Intel-based Servers Power Up HP, IBM

HP and IBM are among the big-name enterprise computing suppliers Intel hopes
will help it regain lost ground in server share to AMD. While still
dominant, Intel’s share of the server space has slipped to less than 85
percent, with AMD picking up the rest of the x86 server market.

Intel has been working to refresh its server line with
dual-core, powerful,
but power-efficient processors code-named Dempsey and Woodcrest. HP and IBM
announced plans on Tuesday to support the 5000 (Dempsey) and Woodcrest
(5100)
in new systems. HP is also the biggest supplier of AMD-based servers; IBM
supports both Intel and AMD as well.

“We think customers will be getting significant improvements in power and
cooling and breakthrough capabilities in a virtualized environment,” John
Gromala, a director of server product marketing at HP, told
internetnews.com.

To help spur interest in the latest ProLiants, HP said it
designed the systems as a better long-term investment. Both dual and future
quad-core processors from Intel are supported. Also, HP unwrapped small form
factor SAS drives that will now be universal to all HP
ProLiant servers.

“Customer loyalty is won or lost in these technology transitions,” said
Gromala. “We’ve designed this so customers don’t have to inventory two types
of hard drive and memory, they can transition in one jump.”

Like HP, IBM is emphasizing advances it’s made in incorporating
virtualization features as well as energy savings. HP claims technology
developed at HP Labs has enabled as much as a 20 percent savings in
cooling power consumption.

IBM has released version 2.0 of its PowerExecutive
Technology, which measures power consumption. PowerExecutive software can
run
across the entire range of IBM’s x86 systems, including servers and blades,
as well as Power-based blades. One potential benefit, companies can use
PowerExecutive 2.0 to trend the power consumption data and negotiate better
utility rates based on a more accurate assessment of future power needs.

The three new IBM System x servers will be available June 9 and boast as
much as 90 percent better application performance and up to 74 percent
better performance per watt. HP also noted similar jumps in performance and
energy efficiency.

As for AMD, HP’s Gromala said “a lot of the same capabilities will be
reflected in the next set of updates based on AMD as well.”

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