Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/17/hp_proliant_gen8_e5_2400_opteron_6200/

HP frogmarches new Xeon, Opteron chips into ProLiants

Wants world+dog to know that it's also using E5-2400 two-socketeers

By Timothy Prickett Morgan

Posted in Servers, 17th May 2012 11:21 GMT

In the wake of Intel's launch of the entry Xeon E5-2400 processors for two-socket servers earlier this week, X86 server juggernaut Hewlett-Packard wants to keep its name in the mind of customers who might be shopping for systems from rivals Dell, IBM or Fujitsu.

The four new ProLiant Gen8 systems using the Xeon E5-2400s won't be available until June, just like their new AMD Opteron counterparts in the lineup, and details on these latest machines are scarce at the moment.

John Gromala, director of marketing for the Industry Standard Servers and Software division at HP, tells El Reg that HP is ramping up production on the six new boxes over the next 30 days.

HP did a similar thing with the Xeon E5-2600 servers, pre-announcing some of the new technologies in the Gen8 machines in the middle of February before it could talk about the processors and chipsets in the machines because Intel didn't launch until March 6; these ProLiant Gen8 machines started shipping in late March and ramped through April, depending on the model. We have the same pattern going on here again, with HP raising the curtain a little on these six machines but clearly saving something to show off at its Discover 2012 customer event, which will be hosted in Las Vegas the first week of June.

On the Xeon side of the expanded ProLiant Gen8 lineup are four machines that sport the new E5-2400 processors:

On the Opteron front, there are two machines:

HP says that the new machines will have starting prices of between $1,600 and $3,500.

Gromala says that HP is working on machines that make use of Intel's eight-core E5-4600, a variant of the "Sandy Bridge" chips for servers that allows for four sockets to be connected gluelessly together into a cheaper four-socket box than is possible with the 10-core Xeon E7s. The E7s have more RAS features, more memory capacity, more QuickPath Interconnect bandwidth, and more I/O, which is why they will still be preferred by some customers – particularly those running fat database or email servers. But E7-based machines also cost more and are physically bigger. So where space is a premium, Xeon E5-4600 machines will get some uptake. HP plans to do rack and blade machines based on the E5-4600s, according to Gromala.

HP is also working for node servers to slide into its SL6500 chassis, which offers the best density in the ProLiant lineup, but Gromala would not say when these machines might be refreshed with Gen8 designs.

In addition to providing the names of the forthcoming Xeon E5-2400 and Opteron 6200 machines, along with a few sketchy details, HP also announced that it is working with partners to hook them into its ProActive Insight control freakery, which is a key part of the Gen8 machinery.

HP is working with various component suppliers to get the telemetry from their components in the ProLiant systems to hook better into the ProActive Insight management tools. For memory, this includes Samsung, Hynix, Micron, and Smart Holdings; for disks, Seagate, Toshiba, Hitachi, Western Digital, and SanDisk. HP is also working with Fusion-io for its flash accelerator cards. For network adapters, it is working with the usual suspects of Mellanox Technologies, QLogic, Emulex, and Broadcom; and for power supplies, Lite-On Technology, Delta Group, Emerson Electric, and Flextronics. These vendors are in various stages of integrating the firmware in their products more tightly into ProActive Insight. ®