HP Debuts Beefed Up Intel Xeon Servers

Looking to boost its ProLiant product line and presence in the server room, Hewlett-Packard Monday took the wraps off of two new servers that rely heavily on its relationship with Intel .

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker said its new HP ProLiant DL740 and the second-generation HP ProLiant DL760, are the latest additions to its HP ProLiant DL700 series. The DL760 is available now; the DL740 should be available within 30 days.

Both are equipped with Intel Xeon processors that HP says can handle up to 115,025 transactions per minute. The DL740 comes with 2GB of memory and four 1.5GHz Xeon processors, each with 1MB of high-speed cache memory. The DL740 will have 8GB of memory and eight 2.0GHz Xeon processors, each with 2MB of cache.

The servers take advantage of a new HP F8 chipset, which is follow-up to the Profusion chipset that HP jointly developed with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel. The chipset combines PCI-X input/output technology, Gigabit Ethernet, Ultra3 SCSI and Intel Xeon processor MP all in one place.

The relationship between HP and Intel is expected to become clearer this week as the two companies announce plans to migrate PA-RISC users over to the much-hyped Intel Itanium 2 processors.

The servers also offer hot-plug RAID memory capabilities, which let companies expand server capacity on demand, without having to power the server down. HP says hot-plug RAID systems are expected to become increasingly important as Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Linux dramatically increase the addressable memory in coming months.

The company is marketing the new ProLiants as “ideal platforms for high-performance, database, business applications and IT consolidation projects.”

“These additions to our ProLiant DL700 series offer new opportunities to migrate and consolidate applications to more powerful and cost-effective servers in highly available Windows- and Linux-based environments,” said HP vice president James Mouton.

The new ProLiant rack-mountable are expected to compete heavily with similar offerings by IBM including its latest x440 server.

In fact, HP and IBM have been in a dogfight ever since the Compaq merger. While the latest stats from analysts at IDC show HP shipped the largest number of units, IBM sold $87 million worth of eight-processor Intel servers in the third quarter of 2002 compared to HP’s $84 million.

HP also announced two new related software additions to its HP ProLiant Essentials management software product line: HP Insight Manager 7 SP2 and the HP ProLiant Essentials Performance Management Pack.

The ProLiant DL740 server starts at $24,999, while estimated U.S. prices for the second-generation HP ProLiant DL760 server start at $27,999. Licenses for the HP ProLiant Essentials Workload Management Pack are $499 per server. The company estimates U.S. licenses for HP ProLiant Essentials Performance Management Pack will go for $99 per monitored server. The two management packs are currently available only for Windows environments. HP said its Insight Manager 7 SP2 ships free with ProLiant servers.

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