While Intel isn't set to formally announce its next generation of Xeon server chips until September 8, that's not stopping HP from announcing its next generation of server systems. The HP Gen9 server family will be powered by the new Intel chips that will be announced in September, but the Intel silicon is only part of the story for HP.
Though Dell, Lenovo and Cisco will debut their own new Intel Xeon systems in September, Robert Checketts, Group Manager, HP BladeSystem Product Marketing for HP Servers, told ServerWatch that HP is the only vendor delivering across all of the core compute principles. Those core principles include software-defined, cloud-ready, converged infrastructure and workload optimization to make infrastructure services oriented.
"HP ProLiant Gen9 delivers more compute capacity, enables faster service delivery and boosts application workload performance to deliver better business outcomes than the competition," Checketts said.
Among the enhanced performance capabilities that HP is including in its Gen9 servers platforms are 12 Gb/s smart array controllers for SAS HDD/SSD drives. The previous HP Gen8 servers only provide up to 6 Gb/s of support.
Memory also gets a boost with support for DDR4 memory with maximum clock speeds of 2133 MHz, up from DDR3 memory and 1866 MHz on the Gen8 servers.
Networking is boosted from supporting only 10 Gigabit Ethernet to support for 40 Gigabit Ethernet in Gen9.Checketts said that the 40GB Ethernet for HP ProLiant Gen9 includes both NIC (Network Interface Card) and LOM (LAN on Motherboard) adapters for rack and blade servers.
Checketts additionally noted that the new Embedded/FlexFabric LOM and FlexFabric NIC adapters for HP ProLiant Gen9 Blades and Rack servers provide four times greater small packet performance compared to Gen8, which will help improve the performance of mobility types of applications.
From a security perspective, the Gen9 servers will be the first from HP that support UEFI Secure Boot. With Secure Boot a cryptographically-signed image of an operating system is needed in order to boot the system.
The basic idea is to reduce the risk of a pirated or malware-infected system from entering into production. Secure Boot is supported on Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu Server and Oracle Solaris.
"All HP ProLiant Gen9 servers will ship with UEFI by default," Checketts said. "Legacy boot mode is still supported and can be switched within the UEFI System Utilities menu."
Eight Server Platforms in Initial Gen9 Launch
The initial Gen9 rollout will include eight server platforms, two of which are completely new product numbers for HP.
"The HP ProLiant DL180 and DL160 Gen9 are two brand new platforms that will be introduced as part of the first rollout of Gen9 products," Checketts said.
Checketts added that HP is also introducing the BL460c, DL360, DL380,ML350, XL230a and XL730f Gen9 servers as part of the overall update.
"HP will officially be launching these servers for general availability in coming weeks, and the specs will be made available at that time," Checketts said. "Additional Gen9 servers will be introduced moving forward to address a broad range of customer workloads and demands."