HP has produced its first Itanium-based blade server, the BL60p. It will be HP's first blade to run HP-UX, shadowing blade market leader IBM, whose blades can already run Big Blue's equivalent Unix, AIX.

HP sees the product as filling a hole in its range, said enterprise server manager John King, because it already had Xeon and Opteron-based blades. They can all be mixed and matched in HP's standard chassis, and managed using HP's Insight Manager tools.

The dual processor product will carry up to two 120GB SCSI disks and 8GB RAM. King said that a pair of disks is suited to environments such as SAP where users wanted to mirror the mechanisms in a RAID1 configuration. The BL60p also includes integrated lights-out management, four 10/100/1000 NICs, and dual 2GB Fibre Channel ports as standard.

HP said it had solved the problems associated with high-power consumption in a blade format and "had delivered 100 per cent. We have made the Itanium work within the current infrastructure," said King. "You don't have to change anything."

The product ships in November, and prices have yet to be announced.