Compaq will use the chipmaker's ultra low-voltage (ULV) processors, code-named Tualatin, in its new servers. Compaq said it expects the servers to ship later this year.
The company claims the servers will help e-commerce companies, datacentres and Web-hosting firms manage Web pages, media streaming, load balancing, caching and firewall protection.
The new design will also allow users to squeeze 200 to 300 processors into a single server rack. Forty-two units can currently be stacked into a standard 7-foot rack.
The company hopes to present the Tualatin-powered ProLiants by the end of the year, pitching them as general-purpose servers, said Sally Stevens, Compaq's director of marketing for density-optimised servers. Until then, Compaq will work with datacentres to help them plan for an environment suitable for denser server farms. "They're beginning to plan for their new data centres," she said. "Some are ready... and some need to re-evaluate."
John Gantz, an analyst at International Data Corp, said the new design will be particularly beneficial for users running giant Web sites. "Web-hosting companies are where you'll see this first because it means you can dynamically change loads within your server without having to change servers. You have more scalability, and it's more economical," he said.
However, Gantz added, with the advent of the new ultradense design, companies will most likely have to rethink capacity planning for their data centres.
"[In addition], users will have to think about the compatibility of their systems," Gantz said. "I don't think you can use Compaq software on an HP server."