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RealTime IT News

HP Ships More ProLiant For AMD's Dual-Core

HP trotted out new two-processor servers and blades based on dual-core AMD Opteron chips.

The release comes three months after the company issued four-processor ProLiant machines to coincide with AMD's dual-core Opteron 800 Series launch. At the time, HP made good on its promise to deliver systems that support the AMD Opteron 200 Series for two-processor boxes.

The latest move follows a highly successful quarter for 4-way Opteron sales for HP. Though the company does not break out specific numbers, HP has reason to be excited about its Opteron servers.

IDC's server report in May showed that HP was able to sell enough servers based on AMD's Opteron chip to become the only top systems vendor in the 4-way x86 server space to grow revenue year-over-year.

This is good news for a company that has spent an exhaustive amount of time and resources on the high-end Itanium architecture, which competes with the x86-based Opteron architecture. HP earlier this month even moved its venerable high-end NonStop server line to Itanium.

The new two-processor, dual-core Opteron machines have punch, too. In benchmarks, the servers boosted some enterprise applications by more than 80 percent over traditional single-core processor systems, according to Colin Lacey, director of platform marketing in HP's server division.

The ProLiant DL385, the little sister to the popular ProLiant DL380, is designed to serve databases, e-mail and enterprise resource planning, Lacey said. It runs two processors and is 2U, or 3.5 inches, wide.

"This is really the enterprise sweet spot today," Lacey said. "So bringing dual core there is actually pretty exciting and compelling."

The ProLiant DL145 G2 is a 1U (1.75 inches), two-processor system ideal for high-performance technical applications. Lacey said high-performance computing users, such as those who work in life sciences, are hungry for dual core because of the computing boost it promises.

On the blade server front, the HP ProLiant BL25p and BL35p servers are two-processor devices designed for volume. The BL35p is meant to power large enterprises or high-performance computing.

Both blades are part of HP's BladeSystem, which packs several thin machines into a chassis to cut down on data center clutter by reducing cables. In addition to saving valuable floor space, blades also consume less power than traditional box servers.

BladeSystem, though often finding second billing to IBM's leading BladeCenter, offers management tools that help customers integrate computing, storage, power and network resources in one box.

To pad its blade solutions, HP also launched today Factory Express services for the BladeSystem. Factor Express is designed to pre-integrate blade solutions for deployment in datacenters to get customers up and running with minimal impact.

The new machines are selling now. The dual-core DL385 starts at $3,299; the DL145 G2 at $1,219; the BL25p at $3,099; and the BL35p at $2,599.

HP timed the product launch to coincide with the shipment of its 10 millionth ProLiant machine. To celebrate, the Palo Alto, Calif., company presented the x86 server to customer Continental Airlines, which has used ProLiant machines for seven years.

ProLiant has proven quite successful for the company since it launched in 1993, holding the top ranking for worldwide x86 server shipments for about nine years over IBM, Sun Microsystems, Dell and others.

HP's enterprise sales suffered over the last few years under ex-CEO Carly Fiorina. Server sales hiked jumped in the first quarter of 2005 under new CEO Mark Hurd. The company also inched closer to IBM, with worldwide server systems revenue of 27.6 percent compared to Big Blue's 28.3 percent share, according to researcher IDC.