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HP Servers, Thin Clients Juiced By AMD

Just a week after saluting the virtues of Intel, Hewlett Packard is returning to the praises of its other partner, AMD.

HP  is marking the ten year anniversary of selling systems with AMD  processors by introducing new ProLiantservers today. They are based on the latest AMD chips as well as the first HP thin client to use AMD processors.

"AMD continues to deliver a great processor, we're seeing great performance," Steve Cumings, group manager, ProLiant Opteron systems at HP, told internetnews.com. Cumings also lauded the power efficiency of the new Opteron's model 185, 285 and 885, which operate at the 95-watt level.

The upgrade to AMD's latest 2.6 GHz dual-core Opteron processors introduced earlier this month is the only notable change to HP's ProLiant line of Opteron-based servers which includes two- and four-way models. "The new processor plugs in the same way," said Cumings. "We have customers that like to qualify a server which can take over a year, but this is something they can continue to buy with no delay."

Specifically, HP will be upgrading its ProLiant DL145 G2, DL385 and DL585 rack-based, density-optimized servers, plus its full line of Opteron-based server blades -- the HP ProLiant BL25p, BL35p and BL45p. The servers will use the new Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor Model 185, 285 or 885.

Analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group credits HP for having a good strategy in carrying both AMD and Intel-based systems which he says positions them in between Sun Microsystems and Dell. Sun has emerged as a staunch AMD supporter but doesn't carry Intel, while Dell has remained Intel only despite speculation for months it will add AMD to its mix.

"AMD's Opteron is a higher performing product than Intel's Xeon," Enderle told internetnews.com. "You can't buy features that Intel is talking about down the road, you buy what's on the market."

Also today, HP announced its first thin client based on an AMD processor. The HP Compaq t5720 uses an AMD NX 1500 Geode processor which is based on AMD's mobile, low power consumption Athlon processor technology.

The t5720 has some powerful specs for a "thin" client. For starters, an embedded version of Windows XP, with up to 512 MB of flash memory and 512 MB of DDR RAM is included. A full license to the Altiris Deployment Solution, is also part of the package along with HP Sygate Security Agent software designed to defend against worms, Trojan horses, and other malicious code. For IT managers, Altiris helps manage thin clients, desktops, handhelds and numerous other devices from a single console. Price is $699 for a model with 256 MG DDR memory. Monitor is separate.

HP has been making its own thin clients for about three years; previously it resold systems made by Wyse Technology. With a small form factor, the t5720 takes up little desk space and HP includes a simple "Quick Connect" connector designed to lets users attach the t5720 to the side of a desk, inside the desk wall or anywhere where there's a flat surface.

But HP's former partner, San Jose, Calif.-based Wyse Technology, isn't sitting still The market leader in thin client computing announced a technology alliance with virtualization software provider VMware on Tuesday and was slated to announce a marketing alliance with AT&T today.

"Companies like HP are smart to recognize not everyone in the enterprise needs a PC," Stephen Baker, analyst with NPD Group told internetnews.com. "And unlike PCs, you don't have to ship a huge volume of [thin clients] to make money. It's a relatively specialized device."



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