HP Jumps The Gun On IDF14/Grantley-EP, Unveils Gen9 Servers

With the E5-2600 Xeon processor (AKA ) expected to debut at next month’s Intel Developers Forum (AKA IDF14), HP has jumped ahead of several server vendors with announcements pending, unveiling its new line of ProLiant Generation 9 (AKA Gen9) servers. The company said the new platform’s features and workload-optimized design will help customers reduce cost and complexity, accelerate IT service delivery and enable business growth, advancing HP’s vision for compute, the future of data center technology. To span four architectures – blade, rack, tower and – the servers are expected to start shipping on September 8th, the day before IDF14 opens.

Gen9 is about a new-style IT, the beginning of what HP is calling the Compute Era, John Gromala, Senior Director of Hyperscale Product Marketing, HP Servers, told IT Trends & Analysis. The Generation 9 platform is software-defined and -ready, he said. Both the Moonshot (April 2013) and Apollo (June 2014) server launches, part of an innovation refresh by HP, were very important directions, he said.

“Innovation is at the heart of our strategy to turn HP around,” said Whitman, prior to the Apollo launch. At least in part, the innovation is needed because there is a large gap between what users want and what IT delivers, and this has to change, said Bill Veghte, EVP and GM, HP Enterprise Group, kicked things off saying

HP is well-positioned to help bridge the gap between the existing and emerging new style of IT. “This is something we do better than anybody else!”

During the August 20th earnings call for its fiscal third quarter, HP President and CEO Meg Whitman said the industry standard server (x86) business revenue grew 9% year-over-year, “which represents our fourth consecutive quarter of revenue growth and we expect to take almost a point of share in the second calendar quarter.” According to EVP and CFO Cathie Lesjak, that worked out to $3.1 billion.

That 9% means HP narrowly beat the x86 server average revenue increase for the second quarter. “x86 servers managed to produce an increase of 1.4 percent in units in the second quarter of 2014, and an 8.1 percent increase in revenue,” said Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner. HP held down top spot in the server market, based on revenue, with nearly $3.2 billion and 25.1% of worldwide server revenue. IBM (22.4%) was second and Dell (17.4%) came in third.

IDC painted a similar picture, putting x86 server revenue growth at 7.8%, and noted that signs continue of a server refresh cycle. The results for HP, IBM and Dell were very close to Gartner’s numbers.

“The server market is experiencing the beginning of a cyclical refresh cycle as systems deployed shortly after the financial crisis are retired and replaced. IDC expects this refresh cycle will continue well into 2015 and be further accelerated by Microsoft’s announcement that it is ending support for Windows Server 2003 coupled with Intel’s forthcoming release of the Grantley Xeon EP and a significant number of related server platform announcements,” said Matt Eastwood, Group Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Platforms at IDC. “At the same time, IDC is also seeing early stage enterprise investment in 3rd Platform that leverage Webscale architectures typically seen in hyperscale environments. These will drive additional interest in software-defined environments that will further enhance the need for servers deployed as the infrastructure underpinning these next generation datacenters.”

The Geektails

HP ProLiant Generation 9 (Gen9) Servers are optimized for convergence, cloud and software-defined environments, and feature new technology innovations such as:

-HP-unique and HP DDR4 SmartMemory that increase compute capacity;

-converged management across servers, storage and networking to enable a software defined enterprise;

-faster setup, monitoring and firmware maintenance with reliable, secure and innovative embedded management, including and RESTful APIs for hybrid cloud environments; and,

-PCIe Accelerators, and HP FlexFabric that deliver improved performance.

The new portfolio will enable users to:

-triple compute capacity and increase efficiency across multiple workloads at a lower total cost of ownership with design optimization and automation;

-accelerate IT service delivery and increase infrastructure provisioning up to 66 times faster when combined with converged management features that will be available later this year; and,

-improve workload performance of business-critical applications up to four times to drive business growth with unique HP storage, memory and networking innovations.

The new HP ProLiant Gen9 servers will be available beginning Sept. 8.


Author: Steve Wexler

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