HP’s New ProLiant Aims at Big Data

Big Data demands a Big Chassis, and Hewlett-Packard’s new ProLiant SL4500 servers deliver on both.

Instead of linking a traditional compute infrastructure to a separate collection of storage hardware, the new SL4500 places a whopping amount of storage within the rack itself. The result is petabytes of storage per rack; the hardware was designed to support data-intensive applications and frameworks such as Apache Hadoop.

Specifically, the HP ProLiantSL4500 server series delivers up to 240 terabytes in a single 4.3-rack-unit chassis, or 2.16 petabytes with nine servers in an industry-standard 42-U rack. Hewlett-Packard said the arrangement would use 50 percent less space, 61 percent less power and 31 percent lower cost over a Dell PowerEdge R510 server plus four units of the Dell Power Vault MD1200.

The HP server packs in an HP Smart Array controller, boosting IOPS seven-fold over a ProLiant Gen7 server with a traditional 15,000-RPM SAS drive. HP’s ProActive Insight architecture embeds intelligence such as predictive spare activation, health monitoring, and automatic updates.

“Big Data application environments such as Hadoop, MPP data warehouses, Big Data analytics and object stores have very different workload requirements,” Dan Vesset, vice president of business analytics research at IDC, wrote in a statement. “Given the large and varied amounts of fast-moving data that needs to be stored and accessed quickly and the different requirements of end users, these workloads can be highly varied, complex and inefficient to manage if run on traditional hardware infrastructure. In order to fully embrace the promise of Big Data, it is critical that the underlying infrastructure be optimized for the workload.”

HP also announced updated HP ProLiant SL270s and SL250s Gen8 servers, which add up to eight Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors or eight NVIDIA Kepler graphic processing units. (Both the Intel Xeon Phi and the latest Nvidia Kepler coprocessors were introduced at the recent SC’12 supercomputer show in Salt Lake City.) The new HP ProLiant SL270s Gen8 servers will be available next month, with prices starting at $6,166, while the HP ProLiant SL250s Gen8 will add both coprocessor options early next year for a starting price of $5,659.

The integration of storage into a traditional server environment may be an emerging trend within the data center—yet it continues to knock traditional analysts for a loop. “I think another important element here is that the line that separates servers and storage is really blurring,” Dell chief financial officer Brian Gladden told media and analysts assembled for the company’s earnings call.


Image: HP

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