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Processor Power Play: HPE Puts Ampere ARM On ProLiant

Steven Burke

‘For a person that has worked for years in semiconductors the day that your microprocessor is put into a new system is really the day that you celebrate the fact that it becomes real for customers,’ says Ampere CEO Renee James.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is putting an Ampere ARM processor in its popular ProLiant system in a bid to deliver better performance with reduced power consumption for cloud native workloads.

HPE said the blockbuster deal with Ampere – which was founded by former Intel President Renee James - makes it the first tier-one server provider to launch a compute product with “optimized cloud native silicon” for cloud service providers and digital first enterprises.

The new HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 server with Ampere – which features one socket and 128 cores - will be available in the third calendar quarter this year. The product features all of the standard ProLiant features including ILO for server management and HPE’s Silicon Root of trust The new ProLiant also features OPENBMC for open source environments.

[RELATED STORY: Chip Startup Ampere, Founded By Ex-Intel Exec, Files IPO ]

Hewlett Packard Executive Vice President and General Manager of Compute Neil MacDonald said the Ampere processor on ProLiant addresses the many challenges faced by cloud service providers and digital-first enterprises including budget, economics, space, power efficiency and sustainability. “This will enable more efficient infrastructures in those use cases,” he said.

The processor is optimized for any scale out, modern workload that is designed to be cloud native in a full stack development environment, said MacDonald. The performance is boosted by the single threaded core performance of the processor running at constant clock speed.

The new HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 server will be offered both as a standard product and as an HPE GreenLake cloud service, said MacDonald. The product will be available through HPE distributors and channel partners.

Ampere CEO James, for her part, said her company is “thrilled” to be working with HPE. “For a person that has worked for years in semiconductors the day that your microprocessor is put into a new system is really the day that you celebrate the fact that it becomes real for customers,” she said. “Today is a wonderful day for us. We are super thankful that Hewlett Packard Enterprise is continuing to lean into the future.”

The Ampere processors were designed to meet the rigorous requirements expected from a tier one server vendor like HPE including the ability to run existing HPE software. “One of the first things Neil said to me was ‘It better be able to run all of our HPE software if you want it to be part of the family,” said James.

Mike Little, CEO of Green Tea Technology, an HPE GreenLake born in the cloud partner, called the deal a break out innovation move by HPE that will open the door to new opportunities for partners.

“This is a big win for Ampere,” he said. “This is all about the scalability you need for high performance compute with massive parallel processing. It’s a big game changer. Before this it was an all AMD and Intel ProLiant market. Now they have the Ampere ARM processor!”

Little credited Ampere for delivering a breakthrough processor that provides “amazing” scale for cloud native workloads. “For Ampere to win over a tier one server vendor like HPE is huge,” he said.”It shows how the industry is maturing with regard to adopting ARM processors.”

Ultimately the new ProLiant is going to “open up a ton of opportunities for all kinds of platform to be able to handle compute in totally different way,” said Little.

Green Tea Technology will definitely look at adding the HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 server with Ampere into its existing GreenLake environments when it is available, said Little. “I’m excited to see it on GreenLake,” he said. “We are going to look at how we can plug it into current GreenLake customer environments. This is going to allow us to tap into a whole new set of opportunities with cloud service providers and digital first enterprises.”

Little said he is heartened by the pace of innovation at HPE. “If you are not innovating, you lose,” he said. “You need the right tool for the right job. That is what this gives us.”

 

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