Hewlett Packard (HP) has kicked off its Enterprise Network Storage Architecture ([email protected]) conference and exhibition in Amsterdam, unveiling three new Alpha servers, a blade server and storage advances.
The GS1280, ES80 and ES47 Alpha servers, based on the company's EV7 processor, are for the enterprise, departmental and workgroup markets. HP is claiming performance improvements of between 30 and 100 per cent.
The Proliant BL40p is claimed to be the world's first four-processor blade server, and now means that HP offers single-, dual- and four-way hardware.
The company currently has 57 per cent of the European blade server market, according to figures from IDC.
"The big advantage of the new EV7 systems is, you can start off with a very small beast and then scale it up," said Tony Lock senior analyst at Bloor Research. "Almost incidentally, the new machines are quite powerful."
But he warned that HP needed to differentiate between its support for OpenVMS and Tru64 Unix, which has a long-term future and the phasing out of the Alpha chip after one more refresh next year.
"HP has to carry its users with it. Not the IT managers who understand this, but the business managers," he said.
However, Howard D Elias, HP's general manager of networked storage solutions, reiterated the company's commitment to its existing Alpha customers, many of which are concerned about HP's commitment to Intel's Itanium platform.
"Customers should trust us because we are HP," he told vnunet.com. "We have a record of providing long-term support and that won't change.
"For example, we're still supporting EMS. If we'd wanted to dump the platform we'd have done it in the merger. Instead we're bringing out new products."
Also on display at [email protected] is the largest heterogeneous storage area network (San), with more than 1,000 ports.
The San has 10 different operating systems running on 15 server hardware platforms, and was built to demonstrate Microsoft Windows Server 2003's volume shadow copy service.
The application allows administrators to get instant updates on disk volumes.
HP claims to have installed over half of the world's Sans.
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