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HP rack, blade servers target exploding data growth

HP rack, blade servers target exploding data growth

Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday announced new blade and rack servers designed to deliver more performance while combining hardware and software capabilities to improve server reliability and lower energy costs.

The just-released G7 series of servers includes new processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, which help the servers deliver a big performance boost over its predecessors, the company said in a statement. The servers also include larger memory footprints of up to 2TB, and improved I/O technology for faster execution of data-intensive tasks.

The seven blade servers and three rack servers include Intel's latest Xeon 5600 and 7500 series processors and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron 6100 microprocessors.

The company is trying to improve server system architecture and scale up computing capabilities to effectively handle demanding workloads and exponential data growth, wrote Anand Akela, senior product marketing manager at HP, in a blog entry.

"Customers have been telling us that data intensive enterprise workloads, including business processing and decision support, are placing x86 infrastructure under tremendous stress," Akela wrote.

HP has applied a new server architecture called PREMA to the ProLiant DL980 G7 rack server, which includes up to eight sockets and runs on Intel's eight-core Xeon 7500 processors code-named Nehalem-EX. The server includes features to increase reliability, the company said.

The architecture includes smart CPU caching to provide larger bandwidth to memory, the company said. That could help move data-intensive tasks to memory faster, improving overall application performance. The larger number of cores also improves performance, and the company estimates a 20 percent performance improvement over the previous generation of servers.

Intel has put four memory channels in Nehalem-EX to increase memory bandwidth, and servers with the chip can take advantage of separate buffered memory chips to temporarily store data alongside the main memory for faster task execution. A number of server makers, including IBM and Dell, have redesigned server architectures to take advantage of the chip's architectural improvements.

With 128 memory slots, the DL980 offers more memory support than other rack servers announced on Tuesday, including the ProLiant DL580 and DL585 G7 rack servers, which include up to four sockets. The DL580-series servers support up to 1TB of expandable memory and also run on Intel's Xeon 7500 series processors.

The company has also improved the memory footprint in its new blade servers. The blades will include up to one 1TB of memory per server and up to 16 terabytes per rack, the company said. The new HP ProLiant BL680c G7 supports up to three times more virtual machines per blade server and requires less hardware per 1,000 virtual machines, the company said.

The larger memory footprint could help servers accommodate more virtual machines in virtualised environments. The servers include management software to better manage virtualised environments. The servers also include power management features that provide server administrators with stronger control over power drawn by servers.

The new servers, including the ProLiant DL580 and DL585 rack servers and BL465c and BL685c G7 blades, are now available worldwide. The DL980 rack and BL2x220, BL460c, BL490c, BL620c and BL680c G7 blade servers will be available in "coming months," the company said. Prices for the new rack and blade G7 servers start at US$2,279, based on configuration.


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