New HP Integrity servers bring high-availability to small businesses

Alongside the launch of a new version of HP-UX, computer maker HP has launched two new products in its Integrity high-availability server range - a variant of the BladeSystem c-Class technology launched late last year and a new rack-mountable 2U conventional server.

The two products use Intel Itanium 2 processors in both single and dual-core configurations. Both make use of new cooling fans based on jet engine technology to deliver improved cooling, as well as being power-efficient.

Of particular note is that the rx2660 is available with both a pedestal fitting kit and low noise acoustics kit, allowing smaller businesses looking to purchase a single server of a small number to operate them in general areas rather than having to build a dedicated server room or data centre to house them, again illustrating the emphasis on the small business market for the new product.

"Integrity and most high-availability servers were originally only for the high-end, now we are bringing the same technologies to the low-end and mass blade markets" said Markus Berber, Integrity blades strategist at HP.

The rx2660 gives smaller IT departments access to heavy-duty HP-UX technologies, such as VSE, HP Serviceguard and HP Systems Insight Manager, which traditionally have been out of the reach of the small and mid-size company and IT department.

The rx2660 also boasts impressive Java benchmarks based on recent SPECjAppServer2004 and SPECjbb2005 benchmarks measuring performance for Java 2 Enterprise Edition applications and Java business workloads.

The BL860c server blade features an integrated hardware virtualisation engine for application consolidation, which can help drive down total cost of ownership and operation of a blade infrastructure to operate virtual servers and virtual application instances. In addition, the Integrity BL860c shares the same BladeSystem c7000 enclosure with other HP ProLiant and HP StorageWorks blades allowing you to mix and match existing blade enclosures with the new high-availability blades.

However, in a surprising move, the new Integrity products will not ship with the new v3 version of HP's HP-UX 11i Unix operating system.

"The new servers will ship with 11i v2 now, with Windows high-availability support to follow shortly after and 11i v3 support in place by the end of the year" said Berber. No specific reason was given for the lack of launch support for 11i v3, but it was suggested that more optimisation and driver work is needed to ensure the high-availability nature of the hardware is not compromised by hardware elements unique to the two new models.

A basic configuration Integrity BL860c blade server and chassis starts at $3,827, based on US pricing and will begin shipping worldwide in March. The basic configuration for the Integrity rx2660 starts at $4,931 and is available now.