Dell Computer publicly demonstrated an Itanium 2 server for the first time at Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 launch event in
Dell has expressed support for Intel's Itanium 2 processor in the past, but has been reluctant to share details about its plans for the chip. Thursday's demonstration didn't mark a change in that strategy, as Dell spokesman Bruce Anderson declined to comment about the server's price, configuration, or specific launch date.
It was also unclear whether Dell is waiting for
Itanium 2 is a 64-bit processor launched last July that uses an entirely different instruction set than 64-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computing) processors or 32-bit processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. It was developed in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard, which has been the primary backer of Itanium 2. The chip has won praise for its performance, but it requires IT managers to recompile all of their applications for the new instruction set to take advantage of that performance.
Dell and IBM have been reluctant to release servers using the chip. IBM announced this week it would release a server using a competing 64-bit chip, AMD's Opteron.
Dell, based in Round Rock,
"In general we don't tend to pay a lot of attention to benchmarks. They show a vendor's dedication to a particular area, but we advise our clients to look at actually running a database within their own application environment. Is the database going to support their applications? Is the packaged application available? Those are the sort of questions they should ask," said Betsy Burton, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.