Servers shed a few pounds

In an effort to keep up with the fast-growing service provider market, Hewlett-Packard Co. recently unveiled two new Netservers, which the company said are part of one of the industry’s most comprehensive lines of high-density, rack-optimized PC servers.

The HP Netserver lp1000r and lp2000r meet the demands of the service provider – namely the needs for rapid deployment, multi-OS support, comprehensive remote management and provisioning along with flexible rack solutions, according to the company.

Parag Suri, HP’s business manager for Netserver, said there is very rapid growth in the service provider space, and the two Netserver products optimize and address all needs.

He explained that the lp1000r is a rack-optimized server which comes equipped with a high-density, high-performance and richer feature set. He said its 1U form factor allows room for up to 42 servers and 84 Intel Pentium CPUs in a two-metre rack. The lp1000r also includes up to two Intel Pentium III processors, three internal hot-swappable hard drives, up to 4GB SDRAM capacity, two embedded NICs and external SCSI port, and 64-bit I/O, which HP said makes it ideal for infrastructure- and Web-hosting applications.

“(Service providers) need not only a bunch of servers that they want to stack, but also ask the question, ‘Can I back-up all the stuff I have and be sure if I go home, I don’t have to wake up at three in the morning and have a dream that somebody has just blown my data away?'” Suri said. “Flexibility is the message with the lp1000r. You can put it in an HP rack; you can put it in a non-HP rack; you can put it in a two-post telco rack. You don’t need any tools to get it going. Get the server and it’s ready to go.”

He explained that the lp2000r, a 2U form factor, is an ideal server for space-constrained environments.

“Real estate is getting more and more expensive,” Suri said. “The bigger the city you go to, the more you have to pay per square footage. (Service providers) want to be able to stack as many servers as they can into a particular rack.”

The lp2000r supports dual Intel Pentium III processors, has up to six internal hot-swappable hard disk drives, up to 4GB SDRAM capacity, dual-embedded LAN adapters (10/100), and an integrated dual-channel Ultra3 SCSI controller, which Suri said makes it one of the most expandable servers available on the market.

“In a 2U form factor, this is the first in the industry to have six internal drives,” Suri noted.

He explained that both new Netservers, which will replace the lpr model, are flexible, tool-less rack solutions that come with comprehensive remote manageability options. He added that the lpr will continue to be available until June.

According to Greg Ambrose, a research analyst with IDC Canada, these small servers offer a quick return on investment (RoI), especially for start-up companies. He said they offer fast and easy turnaround and inexpensive ways of increasing their capacity.

“Current service providers are trying to become as dense as possible,” Ambrose said. “They want to increase their capacity but they don’t want to bring in these huge boxes which take up room in and of themselves. Whatever (HP) can do by reducing the amount of space for an equal amount of computing power, either for appliance servers or for general-purpose servers, that has a great appeal to (service providers.)”

The lp1000r is available now and pricing starts at $5,799. Pricing is not yet available for the lp2000r, which will begin shipping in March.

Also in March, HP plans to release a family of appliances based on Intel’s NetStructure product technology. In a recent agreement, HP and Intel announced they will work together to offer Intel’s existing NetStructure appliances.

According to Hala Saab, strategic relations manager for Intel, NetStructure is a product line for the e-business data centre. Saab said the line includes traffic directors, multi-site directors, secure socket layer (SSL) accelerators, and XML accelerators.

Saab explained that HP, as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), will take over the branding of NetStructure.

“Instead of having just the Intel sales force sell these products, we have a combined effort now with Intel strategically still behind the product promoting e-commerce solutions and HP providing solutions to their own customer base,” Saab said. “It adds expansion of the distribution of these products. (Intel) can really focus on (its) strategy, which is the building blocks supplier of the Internet economy.”

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