HP’s ‘Extreme’ Datacenter Products

HP Proliant

HP’s ProLiant-SL2x170z.

Source: HP

HP today introduced a new portfolio of hardware, software and services for massive scale datacenters. The HP Extreme Scale-Out (ExSO) portfolio was designed with the largest datacenters in mind and meant to deliver orders of magnitude performance and savings to customers.

This new service is aimed specifically at companies with huge datacenters, 50,000 square feet and up, for things like Web 2.0, cloud computing and high-performance computing (HPC). When the numbers of machines starts to get into the thousands if not tens of thousands, the scale goes up more than just sequentially.

“For these folks, their cost of goods is the underlying cost of what they are offering. Managing that properly affects their bottom line,” John Gromala, director of product marketing for the industry standard servers group at HP (NYSE: HPQ), told InternetNews.com.

The new gear and services will save companies in capital expenditures, operating expenses, and weight. Yes, weight. By examining the design of hardware, HP found it could save on an awful lot of metal plating and encasings. One of the features of the ProLiant SL servers being introduced is they weigh 31 percent less than a typical rack-mounted server.

“That’s an issue for customers where datacenters are not on the ground floor. Weight becomes an issue because the building can only hold so much,” said Gromala.

No more heavy metal

Cutting the metal out of the ProLiant SLs scales up just like the Xeon X5500 processors they use. In a 100,000 square foot datacenter, that adds up to 839 tons less metal, enough to make four Jumbo Jets.

Other elements of the ProLiant SL include a shared power and cooling infrastructure to get the most efficiency possible and a “skinless” architecture and design with fewer enclosures. It puts the computer in a tray that’s open, rather than a metal box that’s closed on all sides. This helps with cooling as well as weight reduction.

HP estimates that the ProLiant SL will allow customers to cut acquisition costs by 10 percent and power draw by 28 percent, while doubling their compute density.

In addition to new hardware, HP has a new cooling technology that continues its Dynamic Smart Cooling strategy. The HP Datacenter Environmental Edge solution is a heat mapping program that takes readings from wireless sensors placed around the datacenter. This provides customers with a heat map so they can place cooling systems more strategically.

Finally, HP will offer new services for ExSO customers, from scheduled on-site repair options to on-site seed inventory of parts and installation services specifically designed for large datacenter environments. Some of that comes from EDS, the consulting services giant HP acquired last year, but much of it is home-grown knowledge, said Gromala.

The services are available effective June 15, while the ProLiant SL servers are due in July.

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