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New HP Servers: More Power, Lower Costs With Xeon 5600 Processors

HP has announced its enhanced G6 server line using Intel Xeon 5600 processors. The new machines, available in rack, blade and tower, offer better performance per watt and greater potential for consolidation than the G6s introduced last year with the 5500 processor. Where the G6s running the 5500 offered server consolidation ratios of up to 11:1 vs. the previous generation Proliant G4 line, HP claims the G6s with the 5600 chip boosts that ratio up to 20:1. This means one G6 with the newest chip can do the work of 20 G4s, says Krista Satterthwaite, director of Proliant product marketing for HP's Industry Standard Servers business.

The new G6 line also promises a 27-fold improvement in performance per watt versus a G4 and a 97 percent reduction in energy use for powering and cooling a data center. Because the new servers do more, the customer also save by purchasing fewer servers. The new G6s run at only 254 watts, versus 394 for the first G6s. HP claims the ROI on the 5600 line is two months.

HP touts the HP Thermal Logic management tools that were first introduced with the G6 in 2009. Thirty-two sensors in each server monitor hotspots can throttle up the fans to control temperature, says Satterthwaite. An HP Power Advisor feature matches power supply to the configuration and therefore the power needs of each server. Dynamic Power Capping monitors power usage of each server to determine where it usually peaks and then caps the amount of power fed to that server to that peak level.

HP isn't the only server vendor taking advantage of the new processor line. According to Intel, beginning today and over the next month and a half, major server and workstation manufacturers are expected to introduce new models powered by the new Intel Xeon 5600 series processor. Intel said Cisco Systems, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Oracle are among the server vendors upgrading to Xeon 5600 chips.

Besides improved performance and energy efficiency, which server buyers have come to expect these days, Intel also touts two new security features: the Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions and Intel Trusted Execution Technology. Intel says that the new security tools enable faster encryption and decryption for more secure transactions in physical and virtualized environments.