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November 20, 2005

IBM wins Chinese govt, HP boxes will remain

Big Blue is shooting off fireworks because it claims it has been able to dislodge rival Hewlett-Packard Co from one of its key Itanium-based server accounts.

By CBR Staff Writer

As HP was prepping is its financial numbers for the fiscal 2005 year, IBM planned to rub it in that HP has lost the China State Tax Administration as a key Integrity server customer, and that they are porting their Unix applications, which run in data centers in over 30 locations, from HP iron to a mix of IBM’s p5 570 and p5 575 servers.

The only problem, that this is not exactly true, according to HP sources.

While it is true that IBM has got a deal with the Chinese tax authorities for what appears to be a few hundred p5 Unix boxes, HP says that not one of the 80 PA-RISC Unix servers currently installed are being replaced, and that all 46 of the Superdome machines that China State Tax Administration–none of which use Itanium as IBM is claiming they do–has installed are going to stay right there, as will the remaining smaller PA-RISC boxes.

Back in the summer of 2003, HP was bragging that it had sold over 60 servers to the China State Tax Administration, with 40 of them being Superdome servers running HP-UX 11i. The tax authority was a big IBM shop, according to HP, and the fact that HP got in at all in 2003 is still something of a coup.

The IBM new p5 systems are apparently a different part of a $1bn investment in infrastructure, called the Golden Tax Project, that will allow the Chinese government to collect taxes and provide other services. This project is expected to take about five years to be completed–which just goes to show you that some things never change. Five-year plan, p5. It makes some sort of cosmic sense.

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