Hewlett-Packard Co. within the next two months will begin shipping ProLiant servers with multifunctional network adapter cards and smaller hard drives.
Those moves, along with support for RAID 6 for greater data protection, are designed to simplify the infrastructure and improve manageability in the data center, said Paul Perez, vice president of storage, networking and infrastructure for HPs ProLiant servers.
The new capabilities will begin appearing in the ProLiant systems—which run on processors from Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.—in May, Perez said. Over the next 12 months, the features will begin appearing in all servers in HPs ProLiant, Itanium-based Integrity, BladeSystem and StorageWorks systems.
The multifunctional adapter card will bring networking, storage and clustering features onto a single connection point, he said. The new adapter cards have been shipped to five beta customers already, and HP is expanding that beta program, he said.
In addition, the Santa Clara, Calif., company has been working with such partners as Broadcom Corp. and Seagate Technology LLC to build smaller industry-standard hard drives. Currently, HP systems ship with 3.5-inch hard drives. The new 2.5-inch drives will enable the company to put more drives—from 33 percent to 50 percent—into the systems, which Perez said could improve throughput as much as four times.
The new drives will be based on the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, which Perez said combines the best of Fibre Channel and SCSI. By next year, SAS will become the standard interface in HP systems, and it also is compatible with cheaper Serial ATA, which will give users more options, he said.
The RAID 6 support, built on HPs Advanced Data Guarding technology, provides two parity drives, which provides backup information that supports the active drives in the storage array. Should one drive go down, the second will continue without any interruption, Perez said.