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HP jumps on 64-bit Xeon wagon

HP jumps on 64-bit Xeon wagon

Hewlett-Packard wasted no time throwing its support behind Intel's 64-bit Xeon MP (Multi Processor) chip, unwrapping on Tuesday two ProLiant servers that are powered by the new processor.

The four-way ProLiant DL580 G3 and the ML570 G3, which will be aimed at those users looking to consolidate older servers using a number of virtualization strategies, contains several new capabilities, including HP's own Hot Plug RAID memory, RAID 6 storage, and its integrated Lights Out management software.

In addition to the new Xeon MP chips, the new servers also use Intel's most recent chipsets as well as a number of other platform-level technologies that in total require much less power than the company's previous generation of systems. The new servers will also support Intel's upcoming dual-core chips when they hit the market later this year.

"The multiprocessor market is heating up, and there are two key trends driving that. One is the continued strong interest among users to consolidate their servers through virtualization and the other revolves around power consumption," said Colin Lacey, director of Platform Marketing for HP's Industry Standard Server Group.

The new systems will support the most popular 64-bit versions of Linux, including those by Red Hat and Novell, as well as the 64-bit version of Windows when that becomes available later this spring.

The new servers will also work with HP's recently announced Virtual Machine Manager software that helps IT shops shift around workloads from physical to virtual environments as well as from virtual to other virtual environments. The package is compatible with both VMware's and Microsoft's server-based virtualization offerings.

"This (Virtual Machine Manager) lets you move workloads around, and to do it from a single management interface. This is a technology that is really resonating within the MP market where we see a growing deployment of VM technology," Lacey said.

The DL580 G3 has a 3.33GHz version of the Xeon MP with an 8 megabyte L3 cache, and 667MHz dual-independent front-side bus. The system features a newly designed chassis that allows users to access the Hot Plug RAID memory, processors, and hard drives from the front of the unit, as well as offering rear access to the power supplies, a company spokesperson said.

The ML 570 G3 also contains the 3.33GHz version of the Xeon MP and the 8 megabyte cache, and 667MHz front side bus, but is built with greater expansion in mind. The unit has several input-output ports, drive bays, and memory slots than does the DL580, in order to accommodate higher-end mission critical applications. It also comes integrated with the Lights Out management software, Hot Plug RAID memory, and hot plug, redundant components.

In concert with the two higher-end servers, HP also introduced refreshed versions of two lower-end systems, including the ProLiant ML350 G4p and ProLiant ML150 G2. The ML350 G4p uses the 3.4GHz version of the 64-bit Xeon dual processor (DP) chip, which has a 2 megabyte L2 cache. The ML150 G2 is powered by the 3.2GHz Xeon DP and also has a 2 megabyte L2 cache.

Available immediately, pricing for the DL580 G3 starts at US$6,849, while entry pricing for the ML570 G3 begins at US$5,249. The ML350 G4p starts at US$1,539, while the ML150 G2 has a base price of US$1,419.


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