HP sells 100,000 blade servers, reaches milestone

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) recently claimed that it is the first vendor to sell more than 100,000 blade servers, retaking the lead in what is said to be the industry's fastest-growing server market segment.

HP also announced availability of what it says is the industry's densest two-processor blade server -- the HP ProLiant BL30p, using both AMD Opteron and Intel Itanium processor-based blade servers.

"No other company has demonstrated a stronger commitment to helping businesses leverage industry-standard solutions in the increasingly popular blade market than HP," says Andrew McNiven, product manager, industry standard servers, HP. "Beyond the 100,000-unit milestone, HP is uniquely positioned to offer the systems, software, solutions and services that customers need to best leverage blade architecture in an adaptive enterprise."

WhiteCross Systems Ltd., a customer intelligence solutions provider, says that it was able to save time and money through consolidation of its existing 1,000 servers -- comprising a mix of Sun Microsystems Inc. and other proprietary systems -- to roughly 300 HP ProLiant BL20p blades running Red Hat Linux.

WhiteCross aims to extract business-critical information from huge amounts of data to enable its customers to maximize revenue, minimize customer churn and identify new products and services. The HP blade server platform will increase the volume of data that can be processed in a much smaller timescale, allowing WhiteCross to be more responsive to its clients' needs, the company adds.

According to Gartner Inc., market share data for the first calendar quarter of 2004 was as follows:

-- HP again secured the top spot in the worldwide blade server market (revenue and units shipped);

-- In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) market, HP increased market share from 42 percent to 64 percent year over year in revenue with growth of 536 percent.

The Gartner report found blades to be the fastest growing segment of the server market. Blade servers are designed to facilitate systems management and offer customers greater flexibility through scale-out technology. As the vendor holding the top spot in this dynamic market segment, HP says that it will continue to develop the blade architecture, and help customers to achieve greater return on investment through industry-standard platforms.

Double-dense HP ProLiant blade server now available

Blades are an integral component of the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy to synchronize business and ICT to better capitalize on change. Enterprise customers are increasingly adopting HP blades to lower data center costs and increase efficiency, HP adds.

Now available, the HP ProLiant BL30p is said to be the industry's densest two-processor blade server, aiming to provide large business customers with a competitive edge, by enabling more processing power per rack. The Intel Xeon processor-based HP ProLiant BL30p conserves floor space by up to 67 percent, and reduces cabling by up to 96 percent compared to a traditional 1U (1.75 inch) infrastructure, HP adds.

HP drives blade growth with virtualization, Linux

According to HP, a key factor in the success of ProLiant blades is the management tools which are built into every server, these are said to be further enhanced through tight integration with partner software, including VMware Inc.'s.

Building on HP's virtualization solutions, and the industry's broadest blade server portfolio, HP now says that it offers ProLiant blade servers running Linux. With a Linux distribution, companies can expect to experience significant cost savings without compromising on performance or security, HP adds. For example, customers migrating from a 48-processor Risc machine to 24 two-processor HP ProLiant blade servers running Linux, using new technology called "cluster file systems", can create one large server that adds capacity on demand, scales performance efficiently and provides 100 percent redundancy and uptime at approximately 30 to 50 percent of the cost, HP concludes.