HP Expands Unix Offerings
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Hewlett-Packard Wednesday made a variety of announcements related to its entire spectrum of Unix servers. The announcement noted the introduction of new entry-level and midrange servers, industry awards won by its midrange servers, and new benchmarks set by its high-end and midrange servers.Entry-Level Servers
HP announced that, effective immediately, the HP Server rp2430 entry-level server replaces the A400, and the HP Server rp2470 replaces the A500.
Both new systems feature the PA-8700 processor; for the first time HP has included it in its one- or two-way Unix servers. The entry-level rp2430 and rp2470 servers are designed for business and Internet applications for distributed sites and branch offices of large enterprises as well as for telcos, service providers, and midsize enterprises.
The rp2430 and rp2470 are priced starting at $1,000, a price point that HP believes pits them aggressively against comparable application servers from Sun. The vendor also believes the rp2400 series' 2U design offers better performance density with half the height of Sun's 1- and 2-way offerings.
For the midrange market, HP introduced the rp7410, an 8-way server with features comparable to those found in the high-end HP Superdome server and functionality comparable to that of the 16-way rp8400 midrange server.
In addition, HP lowered the rp8400's industry-leading price/performance ratio on the TPC-C benchmark to $14.37/tpmC, results that are 60 percent lower than those of IBM's and Sun's midrange offerings.
These new offerings and benchmarks have resulted in much industry recognition as of late. The HP Server rp8400 was voted Product of the Year for 2001 at the annual Server I/O Industry Awards, which took place at the Server I/O Conference and Tradeshow. In December 2001 the rp7400 (a midrange server with characteristics similar to those found in the HP Server rp7410) received the RISC Server Guaranteed Quality Award from the China Computer User Association. The HP Server rp7400 also won the RISC Server Guaranteed Quality Award based on its reliability and overall quality.High-End Servers
New benchmarks have also been set by HP's high-end Unix servers. HP recently broke its own world record, set in December 2001, on the 3-tier SAP Standard Assemble-To-Order (ATO) Application Benchmark by 10 percent. The HP Superdome server achieved 144,090 fully business processed assembly orders per hour. This is more than 2.5 times IBM's highest figure, which is the closest competitive result.
This new benchmark is another step toward HP's goal of doubling transaction performance by next year.
In addition, HP has experienced four consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth in the high-end Unix server space.
HP also recently introduced a 2 GB per second fibre channel host bus adaptor (HBA) that doubles the performance of the previous HBA without raising the price. The fibre channel HBA enables organizations to connect to SANs that are experiencing tremendous growth in enterprise storage networking environments.
HP currently offers end-to-end 2 GB SAN solutions that include servers, storage, switches, and consulting services for HP Superdome and other PCI-based HP Unix servers.
Amy Newman is managing editor of sister site ServerWatch.