HP introduces Nehalem-based ProLiant servers

Intel's latest chip promises to give a memory and performance boost to the 11 ProLiant G6 rack, blade and tower servers, according to HP
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

On Monday, HP launched a new range of ProLiant servers based on Intel's Nehalem-based Xeon processor, the 5500.

The ProLiant G6 range of 11 rack, blade and tower models targets datacentre capacity, virtualisation and datacentre economics, the company said.

With Nehalem, the G6 range has "twice the memory and storage of previous generations as well as a 100 percent increase in overall performance", Christine Reischl, general manager of HP's Industry Standard Servers division, told ZDNet UK. "Companies will find they need half the number of servers they needed previously."

One new feature in the G6 range is what HP calls the 'Sea of Sensors'. This consists of 32 sensors that automatically monitor a server's thermal activity. Depending on the readings, the system will then try to adjust components, such as memory and fans, to optimise cooling and so save energy.

"We can automatically control what is going on in the server," Reischl said. "And with virtualisation, we have expanded everything so now users can access 80 virtual servers." Reischl said that HP will continue to support VMware, Microsoft and other virtualisation platforms.

In the G6 range, HP also introduced a Common Power Slot design, which allows users a choice of four power supplies. This lets them select the one best suited to the server's particular workload.

Dynamic Power Capping, another new feature, lets users manage power in the datacentre. The tool measures how much power is being used by each server in a datacentre, then automatically attempts to reclaim unused power and re-allocate it.

In addition to the energy-saving features, the G6 servers provide several performance tools. These include HP's Insight Control Environment (ICE) management console, one of the company's most important system tools. It is being bundled with HP ProLiant servers for the first time, Reischl said.

The G6 range also comes with HP's Virtual Connect Flex-10 Ethernet technology. Flex-10 can balance the bandwidth of a 10Gb Ethernet network port across four network interface card connections, according to HP.

"This is the biggest launch in 20 years of the ISS [Industry Standard Server] division," Reischl said.

The ProLiant G6 range includes the DL380, DL370, DL360, DL180 and DL160 rack servers; the BL 490c, BL 460c and BL 280c blade servers; and the ML370, ML350 and ML150 tower servers. These are available and shipping worldwide. Prices will start at £839, HP told ZDNet UK.

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