Hewlett-Packard has laid claim to setting a new milestone in blade servers sales and is broadening the target market for blades to include high-performance transaction computing. To date, HP has sold 50,000 blade servers, more than any other major vendor.
Sally Stevens, director of marketing for ProLiant platforms told ServerWatch that since the release of the p-Class blade line "there has been an uptick in acceptance" with blades moving beyond the Web serving sphere and into the application server and database space.
At this time, she said that single-, dual-, and four-processor p-Class blades on the market and 64-bit solutions slated for availability during the second half of 2004, blades are fair game in any environments that does not require a token ring.
To hit what HP describes as "a wide range of customers across multiple industries" the vendor has beefed up the processing power with the Xeon DP processors in the ProLiant BL20p blade server and set new performance benchmarks with both the ProLiant BL20p and ProLiant BL40p blade servers.
The upgraded dual-processor HP ProLiant BL20p server now offers 3.2-GHz Xeon DP processors with 1 MB L3 cache, supporting up to 8 GB of PC 2100 DDR memory and an embedded Smart Array 5i array controller and gigabit NIC standard. The upgraded ProLiant BL20p also supports a new input/output cable with two USB ports, one video port, one iLO (integrated lights out) port and one kernel debug port specifically designed to aid in initial server management deployment.
HP has also added VMware and PolyServe to its HP Blade Alliance Program.
Stevens cited three recent customer wins as examples of HP's expanded reach. AgResearch, Hostopia, and Telecomputing ASA have recently hopped on HP ProLiant BL blade servers train. AgResearch is using blades for its research endeavors, while Hostopia and Telecomputing ASA are using them in production environments
Stevens further noted that the BL20p and BL40p servers recently set new benchmark records. The ProLiant BL20p server achieved the best two-way two-tier results on the SAP Sales and Distribution Standard Application Benchmark, supporting 329 SAP SD Benchmark users with the fastest average response time of 1.99 seconds.
Two SPECweb99_SSL benchmarks were also set. The first used an HP ProLiant BL20p configuration with two Intel 3.06-GHz Xeon DP processors with 1 MB L3 cache, 8 GB of memory, and an embedded Smart Array 5i+ array controller to achieve a 2.7 percent advantage over competing blades. The second SPECweb99 SSL performance benchmark was achieved on an HP ProLiant BL40p running two Intel 2.8-GHz Xeon MP processors with 2 MB L3 cache, 12 GB of memory, four embedded NC7781 gigabit NICs and an embedded Smart Array 5i+ array controller.