The new server design has been engineered to address the rigors of demanding Internet environments, as well as the changing technology needs of large dot-coms, ASPs and other data-intensive enterprises. Speaking at the launch of Superdome in New York, Nigel Hall, Vice President and General Manager of H-P’s e-services division, says that, “businesses who use Superdome will benefit from reduced risk, reduced complexity, quickest time to revenue, and a technology solution which is typically up and running [in the client’s factory] in less than 8 hours. We want to provide our clients with a total end-to-end solution and consultancy service rather than simply just being a hardware provider.” Superdome is the fastest, most powerful server in the Unix market, and is the result of much research and development, plus collaboration with many of the major independent software vendors, including SAP AG, Oracle, Ariba and i2 Technologies. Tom Cooper, Executive Vice President for I2 Technologies (a leading global e-business solutions provider), is equally positive about the launch of Superdome. “H-P’s new high-end Superdome server will fill a key role in delivering the mission-critical infrastructure required to power our Internet trading marketplaces…the Superdome server will enable our large enterprise customers to consolidate their e-business infrastructures in a high-performance, high availability environment.” In reality, large data-intensive businesses require an IT infrastructure which is reliable and “always-on”. If there is any down-time, businesses, particularly dot-coms, can incur astronomical costs. Carly Fiorina, new CEO at H-P, speaking at the Superdome launch in New York, agrees that downtime of hardware is a major problem for many businesses. “A June 2000 report by Lloyds of London estimates that global businesses lost $20 billion the previous year through downtime of IT infrastructure. This is why Superdome’s always-on Internet infrastructure will help businesses succeed.” According to H-P’s President of Computing Systems, Duane Zitzner, “Superdome will revolutionise the industry by enabling IT departments to replace parts on the server system without shutting down or rebooting, thus ensuring downtime is kept to a minimum.” The actual Superdome launch represents a strategic change of focus at H-P. The company, which has traditionally sold workstations, printers and servers, now realises that enterprises require more than just a hardware solution to their business problems. H-P aim to offer their clients ERP systems, supply chain management, and e-commerce solutions through close partnerships with key commercial and technical software vendors. The only slight problem for SMEs wishing to buy the H-P server solution will be the price tag - Superdome prices start at £400,000. Needless to say there will be much competition in the next few months from two of H-P’s biggest rivals in the high-end server market, Sun Microsystems and IBM. In fact, Sun unveil their own new server range at the end of September.