HP unveils ProLiant Gen8 servers

The Project Voyager servers focus on automation to bring intelligent servers into datacentres for the cloud era.

HP

HP today announced its latest range of ProLiant servers, hoping to cut out manual processes and free up time in the datacentre, leaving space for more innovation.

The ProLiant Gen8 portfolio was born after two years of research and development, costing the company $300 million (191 million), titled 'Project Voyager.'

The research began because HP realised servers needed to "change course" to keep up with "the era of the cloud," claimed Mark Potter, vice president and general manager of Industry Standard Servers (ISS) at HP.

We need to free up admins, take advantage of capacity and remove costly unplanned downtime.

"Manual processes cost so much time that could be used to innovate," he said, during a keynote speech at HP's first global partner conference in Las Vegas.

"They don't allow the customer to harness the stranded capacity in a datacentre and address growing energy needs. We need to free up admins, take advantage of capacity and remove costly unplanned downtime."

As a result, the main focus of the ProLiant Gen8 servers is automation. An update to HP's Sea of Sensors technology will enable admins to see the best place to put a server, considering power, cooling and redundancy circuit issues through one tool. Potter claimed the server can then be plugged in and ready to go straight away.

It also automatically provisions power to certain areas, making sure nothing is wasted, and agentless software continues to cut the need for manual processes.

Potter said these examples - which fall under the umbrella of HP's 'ProActive Insight' architecture - made "a brand new ground breaking architecture, to build servers with automation and intelligence to take care of itself; exactly what it should do in the cloud era."

Other new features of the range include a smart socket addition, reducing the risk of bending pins when putting in a processor - a common cause of failures in the datacentre.

Smart Drive technology combines with the automation functionality to give engineers better information on which drives are where, making sure they don't remove the wrong one - another common cause of breakdowns in datacentres.

HP listed a number of claims around performance, including 10 per cent less energy consumption, six times faster I/O for storage and three times productivity for admins, but companies will have to wait until March to get their hands on the new servers when they become generally available.

The ProLiant Gen8 family includes the ProLiant ML Tower - for remote or branch offices - ProLiant DL rack-mounted servers, and ProLiant BL blade servers and ProLiant SL scalable system servers - suited for cloud systems.

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