In conjunction with Intel Corp.s unveiling of the Xeon MP processor, Hewlett-Packard is revamping most of its IA-32 server line, including some of its storage products.
The release of the Xeon MP will be felt by virtually all major OEMs, not just HP. However, HP has taken the opportunity to craft new products for most major customer segments, on the belief that as IT spending becomes more cautious, customers will look at "industry-standard" products based upon the Intel processors.
"If youre IT is down your business is down," said Marc Jourlait, North American director of IA-32 servers for HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif. "How do you do all this and still get value? You cant just go with the cheapest stuff, but you cant go with more expensive proprietary solutions. Its how you get the most value out of your IT infrastructure."
Intels MP Xeon processor supports up to 4-way systems, and is available at 1.4-, 1.5-, and 1.6 GHz. Pricing for the individual chips wont be officially revealed until Tuesday morning.
The six servers that HP is introducing include the tc2110, a Pentium 4-based tower for small businesses; the tc3100, a two-way Pentium III tower for small-to-medium businesses; the tc4100, a two-way Intel Pentium III tower/rack for corporate workgroups; the tc6100, a two-way Intel Xeon tower/rack for corporate departments; the tc7100, a 4-way Xeon MP tower/rack for enterprise applications; and the rc7100, a rack-optimized four-way Xeon MP system for enterprise/datacenter customers.
In addition, HP will ship the HP SureStore disk system 2300, a native Ultra160 SCSI fourteen-disk storage system with the ability to upgrade to Ultra320 SCSI in the future.
Unfortunately, the new capabilities wont bring with them a corresponding boost in the types of applications they can run, according to Mari Young, worldwide product marketing manager for the new server line. The Microsoft Exchange server, for example, used to require 128 Mbytes of RAM, and now, under Windows 2000, requires 256 Mbytes of memory to make it viable, she said.
"The applications become more and more demanding even as the OS gets updated," she said.
The basic configurations are as follows, according to an HP spokesman. The HP tc2110 will feature a 1.7-GHz Pentium 4, 128 Mbytes of memory, either a 18-Gbyte SCSI hard drive or 40 Gbyte IDE hard drive, embedded 10/100-Mbit NIC, and a startup CD for $1,099, with delivery in mid-April.
The HP tc3100 server will include a single 1.26-GHz Pentium III, with the ability to add a second; up to 4 Gbytes of ECC memory; up to five 73-Gbyte hot-swappable Ultra160 SCSI drives; and a 10/100 NIC card, all for $1,499 when it ships in mid-April.
The HP Server tc4100 also allows up to two Pentium III prcoessors and up to 4 Gbytes of ECC memory, plus a total of 620 Gbytes of disk capacity. Like the tc2110 and tc3100, it ships with a management add-on card. In its basic configuration, the tc4100 will cost $2,599 when it ships in mid-May.
The tc6100 is a "very interesting product," Young said. The server starts out as a two-way system, capable of accepting two Pentium 4 "Prestonia" processors. However, HP will also ship customers a small PCB add-on card that will allow users to upgrade the board to a full four-way configuration.
"We feel this is one of the advantages of buying from HP—the investment protection," Young said.
The tc6100 supports up to 8 DIMMs worth of DDR memory, up to a total of 8 Gbytes. The 5U chassis sports seven open I/O slots and eight hot-swappable hard drive bays, plus two common bays. An undisclosed number of the expansion slots are configured for use with PCI-X cards. The estimated U.S. street price is $4,399, and the box should ship in mid-May.
The tc7100 and rc7100 are essentially the same server, although the rc7100 is rack-mounted in a 3U chassis while the tc7100 is available in only a 5U tower configuration. Both use the 4-way Xeon MP processor and DDR memory mounted in 8 DIMM slots for a total of 8-Gbytes of memory. The tower-mounted tc7100 contains 8 hard drive bays and two common bays, while the rc7100 contains only five hard drive bays. IT managers can hot-swap hard drives, power supplies, and PCI slots; the rc7100 also contains hot-swappable fans. The tc7100 will ship in mid-May for an estimated price of $7,149; the rc7100 should ship during the same period for $8,469.
HP has also added manageability and diagnostic features, which monitor individual components within a system and indicate a faulty component using an LED light. A $399 remote management card that ships as an option on the tc3100 is standard on the tc4100. The rc7100 ships standard with a standard manageability card, diagnostic card, and DAC (RAID) card.