HP Reinforces Rack Server Line

Company aims to ease management and bolster reliability of proliant family with new, upgraded servers.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is adding remote management and fault resilience technologies to three products in its rack-optimized server line.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company last week rolled out two servers, the ProLiant DL320 and DL360, and an upgraded server, the ProLiant DL580.

James Mouton, vice president for platforms in HPs Industry Standard Servers unit, said the new and upgraded servers are part of an initiative to make HPs servers cheaper and easier to manage.

"The new servers really integrate with [HPs] manageability story," Mouton said.

The DL360 and DL580 offer fault resilience capabilities, including the companys Advanced Memory Protection technology, according to HP officials. In addition, the two-way DL360—with 2.4GHz and 2.8GHz Intel Corp. Xeon chips and a 533MHz system bus—offers online spare memory.

The four-way DL580, which comes with the latest Intel Xeon MP chip, supports hot-pluggable mirrored memory, enabling users to replace memory without bringing the server down.

The DL360 and DL580 also include HPs remote management technology, enabling users to do everything from loading software to maintenance work from a remote location, Mouton said.

The remote management capabilities are optional with the DL320—a one-way server used mostly for light duties such as Web page serving that runs on Intels 2.26GHz Pentium 4 processor—via the Remote Lights-out PCI expansion card, Mouton said.

Such capabilities reduce support time by more than 50 percent and cut expenses related to on-site management, according to the company.

Mark Melenovsky, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass., said that as enterprises spread their applications across multiple systems, the issue of management becomes increasingly important.

"In large data centers, management is an increasing cost factor," Melenovsky said. "What people are trying to do is reduce those costs."

The new servers also are examples of how HPs $18.5 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. last May is starting to bear fruit, he said. Compaq, whose Industry Standard Servers group developed the ProLiant line, was active in creating effective management tools. Now HP can pair those tools with its own HP OpenView management software to offer products for the low end as well as the high end, he said.

"Its a big differentiator for them," Melenovsky said.

The upgraded DL580 is available now, starting at $7,199. The DL360 and DL320 are due later this month, starting at $2,599 and $1,449, respectively.