Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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10/9/2008
06:10 PM
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HP Taps Samsung SSDs For Virtualization Blade Server

Samsung claims the use of its SSDs over hard disk drives makes it possible for HP to free up more physical space in its ProLiant products for memory chips to improve system performance.

Hewlett-Packard has chosen Samsung Electronics' solid-state drives for the recently released HP ProLiant BL495c virtualization blade server, the company said this week.

HP will offer Samsung's 32-GB and 64-GB single-level-cell SSDs in the blade, which is designed to host virtual machines. Samsung claims the use of its SSDs over hard disk drives makes it possible for HP to free up more physical space for memory chips to improve system performance. The BL495c has 16 DRAM sockets for a maximum of 128 GB of memory.

Samsung's claims, however, don't quite jibe with HP's other offerings. The latter company sells an HP BL685c G5 server blade with 128 GB of memory while using up to two hard drives.

HP said the BL495c has two ports for SSDs to server as local booting devices and general configuration storage. The blade is configured with additional memory and input/output to handle the demand of a virtualization environment, according to HP. The server has a maximum processor speed of 2.3 GHz and a maximum front-side bus speed of 1 GHz.

Samsung SSDs has a read speed of 100 MBps and a write speed of 80 MBps. The device's power consumption is 0.5 watt in active mode and 0.1 watt in sleep mode, the company said.

"SSDs used as the primary storage medium in server blades provide a much better value proposition than hard drives for the server marketplace, with their added reliability, low power requirements, and high performance," Jim Elliott, VP of memory marketing at Samsung, said in a statement released Wednesday.

While SSD vendors focus on the advantages, a major disadvantage of the drives is their price, which is many times more expensive than hard drives. As a result, most experts recommend the use of SSDs in data center systems where speed and the other SSD attributes outweigh the added cost.

HP also offers Intel SSDs in some of its PCs, such as the EliteBook notebook, which boasts a 24-hour battery life. In August, Intel unveiled its SSDs for servers at its Developer Forum in San Francisco. The X25-E Extreme SATA is based on Intel's single-level cell NAND flash memory, and is expected to be available in 32-GB and 64-GB models. The smaller storage model was scheduled to ship by November and the 64 GB version in the first quarter of next year.

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