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HP Upgrades ProLiant Servers For Converged Data Centers

Generation 8 of ProLiant will include more automated features and self-healing mechanisms.

HP on Monday announced its ProLiant Generation 8 server architecture as a key building block of its data center of the future, one built to enable greater automation through Converged Infrastructure.

HP has specified a Converged Infrastructure where servers, networking, and storage are built out as virtualized resource pools and managed through policies and automated processes. One of the main goals of its design is to move dollars in the IT budget out of operations and into greater innovation, said John Gromala and Jess Carlat, director of marketing for the HP ProLiant Gen 8 hardware and software, respectively, in a joint interview.

HP produces turnkey server racks, Converged Systems, using ProLiant Servers and based on the Converged Infrastructure architecture. Generation 8 of ProLiant uses both hardware and software to advance the self-sufficiency, self-healing, and energy efficiency of the server racks.

For example, updates to the server operating system are automated in Gen 8. An update that would have taken a systems administrator five hours to do on a rack previously can be accomplished by Gen 8 Smart Update in 10 minutes. [Want to see how HP makes automated, ProLiant servers more attractive to small business? See HP Jumps On SMB Virtualization Band Wagon.]

The capabilities of an embedded management chip, a previous feature of ProLiant servers, have been expanded to allow a server to automatically monitor 1,600 data points concerning its own health. Combined with HP’s Insight Online technologies and HP Active Health software, an unplanned downtime can be resolved 66% faster, said Carlat. The HP software can perform self-diagnosis and proactive recommendations for action based on the diagnosis, he said.

Provisioning and deployment can be accomplished in one-third the time required previously, according to Gromola .

Gen8 also includes 3-D Sea of Sensors, which act as a watchdog on server operation and identify the location of overutilitized servers based on power consumption and temperature. By spreading the load across more servers, 3-D Sensors can reduce power consumption and extend server life. Effective use of 3-D increases compute capacity per watt by 70%, Gromola said.

It's time to get going on data center automation. The cloud requires automation, and it'll free resources for other priorities. Download InformationWeek's Data Center Automation special supplement now. (Free registration required.)

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