HP Unveils Refreshed Integrity Server Line

HP is expanding its converged data center infrastructure strategy to include its mission-critical, Itanium-based Integrity servers. The rollout includes the first update of HP's high-end Superdome in 10 years.

Hewlett-Packard is bringing its high-end Integrity server platform into its converged infrastructure strategy.

HP officials on April 26 rolled out a refreshed line of Integrity systems powered by Intel's newest Itanium 9300 "Tukwila" processors and built on a bladed architecture that covers everything from the lowest-end x86 ProLiant systems to the newest Superdome system.

With the new systems, enterprises can mix and match the broad range of infrastructure offerings-to include not only servers but also networking, storage and systems management-within their data centers, according to Michael Mcnerney, director of server planning and marketing for HP's Business Critical Systems unit.

"As we talk with customers ... the value of this integration is huge as they try to eliminate the silos in their data centers," Mcnerney said in an interview. "Mission-critical systems used to be a silo. Not anymore."

HP is in a tight competition with Cisco Systems, IBM, Dell and other vendors as they look to offer businesses tightly integrated data center solutions that bring together server, storage, networking, virtualization and management software.

Cisco is using its UCS (Unified Computing System) as the basis for its converged data center offering, which also includes products from EMC and VMware. IBM is using a combination of its own products and networking offerings from partners, and Dell is partnering with such vendors as Egenera and Brocade to give what Dell officials call a more open and flexible offering.

HP officials are looking to rely greatly on their own technologies. The new Superdome 2-the first refresh of the high-end system in 10 years-is an example of this strategy. The system shares a common management environment, power supplies, fans and I/O options with all other HP data center systems, and its modular bladed design means it can fit in a standard C7000 rack, Mcnerney said.

HP also has brought its Virtual Connect technology to the Integrity line, and with the new architecture, users can run multiple applications side by side in the same enclosure.

In addition, Superdome 2, which will be available later this year, includes more than 100 RAS features, such as the Crossbar Fabric, which automatically routes data between blades and I/O with complete redundancy, improving reliability by up to 450 percent.

HP also unveiled new Integrity server blades that can scale from two sockets to eight sockets through the vendor's Blade Link technology. Blade Link lets IT administrators combine multiple blades to make two-, four- and eight-socket systems, delivering nine times the performance in half the footprint of previous versions, officials said.

"We're redefining how you scale in a blade chassis," Mcnerney said.

In addition, enterprises can run the new Integrity blades, ProLiant systems and StorageWorks blades in the same enclosure.

HP also is offering the Integrity rx2800 i2 rack server that can be housed in a standard enclosure and is aimed at smaller or remote locations. HP's all-in-one Matrix data center offering also now supports HP-UX.

Mcnerney said the current version of the operating system, HP-UX 11i v3, can run on the new Integrity servers, enabling businesses to easily move their workloads to the new systems.