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HP takes Opteron to the next level

Xeon kit bested

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HP has delivered on its promise to roll out a four processor Opteron server - and then delivered a little more by making its existing two processor Opteron box an option for pre-built cluster packages.

After trailing IBM and Sun Microsystems to the Opteron party, HP has since gone all out with AMD's x86-64bit processor. HP is now selling the four processor ProLiant DL585 server at a list price of $8,299. In addition, HP has added the two-way DL145 to its LC Series 3000 cluster lineup, giving customers the option to buy pre-configured systems with between 4 and 128 processors.

Never shy, HP used to product launch to take a couple swipes at rivals.

"HP is pushing back on competitors in the server market with competitive pricing and more choice on x86 servers that deliver customers the best price/performance in the industry," said James Mouton, vice president, platform division, Industry Standard Servers, HP. "With this new cluster series and the availability of the new ProLiant DL585, we further extend choice to enterprise and high-performance computing customers, making it easier to purchase and take advantage of AMD Opteron processor-based ProLiant servers."

HP first announced the new Opteron gear back in February. Many industry observers expected the move, but it still came as a shock to close partner Intel. HP has been the biggest backer of Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor and also leads in sales of Xeon-based servers. HP, however, has been enamored with Opteron's performance and its time-to-market lead over the x86-64bit Xeon due out later this year.

The ProLiant DL585 ships with either 2.2GHz, 1.8GHz or 1.6GHz Opteron chips and up to 64GB of memory. The server takes up 4U of rack space.

The new server has taken the top spot for the Microsoft Windows Exchange Server 2003 Performance and Scalability benchmark for four-processor servers. The box supported 7,800 users - an 8 percent increase over the previous best.

HP neglected to point out which box it beat out in the test, but we've found the information for you. The Opteron system with 2.2GHz chips thumped HP's own 3.0GHz Xeon system. And that's on 32-bit software. Hmm.

The new Opteron cluster for high performance and technical computing is also immediately available. HP will lets users pick from 180 different cluster configurations, test the systems and then ship them off in working condition. Customers can mix Xeon and Opteron chips and pick from 10/100 Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and Myrinet XP interconnects.

Later this year, HP is expected to roll out an Opteron-based blade server as well. ®

Related stories

HP to upgrade AMD to business class
Analysts cheer AMD, Dell and Microsoft as x86-64-bit winners
IBM prepares Opteron workstation charge
Gartner analyst explains HP and Itanium leanings
HP calls in Gartner cheerleader for Opteron launch
Intel and HP color self-preservation as customer choice

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