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RealTime IT News

HP Serves Up New Blades

SAN FRANCISCO -- HP is ramping up its server and blade line with new products as well as a major new version of its HP-UX 11i operating system, HP-UX 11i v3.

The computer and printer giant added to its Integrity line with the addition of an r2660 entry class server and the Integrity BL860c Server Blade, the first Integrity model for HP's BladeSystem c-Class introduced last summer.

HP  shares most of the market for blade systems, a more flexible alternative to traditional servers, with IBM . Today's news is part of HP's stated strategy to "blade everything," and reduce hardware costs in the process.

"We're not saying everything is going to become a blade, there will always be other choices," said Markus Berber, Integrity Blades Strategist for Business Critical Systems at HP. "What we are saying is that blades are a design center for the future."

A base configuration of the HP Integrity BL860c Server Blade has a starting U.S. list price of $3,827 and is expected to begin shipping in March. The base configuration of the HP Integrity rx2660 entry-class server is $4,931 and is shipping now.

IDC analyst Jean Bozman said more than 10 percent of all servers sold this year are forecast to be blades, with that number reaching more than 20 percent by 2010. "It's all upside for the big blade vendors, HP and IBM," Bozman told internetnews.com.

On the subject of reducing server costs, HP is also positioning the new products as ideal platforms for virtualization allowing companies to consolidate many servers into one.

"Seventy-five percent of enterprise companies have at least some trials, if not broader virtualization projects going on already," Nick van der Zweep, HP's director of virtualization & Integrity server software, told internetnews.com. "The next level is to get more benefit with things like automated workload management and making your VMs bigger or smaller. That's what these new systems and HP software are designed to do."

HP officials spoke at a media event here to preview the products which are set to be formally announced today via a Webcast event. In their presentation, HP officials said the rs2660 beats Sun servers on several Java benchmark tests and provides leading performance for Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications and Java business workloads.

"We're pulling as much performance as we can from Itanium and we have more still to go," said Berber, referring to the Intel processor that powers the new server.