HP blade server targets cloud computing

Hewlett-Packard Co. released a new ProLiant blade enclosure Wednesday with higher server densities designed for cloud computing and other compute-intensive applications.

With up to 32 server nodes in a single 10U blade chassis, the new BladeSystem can scale up to 128 servers, 1,024 CPU cores and 2TB of RAM in one standard-size rack consisting of four enclosures, HP said. (1U is 1.75 in. high.) The new blade offers double the density of its HP predecessors by fitting two servers into each slot, according to Paul Miller, HP's marketing vice president. (Compare blade server products.)

Density and power efficiency are the main advantages of the new blade, dubbed the HP ProLiant BL2x220c G5, Miller said. While cloud computing applications are likely to benefit, the blade is targeted at multiple types of users, including oil and gas producers who need computing power for geophysical surveys.

"They don't consider themselves clouds," Miller said. "We don't want to pigeonhole this technology in that way."

Some customers are likely to use thousands of these servers for Web 2.0, grid and high-performance computing applications, HP said.

Pricing starts at $6,349 and can go up to more than $20,000. The system comes with either dual- or quad-core Intel Xeon processors, achieving speeds of up to 12.3 teraflops for a 42U rack. (1TFLOPS is 1 trillion floating-point operations per second.)

HP's announcement comes about a month after IBM launched a similar line of blade servers called the iDataPlex, which is designed for Web 2.0 and cloud computing environments. While HP doubled its density by loading two servers into each slot, IBM rotated each server 90 degrees, creating racks that hold 84 servers.

This story, "HP blade server targets cloud computing" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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