Compaq has unveiled its latest line in standard server blades which are said to achieve very high blade density.
Compatible with the ProLiant BL e-Class, each blade consists of a low powered Pentium III processor, up to 1Gb memory, a 30Gb hard disk and two 10/100 Ethernet connections.
Up to 20 servers fit into a single 3U enclosure, or 280 servers in a 42U rack, which make it attractive to corporate data centres and service provider (xSP) hosting environments.
Compaq has also released a ProLiant Essentials Value Pack, a new software tool set for remote multi-server management, and a higher-density version of its popular ProLiant DL360 1U-high blade server.
"How many servers can be administered by one IT specialist?" asked Vince Gayman, vice president of high availability and management marketing in Compaq's industry standard server group. "Maybe 20 to 50 or, with tools, perhaps 100. We are aiming to move this to many hundreds with this technology."
The releases continue the roll out of products that implement Compaq's adaptive infrastructure strategy, announced last December, which is aimed at future-proofing IT resources.
"These systems are ideal for the channel and suited to small and medium sized enterprises right up to enterprises needing high availability," explained Andreas Knoepfli, Compaq's vice president, industry standard server group, for Europe, Middle East and Africa. "For the channel there are new revenue opportunities for added software."
The ProLiant BL e-Class should reduce resource costs through rapid plug-and-play deployment as well as remote management of both the enclosure and multiple blades and operating systems, handling them individually or in groups.
High availability features include hot-plug power and cooling, redundant network interface cards and redundant read-only memory for failover on checksum failure.
Separately, Compaq detailed several software additions and upgrades. The Essentials Value Pack is designed to improve resource utilisation and reduce the total cost of ownership. As well as a foundation pack containing Insight Manager 7, SmartStart and Support Paq, there are three optional additions.
Rapid Deployment Pack allows users to automate resource-intensive deployment in multi-server or server/blade installations; it is available for ProLiant ML, DL and BL servers.
Workload Management Pack is a server consolidation tool initially for eight-way servers that facilitates performance monitoring and discrete application partitioning across the servers.
Integrated Lights-Out (ILO) Advanced Pack, is a software upgrade for remote (virtual) processor management for use with servers such as the BL e-Class that are fitted with an ILO processor.
The ProLiant DL360, which also includes ILO as standard, supports two gigabit Ethernet and offers battery write-back cache.
"All the software tools are compatible with non-blade servers enabling a mix," said Gayman. "This is a much more holistic approach than out competitors'."
He added that companies can download a new release from the Compaq website or, if they register, updates can be automatically downloaded to a repository.
US pricing is $1,799 for ProLiant BL10e blade or $17,091 for a pack of 10, with a 20-blade enclosure costing $3,499. UK pricing will be available shortly.
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