Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday introduced technology that packs two separate computers on a single blade to deliver the horsepower and energy efficiency needed by Web 2.0 companies and other organizations dependent on high-performance computing. The configuration of the ProLiant BL2x220c G5 delivers as much as 60% better performance than competitors' systems while cutting data center space requirements in half, according to HP. The new system is built for large scale-out applications running on thousands of servers.
The product is aimed at Web 2.0 companies, research organizations, and businesses within the oil, gas, and financial industries. A key attraction is the blade's ability to deliver greater processing density than competitors' systems by packing two full-fledged computers, including separate CPUs, memory, input/output and storage connections, according to HP.
The blades are available in the HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure which holds up to 16 server slots, each capable of holding two of the new blades. In addition, the blades are available in the smaller c3000 enclosure.
The blades are available with either two Intel Xeon 5400 Series quad-core processors or two dual-core Xeon 5200 processors.
A fully loaded system, which takes up 8 square feet of data center floor space, can reach a performance level of 12.3 teraflops, or more than 12 trillion floating point operations per second. HP offers its own set of tools for remote and systems management.
The starting price of the ProLiant BL2x220c G5 is $6,349. For companies looking to deploy a system quickly, HP will configure a rack at the factory and deliver and install it. Companies using the new product include Fox Interactive.
The current battlefield of blade-server vendors is small and midsize businesses, which have significant volume potential. HP and IBM, however, are looking to push the technology upstream into high-performance computing.
Global blade-server shipments are expected to nearly quadruple by 2011, driven by the young technology's advantages in flexibility, power savings, and simplified manageability, according to market research firm iSuppli's estimates.
Worldwide shipments are expected to rise to 2.4 million units in 2011 from 620,000 in 2006. Those numbers translate into a compound annual growth rate of 31.5%. By 2011, blades are expected to account for nearly 21.6% of all server shipments.
The story was edited on June 2 to clarify the servers' configurations.