HP delivers slimmed-down Unix server

HP is looking to build on its server success in Canada with the rp7410.

The rp7410 is a mid-range UNIX server aimed at enterprises, mid-market companies, service providers and high-performance technical computing environments.


is our next generation N class,” said Lorne Weiner, Canadian marketing manager for enterprise server solutions with Mississauga-based HP Canada. The N class was re-badged the rp7400, and this latest entry into the mid-range space replaces it.

Compared to its predecessor, the rp7410 is less deep. “It fits into a standard rack and can be serviced entirely from the front panel without tools,” said Weiner. “We’re able to pack four of these servers into a single rack.”

It also features better power redundancy — four cords instead of three. “It offers more hard disks, more internal peripherals, more internal PCI slots, double the memory capacity.”

Even more importantly, he said, it’s a cell-based architecture was originally built in HP’s Superdome and then migrated down to the 8400. “Now we’ve migrated it down again to the rp7410,” said Weiner. “The cell-based architecture allows the full suite of partitioning operations that we offer — these are hard partitions, virtual partitions, hyperplex nodes and resource partitions.”

The rp7410 has an estimated Canadian list price of $109,000, but HP can also offer its pay-per-use utility pricing. “That allows customers to have their computing costs track their revenues.”

Weiner said the rp7410 would find a home providing the computing power required to support supply chain management, CRM, ERP, e-portals and business intelligence. “Half of the challenge is understanding what you need today and what you need for the future,” he said. “These systems are no longer ‘nice-to-haves.’ The pressures of globalization, competition and the Internet are driving people to endeavour to align their IT infrastructures and their IT departments with their business units.”

The N class has been HP’s market leader for years. According to IDC Canada, HP has been the clear leader in mid-range RISC Unix server revenue since 1998 and in its third quarter 2001 Canadian server industry report, HP Canada increased its number one position to 42.2 per cent of the market, a 4.3 per cent increase over the previous quarter.

Alan Freedman, research analyst with IDC Canada in Toronto, said enterprises should be ready for a new mid-range Unix server from HP.

“Customers are asking for enhanced manageability,” he said. “They want to get the most value out of their existing and new purchases. What HP is doing — as well as other vendors — is taking what they’ve learned on the high end and migrating that down as far as it can go.

“The less time you have to spend dealing with problems with your server,” said Freedman, “the better off you’re going to be.”

He said HP has done well against competitors such as IBM and Sun because they’ve been in the Unix game a long time. “They’re very strong in compute-intensive environments such as manufacturing and telcos, which are heavy users of Unix systems.”

HP’s already large installed base for its N class should lead to healthy sales for rp7410, said Freedman, and what used to require a large server can been done with a mid-ranger server. “People are looking to consolidate workloads and this will be an effective box.”

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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