PORTLAND, Oregon, January 9 /PRNewswire/ --

- Global gains and major milestones mark successful 2008

The Itanium(R) Solutions Alliance marked a year of accomplishment as Itanium-based systems saw increased migration from legacy mainframes and earned continued success in the mission-critical and computationally intensive arenas. The Alliance and the Itanium platform continue to gain momentum as enterprise IT organizations upgrade infrastructure to take advantage of increased performance and reduced cost of ownership and markets take greater advantage of high-powered Itanium-based server technology.

Global shipments of Itanium-based systems have now exceeded 210,000 units, and sales continue to be strong with revenues passing US$1 billion USD for the last five quarters. For instance, Itanium has made significant advances in EMEA, seeing an overall market segment share increase of eight percent at the end of Q3 2008 [source: Gartner Server Update Q308].

The Alliance has more than 200 organizations united to promote open, industry-standard solutions based on Intel(R) Itanium architecture, said Joan Jacobs, president and executive director. Itanium-based solutions continue to grow in application support, system volume and market share, thanks to considerable advantages for mission-critical databases, data center modernization and computationally intensive applications.

Built to be an industry-standard open platform, Itanium technology enjoys support from leading independent software vendors (ISVs) -- and operating system vendors Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat -- who collaborate on new solutions for end users. The availability of multiple technologies from the open source community leverages the work of industry experts to enhance the solution. The Alliance promotes a robust ecosystem for the Itanium architecture that includes more than 13,000 applications for mission-critical computing across multiple industries including financial services, manufacturing and the biosciences.

The following 2008 milestones reflect the progress of the Alliance's efforts and those of sponsor companies:

-- In April, Fujitsu Limited launched its new line of PRIMEQUEST servers, built on dual-core Itanium 9100 series processors. These servers, built for mission-critical applications, offer new features like dynamic partitioning, helping them achieve impressive benchmark results. Fujitsu strengthened its global partnership with fellow Alliance member Red Hat in November, when they began a joint development of Linux support services designed to offer quicker problem resolution and extended support periods for mission-critical environments.

-- In early 2008, Alliance sponsor Hitachi made its Virtage embedded firmware virtualization feature available for the first time on blade servers based on the Intel Itanium 9100 series processors. Virtage brings embedded firmware virtualization -- and with it, lower costs and increased functionality -- to the enterprise data center. Virtage technology allows users to scale and virtualize models of Hitachi's BladeSymphony 1000 servers and makes embedded firmware virtualization available to all three tiers of the data center -- edge, application and database.

-- HP introduced the high-availability, fault-tolerant HP Integrity NonStop NB50000c BladeSystem featuring Itanium processors. This blade-based system for mission-critical deployments delivers world-class availability and scalability for Itanium. HP further expanded its portfolio with the HP Integrity BL870c server blade, designed to handle memory-intensive data center workloads while helping businesses lower cost, save energy and space, and decrease deployment time. Reinforcing its leadership, HP also migrated more than 250 companies worldwide from mainframe systems to HP Integrity systems over the past two years, saving these customers up to 70 percent in operational costs.

-- Released in October, Sun Java SE 6 Update 7 for Itanium culminates a collaborative effort between Intel and Sun and provides a robust development platform for Itanium-based solutions. Supporting both Windows and Linux, the update offers improvements in Hotspot Virtual Machine and class libraries to deliver significant performance gains over the last Java release for Itanium.

-- Super Micro Computer, Inc. entered the Alliance at the sponsor level, joining current sponsors in committing time and resources to the organization, contributing their unique perspective and considerable expertise to the Alliance's efforts.

-- The Alliance recognized 2008 Innovation Awards winners S7 Software Solutions, Protegesoft, and the University of Houston bioinformatics research team at a special event in their honor in August in San Francisco at the Museum of Modern Art.

-- Microsoft is working with Alliance members to further advance the performance of the .NET framework on the Itanium architecture. This will benefit ISVs who are using or considering .NET as a development environment for solutions for Itanium-based platforms. In addition, HP and Intel joined Microsoft and others at WinHEC 2008 to showcase the scalability benefits of supporting more than 64 processors in a preview of Windows Server 2008 R2. In a demonstration running 256 Itanium logical processors on an HP Superdome system, Microsoft and HP spotlighted the joint potential of Windows and Itanium for large SQL Server databases. As Bill Laing, corporate vice president, Windows Server and Solutions Division of Microsoft, observed in his keynote, Itanium is supported in Windows Server 2008 R2 and we really focused our support on Itanium for these large scale database workloads.

-- The Alliance and Sophos announced the porting of Sophos Anti-Virus to Itanium. The offering represents some of the most powerful and extensive anti-virus solutions for Itanium-based systems, delivering proven algorithms to identify, quickly disable, and quarantine anti-virus threats.

This past year also marked highly successful implementations and innovations based on Itanium architecture. Some examples are:

Fujitsu Dials in Upgrade for Brazil's Largest Mobile Telecommunication Company

Faced with increasing demands on its Next Generation Intelligent Network (NGIN), Vivo of Brazil chose Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST servers running on Intel Itanium processors. NGIN is responsible for managing and authorizing prepaid calls based on available credits, credit loading and interfacing with stores' systems, resellers, call centers and client attendance.

NEC Awarded Contract for National Pension System by Taiwan's Bureau of Labor Insurance

To integrate its new national pension system, the Taiwanese Bureau of Labor Insurance turned to database solutions from NEC Corporation. The project is a national-level large-scale mission-critical system that will handle pension-related data for approximately five million employees. The new system features more than 100 NEC servers, including the Itanium-based NEC Express 5800 Series, and will process critical operations related to the national pension system.

SGI Optimizes EventVUE for Itanium-based Altix Servers

SGI announced that its Complex Event Processing (CEP) solution has been optimized for Itanium processors, which enable applications to take maximum advantage of the high-throughput, shared-memory SGI Altix architecture. The CEP platform combines SGI compute and visualization capabilities to help government, defense and Homeland Security leaders make faster, more informed decisions in complex situations where immediate action may be required. EventVUE monitors key thresholds in real time to trigger data flow and processing according to pre-determined policies, so decision makers are alerted to potential threats immediately.

About the Itanium Solutions Alliance

The Itanium Solutions Alliance was formed by leading enterprise and technical solutions providers to work together towards a common objective of transitioning the world of proprietary computing platforms to open, industry standard solutions based on Intel Itanium architecture. Together with leading enterprise software and hardware providers, the Alliance is dedicated to accelerating the adoption and ongoing development of Itanium-based solutions. Its membership comprises some of the most influential companies in the computing industry. More information about the Itanium Solutions Alliance, membership, industry resources and developer programs can be found at http://www.itaniumsolutions.org.

(C) 2009. Intel and Itanium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. All other trademarks, trade names, service marks, and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies.

James McIntyre of McClenahan Bruer Communications, +1-503-546-1016, james@mcbru.com, for Itanium Solutions Alliance