Eye on Blades Blog: Trends in Infrastructure
Get HP BladeSystem news, upcoming event information, technology trends, and product information to stay up to date with what is happening in the world of blades.

Icosikaitetra-Core Server Blades

AMD Istanbul processorYesterday, AMD launched "Istanbul", their six-core Opteron processor.  Paul G. promised that HP would add this CPU into our servers in very short order.  "Very short" was right; today we've announced the BL465c G6 and BL495c G6 server blades, both using Istanbul processors, plus we've added it to the HP BL685c G6 server blade.


Andrew Hawthorn gives a nice 3-minute overview of these new servers


Twenty-four cores would make the BL685c G6 an icosikaitetra-core server.  (Names like that are probably why AMD and Intel have stopped using Greek number prefixes for core counts!)  Since the BL685c G6 also supports the 4-core Shanghai, and HP has already published some SAP benchmarks with both processors,  you can do a side-by-side comparision to see how well some apps scale from 16 to 24 cores. 


Full results for the two-tier SAP® Sales and Distribution Standard Application Benchmark are here, but if you just compare the results on BL685c G6 with Shanghai and Istanbul, you'll see that performance scales nicely -- almost 90% linearly -- from 16 cores to 24 cores.


Some other announcements from HP can be found here, including the HP Eco Solutions program.

What's new for blades in plain language

Today, we launched some new and updated technologies that I thought you might find useful.  Here's the news in language as plain as it gets in IT. 


Our Virtual Connect interconnect porfolio was updated in two ways. 




The other news today was the update of our 4 processor, ProLiant BL685c blade server.  Basically, the new G6 version dobules the supported memory per blade versus the older, G5 version.  That's 32 DIMM sockets and 256Gb of memory per blade.  We made this move to remove a key bottleneck -- memory performance, to btake advantage of the new quad-core AMD processors and to support more VM's or big applications per blade.


If you have more questions, leave them below and our experts will fill you in on all the technical details.  In the future, visit this site to keep up to date with other blade news.

Virtual Connect now helps converge infrastructure (and lower costs) even more!

On Monday, April 20th, we announced a new Virtual Connect family member and expanded capabilities for all Virtual Connect products.  We’ve see a great deal of momentum building behind virtualization and infrastructure convergence - and these enhancements will help our customers better meet their goals.


When customers put applications onto fewer servers with virtualization, they increase the needed density of both data and storage networking.  So, customers not only need server virtualization, but they also need to virtualize and converge server I/O.   Last November, we introduced the HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 technology that divides a dual-port network interface controller into 8 FlexNIC ports.  This technology reduces the cost associated with data networking in a virtualization environment by greatly reducing the number of cables, switches and additional NICs needed. 


Now we just announced a new Virtual Connect 8 Gb Fibre Channel module to support the heavy SAN needs of virtual servers.   The HP Virtual Connect 8 Gb 24-port Fibre Channel Module has twice the bandwidth of our 4 Gb Fibre Channel module running at up to 8 Gb on all downlinks and uplinks. Second, it has a total of 8 uplink connections, which is double our current module. Third, it features support for increased server side NPIV support with 255 World Wide Names available per server.  So all together more Virtual Machines can be hosted per server and per set of Virtual Connect Ethernet and Fibre Channel modules.  The result is needing fewer servers AND fewer interconnect modules. Fewer servers and interconnect modules mean a lower purchase cost, simpler set-up and ongoing management, and fewer cables, all able to host more application workloads..  More for less works well for everyone.


We added a new Virtual Connect multi-enclosure stacking feature. Multi-enclosure stacking allows up to 4 BladeSystem enclosures to be connected together into one Virtual Connect Domain.  This provides two big benefits. One, it creates a single simple server connection management domain for up to four enclosures, or up to 64 servers. Second, it also means fewer uplink cables to top of rack or core network ports, further reducing cable and expensive core port costs.


We’ve also enhanced Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager.   The new 1.30 release supports our new Virtual Connect 8Gb Fibre Channel Module, our latest G6 server blades announced last month, and extends the number of supported Virtual Connect domains to 200.  When combined with multi-enclosure stacking, this means that Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager can simplify the set-up and ongoing management of server I/O for up to 800 BladeSystem enclosures or put another way, up to 12,800 servers!  Enabling system administrators the ability to manage the connectivity of up to 12,800 servers will go a long way to making life simpler and less expensive for many of our customers.


So for customers looking to converge infrastructure or increase benefits from virtualization, we hope you let HP and our resellers help you save money, reduce your network complexity, and simplify your IT environment with Virtual Connect Ethernet and Virtual Connect Fibre Channel.


 “Connect More - Spend Less!”


Michael Kendall


ESS Virtual Connect

Introducing the world's first virtualization blade

If you were going to build a blade server for virtual machines from the ground up, what would it look like? That's the question we posed to the blade engineering team.  The ProLiant BL495c virtualization blade was their answer.




Looking at current server designs through the lens of virtualization, they found bottlenecks everywhere they looked.  In order for virtual servers to take advantage of the performance potential of quad-core processors, they need lots of other resources, specifically; memory, I/O and flexible storage. 


First, our engineers doubled the memory to 16 slots and supported up to 8Gb DIMMs.  That delivered 128Gb of memory per blade to divide up across multiple processor cores.  Second, they built in 10Gb network connections, plus the ability to expand to up to 8 connections per blade.  That means plenty of I/O to support VMware channels like motion, backup and production.  For storage, they felt flexiblity was the key because there are many different customer priorities for virtualizations - from performance to capacity to simplicity.  The BL495c offers an incredible array options to connect to different types of external, shared storage plus it's the first HP blade to support high-performance, energy efficienct solid state drives. Their final step was to keep the small size so you could consolidate as much physical hardware as possible.  That means you can pack 16, ProLiant BL495c virtualization blades in one enclosure versus the 8 or fewer possible with other blades that have similar features.


Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.

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About the Author(s)
  • More than 25 years in the IT industry developing and managing marketing programs. Focused in emerging technologies like Virtualization, cloud and big data.
  • I work within EMEA ISS Central team and a launch manager for new products and general communications manager for EMEA ISS specific information.
  • Hello! I am a social media manager for servers, so my posts will be geared towards HP server-related news & info.
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  • 20 years of marketing experience in semiconductors, networking and servers. Focused on HP BladeSystem networking supporting Virtual Connect, interconnects and network adapters.
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