ProLiant Gen9 Server Preview: HP Talks Data Center Compute, Efficiency


Antonio Neri HP
Antonio Neri

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday previewed some of the technologies behind its upcoming new line of ProLiant Gen9 servers and tying those technologies to a corporate strategy it said will help find new ways to take advantage of increased pools of compute resources.

HP, along with rivals, including Dell, Cisco, Lenovo and others, are expected to release details on new generations of servers based on Intel's upcoming Grantley-EP family of server processors.

Intel is expected to officially roll out the Grantley-EP platform, also known as the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 family, at the Intel Developers Forum, which is being held in San Francisco from Sept. 9 to 11. Major server vendors historically have unleashed new generations of their servers at the same time Intel releases its new server processors.

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With its upcoming ProLiant Gen9 server family, HP is really looking at the future of the data center and how to help customers reduce costs while increasing efficiency, said Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager for servers and networking for the company.

"The heart of this strategy is not the servers, but the compute," Neri told CRN. "We're not just announcing new servers, but a whole corporate strategy."

By "compute," Neri said he was referring to a broad pool of processing power that can be pooled and virtualized as needed in the data center, and which can be used with software-defined technologies. "The fact is, convergence is taking place, and compute is at the heart of it," he said. "This requires a vast pool of resources, which can be pooled in a scalable fashion."

This week's VMworld conference continues to show the increasing importance of having the right compute resources as IT infrastructures continue to grow, said Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and longtime HP channel partner.

"VMworld's big discussions were all around the converged and hyper-converged infrastructure solutions coming to market," Baldwin told CRN. "People are now talking about getting the time -- from taking a device out of the box and powering it up -- to 15 minutes. In the past, that was a big task."

Keeping the compute-to-power ratio as high as possible is also important as customers find new ways to take advantage of the compute resources of new servers, Baldwin said.

"We can't keep adding new power sources to keep up with the demand for new compute resources," he said. "As adoption increases and accelerates, data centers could run out of power in a few years. So even though new servers are not an 'Oh, wow!' celebration, they're still important."

NEXT: Drilling Down Into HP's ProLiant Gen9 Server Plans