Intel-based Servers Power Up

by David Needle

HP and IBM jump on latest Intel server processors for performance and power efficiency.

HP and IBM are among the big-name enterprise computing suppliers Intel hopes will help it regain lost ground in server share to AMD. Although still dominant, Intel's share of the server space has slipped to less than 85 percent, with AMD picking up the rest of the x86 server market.

Intel  has been working to refresh its server line with dual-core processors, code-named Dempsey and Woodcrest, that are both powerful and power-efficient. HP and IBM announced plans on Tuesday to support the 5000 (Dempsey) and Woodcrest (5100) in new systems. HP is also the biggest supplier of AMD-based servers; IBM supports both Intel and AMD as well.

"We think customers will be getting significant improvements in power and cooling and breakthrough capabilities in a virtualized environment," John Gromala, a director of server product marketing at HP, told internetnews.com.

To help spur interest in the latest ProLiants, HP said it designed the systems as a better long-term investment. Both dual- and future quad-core processors from Intel are supported. Also, HP unwrapped small form factor SAS drives that will now be universal to all HP ProLiant servers.

"Customer loyalty is won or lost in these technology transitions," said Gromala. "We've designed this so customers don't have to inventory two types of hard drive and memory, they can transition in one jump."

Like HP, IBM is emphasizing advances it's made in incorporating virtualization features as well as energy savings. HP claims technology developed at HP Labs has enabled as much as a 20 percent savings in cooling power consumption.

IBM has released version 2.0 of its PowerExecutive Technology, which measures power consumption. PowerExecutive software can run across the entire range of IBM's x86 systems, including servers and blades, as well as Power-based blades. One potential benefit, companies can use PowerExecutive 2.0 to trend the power consumption data and negotiate better utility rates based on a more accurate assessment of future power needs.

The three new IBM System x servers will be available June 9. They boast as much as 90 percent better application performance and up to 74 percent better performance per watt. HP also noted similar jumps in performance and energy efficiency.

As for AMD, HP's Gromala said "a lot of the same capabilities will be reflected in the next set of updates based on AMD as well."

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

This article was originally published on Wednesday May 24th 2006
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