HP packs two independent servers on a blade

HP can now pack two servers one blade and cut energy consumption by 60 percent based on its calculations.HP was set to announce its new blade set-up on Wednesday.

HP can now pack two servers one blade and cut energy consumption by 60 percent based on its calculations.

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HP was set to announce its new blade set-up on Wednesday. The server twofer--dubbed the HP ProLiant BL2x220c G5 (right)--is the first of its kind and is part of HP's effort to target companies that have cloud computing, Web 2.0 and high performance computing infrastructure. However, it's likely that anyone with a data center would be interested in two servers on one blade.

The two servers are completely independent of each other, but share the same shell. That setup allows the BL2x220c G5 to offer 60 percent better performance per watt than similar configurations. As for HP's 60 percent improvement claim: In "internal testing the BL2x220c achieves 1582.73 bops/watt compared to 958.86 bops/watt on a cluster of Dell PowerEdge M600 servers."

Also see: HP launches data center as a service; The cloud meets outsourcing

But even if you quibble over the energy savings claim it's clear that HP's new blades will save on space--another key data center cost.

Once you toss in virtualization things can get really interesting. For instance, one blade could have a Linux server, a Windows server and run Mac OS X via virtualization easily. That's a lot of stuff for one blade.

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Among the key items:

  • 1,024 central processing unit (CPU) cores in a single 42U rack;
  • Two servers per slot, up to 32 server nodes per HP BladeSystem c7000 enclosure or 16 per c3000 enclosure;
  • Up to two Intel Xeon 5400 Series Quad Core CPUs or Intel Xeon 5200 Series Dual Core CPUs per server node;
  • Remote management and systems management software via HP;
  • And a starting price of $6,349.

Jim Ganthier, HP's director of blade system marketing and strategy, said that the BL2x220c has been in development for about six to seven months. HP has 7 or 8 named customers--including Fox Interactive--using the latest blade system. Ganthier couldn't comment about whether HP used the BL2x220c in its own data centers, but it's highly likely. On HP's earnings conference call, CEO Mark Hurd said that the company could host EDS on its existing infrastructure. It's much easier to believe that statement if HP doubled its servers on a blade.

HP's game plan is to bundle a portfolio of highly scalable infrastructure offerings. The BL2x220c joins a storage system (the HP StorageWorks 9100 Extreme Data Storage System) for the cloud computing market. Toss in its data center services and HP is going gaga for the Web 2.0 crowd. Ganthier said HP is announcing its cloud computing portfolio in stages with more to come in upcoming months.