Hewlett-Packard has announced a capacity-on-demand programme for its enterprise server line, bringing 'pay as you go' computing to a wider range of customers.
The company said that the programme, called instant capacity on demand (ICOD), enables customers to utilise the processors they need, saving money and enabling better responses in ebusiness environments.
Customers choosing the ICOD option will receive a server with up to the full complement of processors (four for the L class, eight for the N class and 32 for the V class). However, they pay only for the processors they plan to use. There is no minimum requirement.
Company executives explained that ICOD allows customers to instantly "ignite" CPUs to add additional capacity to their server environments. Additionally, service levels can be maintained by activating a "hot spare" in case of CPU failure.
HP said this feature allows customers, especially service providers, to run their eservices on all cylinders and increases their ability to make service availability commitments to their own customers.
Terry Walden, HP 9000 UK marketing manager, commented: "The mainframe world has been offering this facility in some shape or form for some time, but previously it was available only to customers spending a lot of money. For example, the entry level for this type of solution from Sun is around £400,000.
"We're taking it much lower - the L class server range starts at around £10,000. Customers will be able to save money and get the capacity they need, when they need it," he said.
He added: "With ebusiness, capacity planning goes out of the window. Customers need a way to work around this."
Walden said the key factor is whether the server has an 8500 chip. From 1 January 2000, the technology will be available on HP's V class, N class and L class servers. "It will also be available retrospectively, so customers don't have to wait to order until January to benefit," said Walden.
Pricing details will be available at a later date.
He said the company currently has no plans to extend the technology to NT.
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