Hewlett Packard today announced a new line of servers, a data center mapping program and some consulting and financing services aimed at companies that build out mega data centers. Potential purchasers of the new HP machines include those building cloud computing offerings and enterprise customers trying to build their own clouds or high-performance computing clusters.
Problem is, HP is late to the mega data center party. SGI (formerly Rackable) has built special-purpose machines for years, and keeps introducing new options for the mega data center. IBM even launched its own, highly proprietary iDataPlex hardware for the same market last year. Two years ago Dell created a custom-order business aimed at serving this market while HP focused on better blades for enterprises and building custom setups for clients. HP is now combining some of the features its rivals’ cloud computing servers already offer, such as stripping out redundant power, sharing fans and making things easily interchangeable, as part of its new HP ProLiant SL server family. The resulting servers use 28 percent less power than standard rack-mounted servers, according to HP.
Creating some type of product portfolio for this market, however delayed, makes sense, and Christine Martino, VP and general manager of HP’s Scalable Computing & Infrastructure group says the company thinks it can compete with the existing offerings in the space quite well. She also stressed that both the data center mapping software (The HP Datacenter Environmental Edge), which helps cut costs by finding inefficiencies in the data center, and the consulting would be of use for enterprise customers that have the experience building out large-scale data centers that companies such as Google, or Amazon have.