ProLiant G7s added in BladeSystem revamp

The new ProLiant G7 blade servers incorporate features from the Integrity line, such as the ability to isolate and map around virtual machine memory failures

HP has announced a new generation of its BladeSystem line-up, updating its Virtual Connect technology and adding seven new ProLiant G7 blade servers to the portfolio.

The updates to BladeSystem were announced on Monday at the HP Tech Forum event in Las Vegas. The ProLiant G7s, mostly based on Nehalem-EX processors, are more high-end than those unveiled in March this year, which were based on AMD's 'Magny-Cours' Opteron 6100-series processors.

The new BladeSystem products, which dovetail with HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy, are aimed at "eliminating sprawl", according to Dave Donatelli, HP's head of enterprise servers, storage and networking.

"You can go from 217 individual components down to two with the brand new BladeSystem we're announcing," he said.

A key component is the new HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port module, which can be used to connect servers to any fibre channel, Ethernet or iSCSI network, making multiple interconnects unnecessary, according to HP. The same FlexFabric technology is built into the new ProLiant G7 blades.

Donatelli said the new ProLiant G7 servers represented HP taking the strengths of its high-end Integrity line, such as the ability to self-heal by isolating and mapping around individual virtual machine memory failures, into its industry-standard product line.

The new ProLiant G7 line-up includes seven blade servers: the BL680c, BL620c, BL685c, BL465c, BL460c, BL490c and the BL2x220c, the last of which is aimed at high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

According to HP, the BL2x220c provides 20 times more bandwidth and twice as much performance per rack as the rival IBM HS22 9. One BL2x220c rack can provide 18 teraflops of compute capacity, the company said.

In addition, the BL680c supports up to 1TB of memory, the first blade server from HP to do so. This, along with the other updates to the BladeSystem portfolio, are aimed at delivering better virtualisation performance, HP said.

Three rack-mount systems have also been added to the BladeSystem line-up, including the DL980, DL580 and DL585. HP promises that the DL585 can — assuming an upgrade from its G4 predecessor — provide a return on investment within 30 days through energy efficiency savings.

HP's new ProLiant G7 servers start at €2,585 (£2,150). The DL580, DL585, BL465c and BL685c are available now, and the others will be released in the coming months.

The company also introduced a new version of BladeSystem Matrix — HP's converged infrastructure for rolling out private clouds — that features automated storage tiering, to provision storage based on application performance and availability requirements. It will be made available from mid-July at a starting price of $150,000.

A new set of APIs has also been added to BladeSystem Matrix and "made available to standards bodies", Donatelli added. He highlighted HP's close work with application vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, on the new BladeSystem Matrix.

David Donatelli photo

HP head of enterprise servers David Donatelli speaks at the HP Tech Forum in Las Vegas. Credit: David Meyer