Commentary
3/30/2009
03:01 PM

Will Buying New Nehalem Servers Save Your Business Money?

Spending more to spend less? That's HPs claim for the new line of ProLiant G6 rack, blade, and tower servers. But do Nehalem processors, improved power management, enhanced automation, and seductive financing make it so?



Spending more to spend less? That's HPs claim for the new line of ProLiant G6 rack, blade, and tower servers. But do Nehalem processors, improved power management, enhanced automation, and seductive financing make it so?In announcing its new line of 11 ProLiant G6 servers, HP claims to redefine server economics. That's a bold assertion that likely plays out differently in every business depending upon the specific situation. But the underlying theme of HP contends that newer, more advanced technology is cheaper to operate (and with the financing HP dangles, it may even be cheaper to buy).

The linchpin of those alleged lower operating costs is more efficient power consumption and fewer people (or at least hours) required to keep the machines humming. According to John Gromala, director of marketing for HP's Industry Standard Servers (ISS) unit, the ROI on a G6 server is as little as 90 days and many business "can be net positive in 90 to 120 days. If people can be more aggressive replacing single core [servers] and even older dual core servers, and get them out of the data center, they improve the efficiency. Those 3 to 5 year-old, single-core servers that people may be thinking about extending the life of, they should take a second look at economics; the dollars they'll spend to keep it running would buy them a new server in 2 months to a year."

Not surprisingly, Intel Nehalem processors are in play with the G6 line of blade, rack, and tower servers. In application, that means twice the memory and storage of previous generations and a claimed 200% boost in performance. HP's also includes an automated migration wizard, a menu of available services, and flexible financing program (with a leaseback options).

As to the power savings, the servers includes sensors to optimize cooling, a common power slow (so you're not locked in a proprietary power supply), and dynamic power capping that limits server energy draw. The keys to the claims of reducing operational support rest in the automation capabilities, including an administrator function that seeks to simplify setup and allow remote access even when the server's offline. There's also a management console for remote or onsite monitoring, and a 10Gb Ethernet network port alleged to ease deployment of virtual machines.

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