HP Expands Opteron Options

Blade servers can be used with HP's Xeon-based models, and an Opteron workstation takes aim at customers with high computing demands.

Hewlett-Packard hopes to make further headway in providing servers and workstations based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Opteron microprocessor with the release of new products.

"We're adding new platforms to address customer needs around more performance, more performance, and more performance," says Paul Miller, HP's VP of marketing for industry-standard servers and BladeSystem. "We're chipnostic. We don't care which processor technology you're buying as long as it says HP on the outside."

Divvying Up The Market, bar chartLast week, HP introduced two versions of its Opteron DL585 and DL145 servers that add heat-management features; a new DL385 server based on Opteron; its first blade servers based on Opteron; and an Opteron-based workstation.

In the BladeSystem product line, HP is adding the Reliant BL25p and the BL35p. The servers can be used in conjunction with HP's Xeon-based blade offerings, allowing customers to select the best technology to meet specific application requirements.

HP's first Opteron-based workstation, the xw9300, is designed for customers with high computing demands, such as oil and gas exploration, computed-aided engineering, software development, and 3-D animation. The xw9300 will be offered with the new nVidia nForce Professional chipset and dual nVidia Quadro FX graphics systems.

Movie studio DreamWorks Animation SKG uses a cluster of 403 Opteron DL145 servers, and it's pleased with their performance. "HP's servers and workstations give our artists the ability to bring movies to life in ways that were impossible only a few short years ago," says Ed Leonard, chief technology officer at DreamWorks.

HP's plan is for the Opteron systems to provide incremental growth to its existing Xeon systems. Says Miller, "We wouldn't bring out products that cannibalize existing products in our line."

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