HP Aims Dense ProLiant Systems at Virtualized, Cloud Infrastructures

HP is shipping two four-socket systems that are aimed at enterprises that are virtualizing their IT environments and embracing private and hybrid clouds.

Hewlett-Packard is rolling out two new dense ProLiant servers that officials said will enable enterprises grow their virtualized data center environments and continue on their paths to cloud computing.

The two Intel-based systems—the BL660c and DL560—are four-socket servers that will increase the compute performance available to businesses while driving down the space and energy costs associated with larger systems, according to company officials.

The latest Generation 8 ProLiants, announced Sept. 26, are a nod to the efforts enterprises are making to ramp up the virtualization of their data center infrastructures and to embrace both private and hybrid cloud environments. Density increasingly is a key issue in virtualized and cloud infrastructures, and traditional two- and four-socket systems have forced businesses to choose between more powerful processors and greater scalability or reducing the space, power consumption and total cost of ownership, according to HP officials.

Because of this, much of the virtualization effort by enterprises has been around basic infrastructure and smaller workloads, while more complex enterprise applications go untouched.

The quad-core BL660c and DL560 are designed to enable both high performance and scalability with power and space conservation. The dense servers are powered by Intel’s eight-core Xeon E5-4600, and they also leverage HP’s ProActive Insight Architecture, which delivers enhanced lifecycle automation capabilities and continuous monitoring of the health of the systems. They also offer a direct connection to HP’s Insight Online portal, which helps administrators address problems quickly and reduce unplanned downtime, officials said. Problems can be resolved as much as 66 percent faster with Insight Online, the company said.

With the new systems, virtual machines can be deployed as much as 30 percent faster than on other systems, and businesses should see a return on their investment within three months, according to the vendor.

The ProLiant BL660c blade server is half the size of previous generation systems, and can reduce the TCO up to 30 percent. The DL560 is a 2U (3.5-inch) rack system.

“This server is ideal for virtualization, database, business processing, and general 4P data-intensive applications where optimization of data center space and price/performance is paramount,” Mark Lackey, ProLiant DL560 product manager, said in a Sept. 26 post on HP’s blog.

Key features of the systems include the first integrated PCIe 3.0 storage capabilities, which offer twice the I/O bandwidth and up to six times faster performance than previous systems, and improved support for virtual machines, thanks to a memory design that is five times more dense than servers from other vendors, according to HP.

There also is up to 50 percent better memory performance than rival servers, which means more virtual applications can be consolidated onto fewer servers.

HP in February unveiled the first of the ProLiant Generation 8 systems, which were all two-socket servers. Like those first systems, the DL560 and BL660c offer a host of hardware and management features designed to make the servers easier to manage, less costly to run and more energy efficient, including SmartDrives and SmartMemory. They also offer what HP officials call the “Sea of Sensors,” which constantly monitor the health and performance of the systems, alerting IT staff when a problem arises.

Both systems are available immediately, with the DL560 starting at $5,912 and the BL660c at $7,970.