Imagine selling an HP-UX server without Hewlett-Packard's name on it. That scenario could become a reality sometime this fall, if HP has its way.
Indeed, HP is quietly seeking North American OEMs to build and sell PA-RISC and/or Intel Itanium systems that run HP-UX, the company's flagship Unix offering. Sources say HP is in OEM negotiations with at least one "well-known server company that has a great market niche."
Mark Hudson, worldwide marketing manager for HP-UX and PA RISC, confirms that HP wants to line up OEM partners for HP-UX, but he declines to discuss potential OEMs. Hudson notes that the OEM push isn't an entirely new strategy because Hitachi and NEC already OEM HP-UX abroad.
The OEM initiative is Hewlett-Packard's latest attempt to gain ground on Sun Microsystems, which is widely considered the leading maker of Unix servers.
To gain mind share and market share, HP spent last year and much of this year bolstering HP-UX's application support. "In recent months, we've closed the gap on Internet apps with Sun," notes Hudson.
To wit, Ariba, BroadVision, Inktomi and Real Networks all have ported their software to HP-UX in a bid to meet customer demand, asserts Hudson.
Meanwhile, HP also is preparing a "server blade" push. Under the initiative, HP will design server boards--containing a CPU, memory, I/O, etc.--that slide into a chassis. Each board will be a full-blown server, capable of running HP-UX, Linux or Windows 2000. "Customers will be able to mix and match blades within a chassis," says Hudson.
The blade initiative attempts to pack more servers into less square footage, because many customers are running out of physical space to house their Web servers and data-processing systems.
Hudson did not disclose pricing, availability or specific product information about the server-blade technology.