BEA and Intel have partnered to help promote each others products. "For Intel, the deal with BEA is a vote of confidence as it tries to crack the profitable high-end server market with its faster Itanium processors." For BEA this deal will gain it the massive marketing and sales power of Intel, giving it the chance to be the defacto solution for Itanium based servers.
The two companies will optimize BEA software running on Windows/Itanium and Linux/Itanium. Now this begs the question - in the case of BEA's Java based products, what exactly are they going to optimize? Weblogic 6 runs on any J2EE 1.3 VM, it seems to me that only the VM itself could be optimized for a new processor.
WebLogic has always come with platform dependent performance packs
Perhaps they are talking about this.
They (performance packs) allow WebLogic to use async IO. They do not actually improve performance, but scalability. And, with JDK 1.4 there will be no need in performance packs anyway.
I think WebLogic also does native encryption, for performance reasons. Looking at the names of the DLLS in a Windows installation, integration with IIS is also native.
All Java? Not so, most app servers come with a bunch of JNI libraries for various features that need to go beyond the what JDK provides. These JNI routines need to be ported at the very least.
What is interesting here is that IBM have been shipping a beta 1.3 JDK for Itanium for some time now. Given that IBM is making Itanium boxes, porting AIX to Itanium ie Monterrey, porting their JDK to Itanium and probably almost all of their software then one would have to conclude that this is BEA's response to the undeniable advantage that IBM's expertise in Itanium gives it. Similarly, HP obviously have comparible expertise to IBM although HP may be lower than IBM in BEAs threat list.
As for Intel, they just want as much server software ported to Itanium that performs well as they can. They want to push Itanium as a high end server platform and therefore popular applications available and have competitive benchmarks for popular applications like WebLogic.
To "beg the question" is a fallacy in logic. You might say these actions "beg one to ask the question", but they do not "beg the question".