On Wednesday, HP launches a system that doubles the number of blades that can be fitted on one unit, less than a month after IBM introduced the iDataPlex range which also doubled the number and likewise doubled the servers in one any one system.
The move continues the industry trend of increasing the density of systems to get more efficiency, especially in the use of space in data centres as well as power usage.
The HP ProLiant BL2x220c G5 combines two independent servers in one blade. HP is claiming that by combining two servers in one blade it is achieving an industry first, although it appears to be another way of achieving the same end as IBM. HP claims that the BL2x220c delivers 60 percent better performance per watt than similar configurations on the market. IBM claimed that the iDataPlex consumed 40 percent less power and standard rack-mount systems.
Like the IBM system, HP is scalable. Previously, a single 10U chassis would take up to 32 servers. With up to 32 server nodes in a single 10U blade chassis, the new BladeSystem can scale up to 128 servers, 1,024 CPU cores and 2TB of RAM in one standard-sized rack of four enclosures, the company says. The new blade is able to offers double the density of its HP predecessors by fitting two servers into each slot.
Such density should mean lots of heat, but HP's UK product manager, Phil McClean points out that "it users a lower wattage processor than others" and so should be cool enough and stay in control of energy loss without degrading system performance.
The ProLiant BL2x220c G5 costs £3,439 a unit, McClean said.
The competition in this area is definitely hotting up. While IBM's launch last week beat HP to the punch, HP may try and claim the technical stars. Either way, it is more choice for the customer.