HP In Post-Production On Blade 4

HP says its new four-way blade server can run database, ERP, and CRM apps more efficiently than a standalone four-way server.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

January 17, 2003

2 Min Read

Hewlett-Packard is introducing a four-processor version of its ProLiant server blades. The BL40p will begin shipping March 11 with one, two, or four Intel Xeon MP processors and Fibre Channel connectivity to storage networks. BL40p--starting at $8,999 for a single-processor blade--is the third in HP's line of blade servers, joining the Xeon-based BL20p and Pentium III-based BL10e.

HP, which says it has shipped 15,000 blade servers since the beginning of 2002, is positioning the new four-way blade as a server that can run database, ERP, and CRM apps more efficiently than a standalone four-way server because the blade shares electricity, cooling, and power with other blades in its 6U enclosure. The BL20p--available in single- or dual-processor configurations--is positioned as a Web-hosting or transaction-processing server, while the single-processor BL10e is best used for Web serving. The BL20p's starting price is $3,399, while the BL10e with 900-MHz processor starts at $1,859. Each blade ships with HP ProLiant Essentials, Insight Manager 7, and OpenView management software.

Although HP competitors IBM and Dell Computer don't yet sell a four-way blade--IBM's will debut midyear--Egenera Inc. already has a four-way Intel blade server on the market. IDC analyst Mark Melenovsky says the blade-server market will continue to grow as companies realize the cost and management efficiencies that blades bring. "Over the next few years, we'll see a transition from the rack-optimized pizza-box servers to these blade architectures," he says. As four-way blades ship, companies will be able to seriously consider blades as an alternative for running heavier workloads, such as supply-chain, resource-planning, and database apps, he says.

In other HP server news, the company Monday introduced several new Alpha servers for customers requiring performance improvements as they prepare for HP's move to all-Itanium servers. There are three new servers--GS1280, ES80, and ES47. Knowing that Alpha is a dying brand, HP has set up an Alpha RetainTrust program for customers looking to trade these servers in for newer Itanium-based servers when they become available. The ES80, with up to eight processors, will ship in March, while the ES47, with up to four processors, is available today. The GS1280, based on the new EV7 Alpha processor, is currently available in eight-way or 16-way and will be available with 32 processors by midyear. A 64-way version is due by the end of the year.

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