and others, but that could change in the third quarter, when it and Broadcom unveil a new Opteron chipset, one source said.
Sun is expected to take a similar route as HP at the AMD launch. It will likely announce that its four-processor V40z will be available with the dual-core Opterons. The two-processor V20z will then be upgraded soon after, as AMD appears to be releasing its Opteron for four-processor servers several weeks ahead of the chip for two-way boxes.
Sun has pushed back its release of a new homegrown fleet of Opteron gear possibly to October, according to one source, as it struggles to build out a distribution system for the kit.
IBM is expected to wow customers with a new Opteron-based blade that will be sold alongside its current two-processor Opteron server. IBM has been dangling the blade in front of customers for some time, according to insiders.
AMD is bringing out the dual-core Opteron months ahead of its "mid-2005" original guidance. This is a solid move for a company that has struggled to match Intel's consistency with delivering product.
The early release has Intel and Dell looking pretty silly. We'll see how well the two companies endure 8 months of Opteron glory. ®
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