Press Release:

HP, Intel and Oracle Help Acquirente Unico Ensure Affordable Power for Italian Householders and Small Businesses

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 25, 2003

HP (NYSE:HPQ), Intel and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq:ORCL) today announced that Acquirente Unico (AU), the Rome-based governmental organization created to guarantee the supply of affordable electricity to household and small business customers, has selected Intel® Architecture to power its business-critical financial risk application, running Oracle9i® Database with Real Application Clusters on HP ProLiant DL380 and DL360 servers.

The organization was set up as part of the deregulation of the Italian electricity market to help smaller customers benefit from a competitive market and to drive down prices.

In order for AU to handle approximately 50 percent of the Italian electricity market and move 160 terawatt-hours of power per year, it was essential that its technical architecture could cope with the very stringent requirements for availability and security necessary for running business-critical and highly advanced financial and risk management software.

The trading application interfaces with the Italian electronic power exchange, facilitating quantity and demand forecasting and allowing AU to buy and sell at optimum and stable pricing. The system also needed to be scalable to cope with risk analysis complexity growth and, with the cost of public projects under scrutiny in the current economic climate, it also had to be highly cost-effective.

Sergio Di Carlo, head of ICT at AU, explained the reasons for choosing Intel Architecture over the RISC option they considered, "In the Intel environment, you can choose the best elements from many vendors and put together a solution that does exactly what you need it to do, often for far less cost."

On the database server side, AU chose high-availability Intel processor-based HP ProLiant servers to power the solution and provide cost-effective, uninterrupted service. The system consists of Oracle9i Database with Real Application Clusters for high availability and Vedaris Contango Suite for energy trading and risk management. The operating system is Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Advanced Server and the solution runs on HP ProLiant Parallel Database Clusters, chosen because of HP's extensive experience and exhaustive testing with Oracle databases to ensure performance.

Intel, HP and Oracle worked together on joint engineering and stress testing to ensure rapid deployment and the system was installed to schedule, in just five months. As AU expands its operations in early 2003 it also plans to integrate new HP ProLiant Parallel Database Clusters powered by Intel® Xeon™ processors featuring Intel's unique Hyper-Threading Technology,(1) which boosts performance and system responsiveness by enabling a single processor to run two separate threads of software simultaneously.

"The reduced total cost of ownership, rapid deployment and modular infrastructure provides just the flexibility and reduced upfront expenses that a start-up organization such as Acquirente Unico needs," said Ajay Malhotra, director of enterprise marketing, Intel EMEA. "This is a great example of how the powerful combination of Intel Xeon processor-based HP ProLiant servers together with Oracle's database clustering technology is increasingly being used by enterprises to provide highly cost-effective yet high-performance platforms for business-critical applications."

Working closely with Oracle, HP has done more than any other vendor to test and optimize its technology on Oracle applications, particularly Oracle 9i RAC. With HP ProLiant servers, customers such as Acquirente Unico are able to build adaptive infrastructures, which enable them to adapt quickly and easily to changing business needs.

"With more than 20 years experience in clustering technology, HP is the clear leader in delivering to customers proven and cost-effective clustering solutions," said Francois Bornibus, vice president, HP Industry Standard Servers, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "HP ProLiant servers are the best tested, most highly optimized servers for deploying Oracle 9i RAC, providing Acquirente Unico with the best industry-standard platform for this solution."

"Availability and cost-effectiveness are both key system requirements to enable AU to trade competitively," said Tim Payne, Oracle9i senior marketing director, EMEA. "Oracle9i Real Application Clusters delivers both, which is why increasing numbers of customers such as AU are turning to this unique technology."

At the desktop, high-performance Intel Pentium® processor-based PCs are being used by the traders to access the system, as Di Carlo explained: "You can have all the performance you want in the back-end and mid-tier but if you don't have enough performance on the desktop, the user's productivity will suffer. Contango Suite has a powerful client element and we also run virus scanning and encryption on the desktop. With our high-performance Pentium 4 processor-based PCs, we never have to worry about users having enough power."

About Acquirente Unico

In the new organization of the Italian electricity market as per Decree no. 79/99, Acquirente Unico is the company in charge of procuring electricity for the market of captive customers. AU buys electricity mainly through the power exchange and resells it to distributors for the supply to the residential and small business market. On an individual basis, small businesses and residential customers have limited purchasing power and less capability to take advantage from a competitive electricity market.

About Intel Corporation

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About Oracle

Oracle is the world's largest enterprise software company. For more information about Oracle, visit its Web site at

About HP

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(1) Hyper-Threading technology requires a computer system with an Intel Pentium 4 processor at 3.06 GHz or higher, a chipset and BIOS that utilize this technology, and an operating system that includes optimizations for this technology. Performance will vary depending on the specific hardware and software used. See for information.

Intel, Xeon and Pentium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Oracle is a registered U.S. trademark of Oracle Corp., Redwood City, Calif. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include the possibility that the market for the sale of certain products and services may not develop as expected; that development and performance of these products and services may not proceed as planned; and other risks that are described from time to time in HP's Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including but not limited to HP's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2002, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 21, 2003, and subsequently filed reports. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or any of these assumptions proves incorrect, HP's results could differ materially from HP's expectations in these statements. HP assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

About HP

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