HP has announced seven new ProLiant G6 servers based on the AMD Istanbul, six-core processors. The new ProLiants span the entire range of HP's server estate, rack, blade and tower. One of the most impressive claims being made by HP is that these servers will not only increase processor cores by 50% per server compared to the ProLiant G5 family but will also reduce power by 50%.
As you might expect for servers where every processors sports 6-cores, memory is key and to this end, each of the servers announced today has 16 DIMM sockets, each of which can hold 8GB of DDR3 memory giving a total of 128GB RAM per server. For those wanting platforms capable of doing virtualisation, HP is delivering enough cores and memory to handle almost any scenario.
One of the key targets for HP in its ProLiant G6 family refresh which started back in March, has been to only use standard components. The goal is to reduce cost to both HP and its customers, reduce inventory for its resellers and make ordering much simpler. With the servers announced today, HP has done exactly that.
Among the common components are the use of a common power supplies allowing customers to choose just what they need. Each power supply is rated at 92% efficient which means that the loss of transforming input power to the motherboard is at worst, 8%. This also means that you can use smaller power supplies than before, saving on overall power budgets.
The use of DDR3 memory not only improves the speed and performance but also ensures that customers are not paying extra for memory lines that are beginning to be phased out. By providing a lot more slots, you can use 2GB or 4GB DIMMs rather than expensive 8GB DIMMs. The only disappointment here is that HP has chosen to leave some servers still using DDR2 memory rather than refresh the entire G6 line to DDR3.
Some of the G6 servers announced today also sport the latest 6GB/s SAS controller that will support both SAS and SATA drives. This means that customers no longer need to change the controller if they want high capacity rather than high performance drives. While this is not generally an issue for blade servers, it can be a significant decision in the tower server space.
The new ProLiant G6 AMD Istanbul family includes the HP ProLiant DL785, DL585, DL385 and DL165 rack-optimized servers and the HP ProLiant BL465, BL495c and BL685c server blades.
Today's launch is not just about AMD, however, Among the announcements is HP's first ultra-dense server. Using the ProLiant DL1000 platform, HP has created two multi-server bundles, similar to that introduced in its blade server family last year. The ProLiant DL4x170h and the ProLiant DL2x170h combine multiple servers in the DL1000 chassis.
This is not a mini blade server. The DL170h servers share the chassis, cooling and power supplies but that is all. Each of these servers can support two Quad Core Intel Nehalem processors and has 16 DIMM slots. This means that the 2U DL4x170h is an 8P, 32-core, 512GB beast of a processing unit. There are 8 Large Form Factor (LFF) SAS/SATA drive bays for storage.