HP Unveils Scalable ProLiant Servers, POD Assembly Line

Hewlett-Packard this week is expanding its converged infrastructure architecture with platforms targeting a variety of service providers who want to move away from building their own infrastructures.

HP's unveiled a new modular scalable ProLiant server platform along with a new "data center in a box" offering for service providers in such fields as search engine, Web services, hosting services, and high-performance computing.

Companies in this part of the market typically build servers and their infrastructure as needed, but can more easily and rapidly expand those infrastructures with HP solutions, said Jim Ganthier, vice president of marketing for industry standard servers at HP.

"We're trying to take our expertise at with servers and converged infrastructure to help the service providers," Ganthier said. "They're looking for every CPU per square foot per dollar they can get. They don't want to optimize on only one of those three vectors. They want to optimize on all three."

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Converged infrastructure refers to tying server, storage, and IP networking into an integrated solution in order to give customers a single vendor source for building data centers that can be used for a variety of applications including services and cloud computing.

Next: Scalable ProLiant Servers

As part of its push to bring converged infrastructure to service providers, HP this week unveiled its ProLiant SL6500 Scalable System, a new 4U modular server chassis system which scales from one to thousands of server nodes.

The new server nodes come in two versions. The SL170s G6 is a half-width, 1U node with up to two Intel Xeon processors with 16 DDR3 DIMM sockets totaling 192 GBytes of memory, and up to four small form factor spinning drives or SSDs. Up to eight SL170s servers can fit in an SL6500 chassis. It is targeted at customers looking for performance, energy efficiency, and server density, Ganthier said.

The SL390s G7 server nodes come in either half-width 1U or half-width 2U chassis, and include 10Gbit Ethernet and InfiniBand connectivity for higher I/O performance. "When you put general purpose GPUs in the SL390s, you get the world's first teraflop computer in 1U of rack space," Ganthier said.

Customers implementing 100 nodes of the SL390s servers could see performance matching systems in the Top-500 supercomputer list, Ganthier said.

"Customers can save a lot of money in terms of space and power," he said. "Also, since they can use common nodes, customers can scale from a basic server to a high-performance system."

Next: New POD-Works "Data Center Assembly Line"

HP also opened HP POD-Works, a 10,000-square-foot facility which serves as an assembly line for delivering HP PODs, or Performance Optimized Data Centers.

A POD is a complete, self-contained data center built into a portable chassis which can be completely configured to customer requirements for servers, storage, and networking, and then shipped to wherever it is required.

HP POD-Works is a facility with seven bays for building and configuring up to seven PODs at once, Ganthier said.

With POD-Works, customers can get a fully-configured POD in as little as six weeks, he said. "Just add water, electricity, and networking, and you have a data center," he said.

The new servers, PODs, and services are all available through HP's channel partners. The SL6500 chassis starts at $1,099. The SL170s G6 server starts at $1,559, while the SL390s G7 starts at $2,239.