Hewlett-Packard Co. made strides this week in its plan to provide a complete 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution to customers.
On Monday, HP announced that it would sell S2io Inc.s 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapteras an OEM product, and also introduced a new line of ProCurve switches, bringing a stackable 10 Gig switch to the table.
"It leverages the investment our customers have made in managing Ethernet networks," said Brian Cox, worldwide product line manager for business critical servers at HP. Cox said that many of HPs customers have been interested in adding 10 Gigabit capabilities to their enterprises but have been reluctant to do so, unwilling to risk mission-critical networks.
"By bringing this out under our brand and working with S2io were providing a one-stop shop so there wont be any finger pointing," Cox said. He said that having the product branded by HP makes it a safe choice, since that eliminates any chance of finger pointing, and ensures that the solution has been thoroughly tested, which adds confidence for customers. He said that would also apply to the ProCurve announcement, since a whole 10 Gig network solution could come from the same vendor.
Initially, Cox says that customers will be looking for the ability to perform server-to-server communications and standards-based clustering at 10 Gig speeds. He said that most of the applications that use this are in engineering and scientific research, although he noted that theres been a lot of interest in the entertainment industry. "Anything thats media-rich," he said.
But Cox said that 10 Gig users will move beyond just those applications very quickly. For instance, he said that for companies that are using multiple virtual servers, in which a single machine may run multiple operating systems and applications, "you can quickly run out of I/O."
He added that other uses will be for providing high-speed failover for servers. "We can quickly transfer applications between servers," he said.
Of course, as the technology becomes more widely adopted, customers will find more uses for it. In fact, any server thats making heavy use of trunking can benefit from a faster network card.
Initially, Cox said he thinks that the primary use for 10 Gig will be in HPs high-end servers. At first, the 10 Gig card will be available for the RISC-based HP 9000 and the Itanium-based Integrity servers. HP will not immediately make the adapter available for the companys popular ProLiant series of servers, although Cox said that he expects it to move to that platform eventually.
Cox said that shipments of the S2io 10 Gig card would begin over the next month. He said that pricing would be announced in about a month, and that while the exact price has yet to be determined, it would be more than $1,000, but in the low four figures.
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