HP Expands Blade Server Line With Itanium

blade server

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based server vendor's new HP Integrity BL870c offers twice the processors, memory, and hard drive capacity of its existing HP Integrity BL860c, weighing in with socket for up to four "Montvale" dual-core Itanium processors, up to 96 Gbytes of memory, and up to four hot-plug SAS hard drives, said Lorraine Bartlett, director of server marketing for Business Critical Systems.

The BL870c fits in HP's C7000 and C3000 chassis, Bartlett said. The C3000 chassis, codenamed Shorty because of its small size, was introduced late last year for small businesses or the remote sites of larger companies.

The BL870c blades are targeting mainly HP-UX operating system environments running applications such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), or clustered blade clusters running under Linux or Unix, she said.

Dave Butler, president of Enterprise Computing Solutions, a Mission Viejo, Calif.-based HP solution provider, said he expects a lot of interest in the new blade servers from customers with a huge portfolio of HP products already in place.

Sponsored post

The new blade server will be very interesting for customers who already have invested HP's Integrity server and blade lines, Butler said. However, he said, customers who look at blade servers from a tactical point of view with an aim just to purchase a couple stand-alone blades, the BL870c will not work. "But from a strategic point of view, HP offers server blades, storage blades, and management blades as part of a complete architecture," he said.

While HP's Itanium blades work well with enterprise-class applications, such workloads are often found on servers running HP-UX, Butler said. "But we've been seeing a shift in the market towards more x86-based commodity hardware. "HP's decision to port the Itanium to its blades is wonderful because I can now talk to my customers about a total solution and about which is the right blade for the job."

HP this week also expanded its Solution Blocks tools to its Itanium-based blade servers. Solution Blocks are a series of pre-configured, pre-tested configurations aimed at getting the hardware and software deployed for specific applications as quickly as possible."

HP is starting out with five Solution Blocks for its Itanium servers, Bartlett said. These include ERP solutions from SAP AG, Waldron, Germany and PeopleSoft, now a part of Oracle, Redwood Shores, Calif.; service-oriented architecture (SOA) from BEA Systems, San Jose, Calif.; WebSphere from IBM, Armonk, N.Y.; and product lifecycle management from Siemens IT Solutions and Services GmbH and Co. OHG, Munich, Germany.

The BL870c is available starting this week, with entry-level pricing starting at $8,000 for a model with one processor, 4 Gbytes of memory, and a 36-Gbyte SAS hard drive.