HP introduces blade servers for 38-slot chassis

HP introduces blade servers for 38-slot chassis

Hewlett-Packard Co. has made blades the foundation for an open-standards array of single-card computers. The servers, switches and storage disks all use the CompactPCI bus and can be mixed and matched in a 38-slot chassis.

The HP chassis accepts third-party blades as well as applications and management software from other vendors.

CompactPCI for several years has made possible modular computing in niche environments such as factory floors and telecommunications switching. HP blade products, however, are designed for enterprise use in higher density format than rack-mounted boxes.

Each blade costs as much as an equivalent server, but a full chassis has a smaller footprint and draws less power. Company representatives said that total lifecycle cost will be lower than for comparable servers.

A switch to blades?

Kate O'Neill, HP's blade server product manager, said blade computers will become commodities by next year and a significant force in the entry-level server market by 2005.

The chassis follows the telecom industry's NEBS standard, for Network Equipment-Building System, to work with various carriers' data services and to fit inside remote wiring closets.

HP's blade family includes a Pentium III server, disk storage, a Gigabit Ethernet switch and a management module.

The management blade aggregates data about all blades on the HP OpenView console.

A chassis appears as a single object. The administrator can drill down to see the status of individual blades.

HP plans to certify about 45 other hardware and software vendors' blade products and applications for interoperability.

Each server blade costs $1,925. A chassis with one management blade and one server blade costs $9,450.

Contact HP at 800-752-0900.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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