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HP Upgrades Quad ProLiant Servers to 'Truland' – Cuts 8-Way Line

HP is shipping two redesigned ProLiant servers that use Intel’s new 64-bit Xeon four-processor architected “Truland” processors. At the same time, the company disclosed it is discontinuing its eight-processor, Xeon-based ProLiant servers.

The redesigned ProLiant DL580 G3 and ML570 G3 are both built around four of the new top-of-the-line 64-bit Intel Xeon processors MP running at 3.33 GHz and featuring 8 MB of Level 3 cache, announced earlier this week. The servers are available immediately.

Intel announced Tuesday that it is shipping the new processors – formerly code-named “Truland” – as well as a complementary chipset which was previously known as “Twincastle” but now renamed the E8500 chipset. (See Intel Debuts Key Parts of Its 64-bit Xeon Strategy.) The two new HP systems use both technologies, which Intel has designed as a systems “platform.”

One of the advantages touted by Intel at this week’s announcement is that upcoming dual-core, four-way capable processors will be plug-compatible with the new E8500 chipset. “You’ll be able to drop the dual-cores into those same slots,” says Intel CTO Pat Gelsinger, referring to the Truland platform as “future proof.”

The DL580 G3 features so-called hot-plug RAID Memory and a redesigned chassis, as well as 667MHz dual independent front-side bus, 400MHz DDR2 memory, up to 16 DIMM sockets which can hold up to 32GB using 2GB DIMMs. The DL580 G3 starts at $6,849.

The ML570 G3 also sports the dual independent front-side bus and 400MHz DDR2 memory, but can accommodate up to 48 GBs of memory and up to ten 1-inch hot-plug Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives, and up to 10 PCI I/O slots. The ML570 G3 starts at $5,249.

One of the key marketing pitches for the two redesigned servers is that they are inexpensive enough for a four-way system to compete favorably with two-processor machines. Meanwhile, Intel’s first dual-core Xeon processor MP, codenamed "Paxville," is scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 2006, the company said at its developers confab in early March.

That price-performance equation is what helped trigger HP’s decision to get out of the eight-way server business for the time being – at least for ProLiant servers. “With the emergence of dual core processors in the four-processor x86 market in 2005, HP will satisfy the vast majority of current eight-way performance requirements with four-processor, eight-core ProLiant servers,” said Colin Lacey, director of platform marketing for Industry Standard Servers at HP in a prepared statement.

However, that doesn’t mean HP is exiting the eight-way marketplace altogether. Instead, HP plans to continue to serve the market for bigger iron with its Itanium-based Integrity line of servers. “[The] currently shipping eight-way ProLiant DL740 and DL760 servers will continue to be available until mid-2006,” Lacey added.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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