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HP's midrange servers running the company's HP-UX operating system and using its PA-RISC processors have been the bread and butter of HP's Unix line. The new rp7410 from HP gives users a two-to-eight-processor server that comes with mainframe-like partitioning tools for running several applications on a single system. The rp7410 replaces the rp7400 or N Class server, but HP will likely sell the rp7400 for another year, said Mark Hudson, director of worldwide marketing for HP's business systems and technology organisation.
The rp7410 will start shipping in March with 650MHz and 750MHz PA-8700 processors available for the server. A rp7410 with two 650MHz chips and 2Gbytes of memory will start at $69,000 (£48,341). A larger eight-processor system with 8Gbytes of memory is priced at $265,000 (£186,000), Hudson said.
HP will also make some mainframe-like partitioning software and high-level management applications available on the server. The partitioning technology makes it possible to run several applications on one server in secure compartments and to adjust CPU resources, memory and I/O levels without shutting the server down.
HP and Sun Microsystems have taken the lead among major Unix vendors adding these types of high-end software features to their servers. IBM stalled bringing dynamic partitioning to its Unix line, even though the technology is a common feature on its mainframe computers.
At the moment, users can slice up the rp7410 into two hardware partitions. In the second half of the year, HP will deliver software for creating up to eight virtual partitions on the rp7410.