You’ve not seen a rack like this one: HP’s Gen8 servers

  • Project Voyager takes off with Gen8 servers
  • Touted as industry’s most self-sufficient servers

HEWLETT--Packard has launched its ProLiant Generation 8 servers, the product of the two-year US$300mil research and development Project Voyager program that has seen more than 900 patents being filed.

Describing them as the industry’s most “self-sufficient” servers, HP said the Generation 8 was designed on the three pillars of reducing complexity, cost and downtime; and is part of the company’s effort to transform the server lifecyle and redefine data center economics.

“We are delivering innovative intelligence technologies that enable servers to virtually take care of themselves,” says HP Malaysia Country Manager for Industry Standard Servers, Vincent Lee.

According to HP, the Generation 8’s ProActive Insight architecture triples administrator productivity by eliminating or radically reducing the time needed for most manual operations. For example, server updates which can typically take five hours per rack can now be performed in 10 minutes, the company claims.

Its 3-D Sea of Sensors technology automates energy efficiency while eliminating 100% of manual configuration and inventory process errors. Addressing data center economics included taking energy efficiency to “extreme” levels, the company said when it launched on Project Voyager.

By monitoring its own “health” across 1,600 parameters, a Gen8 server can also resolve unplanned downtime issues up to 66% faster.

HP executives however admit that these numbers are not from an independent audit but its own internal data from the 10,000 customer test sites that were used in fine-tuning the ProLiant Generation 8 design.

By keeping manual management and operations – such as server updates – to a minimum, HP believes that customers can see a return on investment within five months, says Anita Lim, General Manager of Enterprise Servers, Storage, Networking and Technology Services at HP Malaysia.

“This frees you for more innovative and creative work, and is going to be a boon for IT departments,” she adds.

While declining to put sales numbers to its expectations, HP Malaysia executives say they were pumped up by the 1,000 customers and partners who turned up for the local launch in early April.

Saying that all industries would see a use for the new servers, Lim however expects early adopters to come from the commercial and banking and finance sectors, and adds that HP Malaysia and its partners would be responding to many a public sector request-for-proposals with the Gen8.

Project Voyager is the third phase of an HP multi-year program to transform its server business. Project Moonshot kicked off in November, 2011 to build servers architected for extreme-low-energy computing; while in the second phase Project Odyssey focused on mission-critical computing.

HP says the ProLiant Gen8’s ProActive Insight architecture includes innovations such as:

  • Integrated Lifecycle Automation, which speeds up application deployment and proactively improves uptime by automating manual tasks. As a result, clients can increase productivity, reduce errors and greatly simplify operations.
  • Dynamic Workload Acceleration improves data-intensive storage performance by almost seven times with a converged server and storage design that leverages intelligent, HP solid-state technologies.
  • Automated Energy Optimization delivers nearly double compute-per-watt capacity and saves US$7 million in energy costs in a typical data center over three years .

The company also promises customers a 95% first-time issue resolution rate with HP Insight Online, its cloud-based, IT management and personalized support portal.

You’ve not seen a rack like this one: HP’s Gen8 servers
The HP ProLiant Generation 8 servers come in four configurations: The ProLiant ML tower servers for remote and branch offices; the ProLiant DL rackmounted servers; the ProLiant BL blade servers for “cloud-ready” organisations; and the heavy-duty ProLiant SL scalable system servers for web, cloud and massively scaled environments.

Built on Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors, Gen8 starting prices range from US$1,723 to US$2,878.
A different version of this article previously appeared on the Digital News Asia Facebook Page

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