Itanium growth on the rise

A new report from industry analyst firm IDC predicts the Intel Itanium processor-based server market is entering a strong growth phase.

Based on interviews with 501 members of IDC’s Enterprise Server Customer Panel, the report cites high customer satisfaction and solid intent-to-purchase ratings for Itanium-based servers. In addition, more than two-thirds of HP PA-RISC server customers interviewed plan to migrate to Itanium.

According to IDC, the market for Itanium-based servers will grow to approximately US$6.6 billion by 2009. Over the next five years, the compound annual growth rate for Itanium-based servers is expected to be 35 per cent, compared to 3.4 per cent for the overall server market.

The top maker of Itanium-based servers is Hewlett-Packard, IDC found. HP had more than US$1.6 billion in sales of HP Integrity server-related solutions in fiscal year 2005.

Matthew Eastwood, IDC’s program vice-president for enterprise server research, IDC said the company’s research revealed positive attitudes in the marketplace regarding the Itanium platform, specifically around awareness, purchase intent and current customer satisfaction among IDC’s Enterprise Server Customer Panel.

He added that strong perception and awareness is a testament to the brand that Intel and HP have established. This foundation provides a solid basis for the Itanium Solutions Alliance to build broader understanding among IT buyers and encourage new customers and new partners to join the ecosystem.

The report indicates that the formation of the Itanium Solutions Alliance and the recent commitment by the alliance’s founding members to invest US$10 billion in developing the Itanium platform will be “significant elements” in future Itanium adoption by customers.

The report also notes that Itanium is more clearly positioned as a solution for mission-critical applications such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and business intelligence.

Built on EPIC technology, the Itanium 2-based server platform was intended to provide mainframe-class reliability and scalability for operating systems and application residing on a server.

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