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HP Designs Blade To Host Virtual Machines
HP Has Built What It Calls the First Server Blade Designed to Host Virtual Machines From Quad-Core Opteron 2300 Chips
By: Maureen O'Gara
Sep. 4, 2008 02:15 PM
HP has built what it calls the first server blade designed specifically to host virtual machines out of quad-core Opteron 2300 chips. Its name is the ProLiant BL495c.
According to Jim Ganthier, director of marketing and solutions for HP’s BladeSystems, virtualization poses problems of memory, storage, network connections, access and power utilization.
So HP designed the new dual-socket blade with twice the memory capacity of rival systems (figure 16 DIMMs or 128GB), solid state drives that consume less power than SATA drives, and maybe two more Ethernet network connections.
Based on a typical configuration of 4GB per virtual machine, the BL495c can reportedly support a minimum of 32 VMs or 512 VMs in a fully rigged-out enclosure with 16 blades. Ganthier says that’s anywhere from 256 to 400 more VMs than comparable blades from Dell or IBM can support.
The Opteron’s dual HyperTransport links are supposed to make access to memory and the network faster. AMD chimes in, saying Opteron’s Rapid Virtualization Indexing offers hardware support for second level address translation so VMs can manage memory more directly, reducing latency across many virtualized apps.
HP claims it can also cut SAN connection costs up to 65%.
The widget is the first HP blade to support solid state drives, which run on less than two watts of power.
And the company says its built-in iVirtualization for Citrix’ XenServer and VMware’s ESXi makes set-up less tedious.
The blade will be available September 15 starting at $2,499 with one of two possible processors and one dual-port Broadcom NIC.
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