Despite long-term plans to move to Itanium, Hewlett Packard (HP) is continuing to push performance for its PA-Risc and Alpha-based servers with a set of new processors.
The 875MHz PA-8700+ processor has been introduced for HP's 4-processor HP Server rp5400 series, 8-way rp7410 and 16-way rp8400, which run HP-UX (Unix). The PA-8700+ was introduced for HP's high-end Superdome server in June.
Faster Alpha processors have been introduced throughout the AlphaServer range, which runs both Tru64 Unix and OpenVMS.
The AlphaServer range splits between departmental (DS), enterprise (ES) and global (GS) systems. A 1GHz chip-based DS25 2-way system replaces the slower DS20E while the ES45 4-way system moves to a 1.25GHz processor from 1GHz with cache doubled to 16MB.
This also boosts the SC45 supercomputer that bolts together thousands of ES45s.
Early shipments of the ES45 and SC45 have begun, while the DS25 is available now. The AlphaServer GS80, GS160 and GS320 systems - upgraded to 1.224GHz processors and a 32MB cache - will be available later this month.
"Customers are demanding more and more capacity but budgets aren't going up," said Gary Kerrison, HP AlphaServer product marketing manager. "Prices are comparable so users are getting more bang for their buck."
HP has also extended its instant capacity on demand (iCOD) programme, whereby installed processors are billed only when switched on. Temporary iCOD (TiCOD) designed for companies like retailers with seasonal system usage peaks, will reduce costs if processors are turned off again after peaks.
Initially available on the Superdome, TiCOD will later extend to the rp8400 and rp7410.
HP is claiming world record performance with the ES45 for 4-way Risc systems, tested running Sybase ASE 12.5 software under the TPC-C commercial benchmark.
Generally, HP claims performance advantages per processor of up to 11 and 62 per cent respectively against IBM and Sun Microsystems.
The company is also claiming record performance for PA-8700+ servers, measured using the SPECjbb2000 benchmark.
Its rp8400 achieved 183,694 operations per second (ops), 13 per cent ahead of published results for the equivalent IBM 16-way p670 using the Power4 chip, and just exceeding a 24-processor Sun Fire 6800 using Sun's UltraSparc III.
The rp7410 managed 98,809 ops, double an 8-way Sun Fire 6800 and overtaking an 8-way IBM p660 6M1, while an rp5470 4-way Risc server peak was double a Sun v480 and comfortably ahead of an IBM p630.
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