HP squeezes Superdome HPC server into blade chassis

The company plans to soon provide a complete converged server system, from ProLiant through Integrity to Superdome, using a single platform

HP is to put its Integrity Superdome high-performance computing servers into a blade format, the company announced on Tuesday.

The Superdome is at the top end of HP's line of Integrity servers, which are designed for handling key business workloads. HP is moving the whole Integrity line to the blade format, with the first reformatted models to arrive in May.

In a statement, HP said Tuesday's announcement marked "the first major architectural upgrade for Integrity Superdome in a decade".

The systems are all built on HP's Blade Scale Architecture, which provides a common platform for applications and flexible scaling to match workloads. Companies will also be able to combine the new Integrity blades with ProLiant and StorageWorks blades in the same BladeSystem C-class enclosure, according to HP.

The move is part of HP's wider strategy of having a "unified BladeSystem platform that spans x86 to HP Superdome 2," the company said.

Squeezing Integrity servers into the same blade chassis as that used by HP's ProLiant servers will lower the cost of ownership of the company's high-performance servers by 10-35 percent, said Rod Curry, an executive in HP's UK server business.

"We are delivering volume economies to mission-critical systems, with a bladed, converged infrastructure," Curry said. HP will achieve economies of scale by using common components, such as power supplies and fans, across most of its range of servers, he added.

The new Integrity blades will start at a 2-socket, 8-core model, the BL860L, which is an Itanium 2 server. The lineup will range up to the BL890c i2, which will have eight sockets and 32 cores. The products will begin shipping on 1 May and will run the HP-UX operating system.

The mainframe-class Superdome server blades will arrive in August, and will scale up to 256 cores, Curry said.

The Integrity servers work with the BladeSystem Matrix with HP-UX, which is a platform for shared services announced a year ago.

The BladeScale Architecture underpins the new blades and pulls together servers, storage and networking.

"The architecture allows clients to deploy, automate and manage a complete range of applications side by side, within the same enclosure and using the same components, tools and processes," the company said. "With a single management environment, clients can maintain consistent control of the entire IT infrastructure."

All of the company's servers have been made compatible with HP's Insight Manager management console. This will help address the "computing challenges around server sprawl," Tom Johnson, an HP business development manager, told ZDNet UK.

As part of the same announcement on Tuesday, HP introduced the Integrity rx2800 i2 rack-mount server for branch office installations and the updated HP-UX 11i v3 operating system.