Reality Check: Server Insights
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New ProLiant servers: enabling 23:1 consolidation, 27x performance per watt gains and a 2 month ROI

By Jim Ganthier, VP, marketing, Industry Standard Servers, HP

Today is a big day for HP and AMD. We have been partners with AMD for quite a while (in my case going back to the industry's first AMD based Presario's in the mid-90's), We jointly introduced HP’s first AMD Opteron based server in 2004, and together we have delivered a great combination of server performance and innovation for our customers. I'm very happy to see that as AMD launches its new AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors, our strong partnership continues with the next generation of HP ProLiant servers.

Our customers are finding that HP's ProLiant server innovations address their key needs and pain points - energy efficiency, virtualization and management - and deliver more business value on every IT dollar they spend. The result: strong returns over and above their server refresh investments. The value proposition of our latest generation ProLiant servers is clear and customers are clearly voting with their wallets. ProLiant G6 servers have experienced the fastest generational transition in HP's 20-year x86 server history.

In fact, when replacing three generation old servers (ProLiant G4) with today's new ProLiant systems, customers can see a 27x improvement in performance in the same power envelope, consolidation ratios of as much as 23:1 and a pay-back on their investment in as little as 2 months.

These great customer benefits and ROI are enabled by the innovative capabilities in our next generation ProLiant servers, such as lower energy bills through our innovative HP Thermal Logic technologies. This includes Sea of Sensors - 32 sensors sprinkled throughout ProLiant servers which fine tune the power consumption automatically leading to up to 97% improvement in energy efficiency, and Dynamic Power Capping which can triple a customer's datacenter capacity. And at the heart of today's newly announced HP ProLiant G7 servers is the AMD Opteron 6100 Series processor that can deliver double the performance of previous processors -which is great for core and memory-intensive workloads such as virtualization and database.

When you take HP's success delivering superior server innovations to enable a converged infrastructure, and combine that with AMD Opteron processors, we believe the value we collectively bring to customers can't be matched.

We'd love to hear what you think of our latest generation ProLiant servers so please let us know.

-Jim Ganthier

Feeling refreshed? Introducing souped-up HP ProLiant G6 tower, rack, blade and scale-out servers

Today, HP refreshed its ProLiant G6 portfolio of tower, rack-mount, blade and scale-out servers with the newest processors from Intel, the 5600 series code named “Westmere”. The ProLiant G6 portfolio, introduced last spring, introduced innovations in energy efficiency, virtualization capabilities and management aimed at helping customers maximize business return on their server investments. These new servers have been “selling like hotcakes,” as the saying goes, making them the fastest adopted x86 server platform in HP’s history 20-year x86 server history.

Now souped-up with faster processors, our latest set of ProLiant G6 servers shipping worldwide starting March 29th, reset the bar in terms of server performance. These new servers provide customers with a 27x performance increase over ProLiant servers just 2 generations old (ProLiant G4s). We compare the latest ProLiant G6 servers to G4s since server refresh cycles tend to be at least 2 years (on the low end) to 5 years (on the high end), so its highly unlikely customers would be upgrading from an early ProLiant G6 server with Intel’s 5500 processors to one of these new servers based on their latest 5600 processors.

These updated ProLiant G6 servers also enable customers to jump their server consolidation ratio from 11:1 when we introduced our initial ProLiant G6 servers last spring (meaning 1 ProLiant G6 sever can do the work of 11 ProLiant G4 servers), to an incredible 20:1 with these new boxes, which means signifigant op ex savings. With Intel claiming 15:1 consolidation ratios tied to the new processors, that extra “5” is thanks to the technology innovations within to the ProLiant G6 platform that go beyond the processor. What I like to think of as ProLiant’s “secret sauce”.

This secret sauce includes awesome energy innovations like our Sea of Sensors technology, which came out of HP Labs. This innovative technology leverages tiny sensors placed throughout the server (on the processors, near the power supplies, etc) to monitor server activity and adjust server fans automatically, dramatically slashing power waste. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Visit to learn more about HP ProLiant servers and G6 innovation.

Already using HP ProLiant G6 servers in your datacenter? Tell us your story.

Celebrating 20 years of HP's x86 innovation at Gartner Data Center Conference 09

By Erin Collopy, PR Manager, Industry Standard Servers, HP

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of our x86 server business, the HP ProLiant team kicked off a year-long anniversary celebration at Gartner's Data Center Conference in Las Vegas last week.

Our HP team showcased lots of great HP innovations at this year’s Gartner Data Center Conference. Our latest generation of high-performing, energy efficienct ProLiant G6 servers including our sexy new slimmed-down scalable server line, the “skinless” ProLiant SL servers introduced back in June received plenty of oohs and ahhs from conference attendees. Our full-sized 40' HP POD data center container made a return appearance again at this year's show offering attendees an up-close look at an alternative way of deploying IT resources, particularly if time, budget, power limitations, space or portability are a factor.

HP was well-represented during Gartner-led sessions at the conference and received great audience accolades during the "Future of Servers" session. When Gartner analyst Andy Butler asked attendees who their “most strategic blade vendor” was, the crowd overwhelmingly voted HP with 43% of votes (more than the next 3 vendors combined).

Conference attendees, as well as a number of HP folks at the show feasted on a delicious cake to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.

Back Row (Left to Right): HPers Kevin Egan, Brandon Fears, Larry Bonnette, Jim Shay, Glen Wuenstel, Paul Birney and Bob Maus
Front Row: Jim Ganthier and Deb Umphry

Over the past 20 years, HP has created the industry's broadest x86 server portfolio providing customers of all sizes more choice while delivering more value for every server dollar spent.

How long have you been using HP ProLiant servers?

New products and solutions built for extreme scale computing environments introduced at Supercomputing 09 conference (SCO9)

By Erin Collopy

This week, HP’s high-performance computing (HPC) team lands in Portland for the annual Supercomputing 09 conference (SCO9), where they’ll be meeting with loads of customers, partners, press and industry analysts to discuss the hot new technologies and trends in HPC.

To coincide with SC09, HP announced a whole host of new products and solutions built for extreme scale computing environments, including 2 powerful new ProLiant servers which are on display at the event.

The HP ProLiant BL2x220c G6 is an updated version of the innovative 2-in1 blade server that HP introduced last year. Delivering the compute power of 2 blade servers in the physical space of 1, the BL2x220 is perfect for HPC environments who are not only focused on maximum performance, but who are also often hitting the wall in terms of physical floor space and/or power. It has 33 percent higher memory capacity than the previous generation and delivers excellent energy efficiency.

The first AMD processor based SL-server, the HP ProLiant SL165z G6 uses HP’s innovative “skinless” system architecture built on a lightweight rail and tray design to dramatically reduce capital, facilities and shipping costs while using a fraction of the space normally required within a data center. The SL165z’s ultra-efficient, modular design lowers server power consumption by18% and costs by 10%.

Come by HP’s SC09 booth 1025 at SC09 in Portland this week and be among the first to get hands-on with these hot new servers.

HP’s recently introduced ProLiant SL “skinless” server line snags top spot in performance per watt benchmark

By Dave Peterson, group manager, Industry Standard Servers Product Marketing
HP’s recently introduced ProLiant SL “skinless” server line snags top spot in performance per watt benchmark

Earlier this year at the 2009 World Championships Jamaican runner Usain Bolt sprinted into history as he became the first man ever to hold the 100m and 200m world and Olympic titles at the same time.  In the process he shattered a few world records, shaving 0.11 seconds off the record he had previously set in Beijing at the 2008 Olympics.  One thing I find interesting about this man who is clearly the fastest man in the world is that he says he doesn’t run to set world records.

Though I would not want to directly compare the almost superhuman feats of Usain Bolt to the work done by the HP ProLiant engineering teams, I believe there is a parallel here.  Earlier this year HP released our Extreme Scale-out (ExSO) x86 server line, dubbed “SL” for “scalable line” and often referred to as “skinless” for it’s stripped down, light-weight design.

One of the key design goals for ProLiant SL was to improve power efficiency as much as possible. When you have thousands of servers running scale-out workloads day in and day out, squeezing every cycle out of those servers for the lowest possible wattage is incredibly important from an OpEx (energy cost) perspective.  Thus HP’s engineers set about to improve performance per watt on this platform so our customers could have the most cost effective scale-out platform possible.  They didn’t set as their goal to create a new world record.  But by focusing on the challenge of saving our customers money on energy, these amazing HP engineers have also shattered a world record. 

The just-published SPECpower_ssj2008* benchmark result for HP ProLiant SL2x170z G6 is the best ever SPECpower_ssj2008 result of 2316 overall ssj_ops/watt*.  That is 3.81% better than the previous record held by IBM*. As a comparison, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 second 100m world record was 1.34% faster than his closest competitor, Tyson Gay, who clocked a 9.71.  If Bolt had run 3.81% faster than Tyson Gay in that particular race, his world record would have been 9.34 seconds, an unheard of time for 100 meters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – what could you do with the money saved from improving your performance per watt by running HP ProLiant servers?


SPEC® and the benchmark name SPECpower_ssj® are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.  Benchmark results stated above reflect results published on as of 11/04/2009.  For the latest benchmark results, visi


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