HP Joins the 1U Server Crowd

Hewlett-Packard Co. has become the latest entrant into the dense server market, with its Tuesday release of the HP Netserver LP 1000r.

The Netserver 1000r is a 1U (1.75”) form factor server designed primarily as an appliance. Appliance servers are single-function boxes that normally end up in a Web farm as a Web or caching server, or sometimes as a load-balancing, firewall or DNS server.

The Netserver 1000r can have two 1GHz Pentium III processors. A standard rack can hold up to 42 1U servers, giving an impressive potential of 84 GHz of power per rack.

HP has lagged behind other major server manufacturers in getting its 1U server to market. Entering the market last year were IBM’s x330 line of 1U servers, Compaq’s ProLiant DL 320 and 360, and Dell’s PowerApp.web and PowerApp.cache servers. All except Dell’s PowerApp.cache server offer processors up to 1GHz. On the other side of the processor fence, Sun offers its Netra T1 1U server, running the Solaris operating system.

Web hosting companies and ISP’s have been the biggest buyers of 1U appliance servers thus far, meeting the growing desire of companies to have a dedicated, rather than shared, server from their providers.

The timing of the announcement is a boost for HP, which has seen its stock price drop more than half since July, including a 5 percent plunge last Friday.

Slim, dense servers may help companies like HP, Compaq, and Dell, which have relied on now-slumping consumer PC sales for much of their revenue.

The Netserver LP 1000r will have a street price tag of $3,799. - Keith Ward

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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