HP debuts midrange server

Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Unix customers interested in the company's top-shelf server technology but unwilling to pony up nearly half a million dollars to get their hands on it got a new option late last month.

HP introduced a new midrange server called the rp8400 that starts at around $124,000 but has many features previously available only in the company's high-end Superdome servers.

The rp8400, available now, comes in models that range from two to 16 processors. Previously, HP's midrange N-Class server, renamed the rp7400 with this announcement, could scale only up to eight processors. The rp8400 uses HP's newest processor, the PA-8700, which was also announced late last month.

Among the Superdome-class features available on the rp8400 are ways to partition the server to handle multiple workloads simultaneously. For example, so-called nPartitions allow customers to create up to two processor-based partitions inside the same server.

"The primary application for this is server consolidation, taking multiple applications and putting them on one box for greater efficiency and cost savings," said Roy Vandoorn, HP's director of product marketing.

With another feature called virtual partitions, users can create up to 16 isolated "instances" of the operating system and applications, also useful for server consolidation.

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