HP, publicly announced on Tuesday the release of their latest HP Proliant Blade offering the BL495c G5.
“Just another blade server from one of the big server players” I hear you say. Yes, although this is true this particular server does have a slight twist over the usual blade servers you perhaps have previously seen or purchased.
The HP BL495c G5 has been designed with virtualization (non US speak: virtualisation 🙂 )in mind as it addresses the areas typically associated with resource bottle necks on a server running a hypervisor. These being physical memory and network connectivity.
The BL495c G5 sports a maximum of 128 GB of memory and has an integrated dual-channel 10 GbE server adapter as standard (so no more need to buy 4 port NIC HBA’s). More network break-out bandwidth can be added by installing up to 2 Fibre or Ethernet HBA mezzanine cards. Thank goodness for 10Gb uplinks from the back of the C3000/C7000 blade chassis!
Along with the 10 GbE server adapter the other interesting point is that it will use 32GB or 64GB solid state drives onboard as opposed to the usual SAS. These non hot-plug solid state drives will apparently only draw 2 Watts of power which will help reduce the amount of heat generated, albeit slightly, and power consumed. Within an HP C7000 blade enclosure 16 BL495c’s can be inserted.
The last technical point of interest is that this server will be running 2 x quad-core Opteron 2300 CPU’s. I suspect that there must be an Intel CPU based offering not far in the HP ISS pipeline.
HP claim that the BL495c will allow customers to host up to 32 Virtual Machines (VM) working on the assumption that each VM will have 4GB of physical memory allocated. This is opposed to the usual 8-10 VM’s per server. In my experience allocating 4GB of physical memory to each VM, although highly desirable, never usually happens (apart from VMs running database, Exchange or similar services). Most customers I meet that already have an ESX implementation are keen to squeeze as much out of their server hardware (within reason) as possible and it is not unusual to see 25-35 VMs per server. So with this newly found additional physical memory capability and NIC bandwidth it’d be interesting to see how many VM’s over HP’s recommended 32 could be comfortably run on one of these new HP BL495c G5’s with 128GB memory.
The other consideration would be how much a fully loaded BL495c would cost (ie: with the maximum 128GB of memory). The starting price for the BL495c is US$2,449.00 and is available from the 15th September 2008.
For more information on the HP BL495c G5 check out HP’s web site here.