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HP's latest Unix servers target the cost-conscious

Hewlett-Packard has launched a line of Unix servers aimed at cost-conscious buyers in an attempt to breathe new life into its flagging high-end hardware business.

HP's three new servers in the 05 series use slower processors than its mainstream Unix line and are only available in a few standardised configurations. The systems are available immediately in configurations with one to eight processors and are between 10% and 405 cheaper compared with the faster Unix servers offered by HP, said John Miller, server marketing manager in HP's business critical systems group. The discounted 05 series could attract customers facing tight budget constraints and help HP compete against Sun Microsystems on low-end Unix products.

"Two years ago, customers were really focused on getting the latest and greatest performance and management tools," Miller said. "Today, you have companies that are struggling to be profitable. Price has become paramount in the customer's buying decisions."

The major trade-off with the new HP Server rp2405, rp5405 and rp7405 systems is their use of 650MHz PA-RISC chips. HP normally ships 875MHz chips with most of its Unix hardware.

Users will have to pick from a preconfigured list of hardware with the new systems.

HP will ship the less expensive servers with all of the same core technology found on its base Unix line which, it claimed, is an advantage over its rival, Sun Microsystems. The servers come with dynamic partitioning capabilities and can support future PA-RISC and Intel Itanium processors using the same chassis.

The rp2405 with one processor, 512Mbytes of memory and 36Gbytes of storage will start at $4,795 (£3,066). The rp5405 and rp7405 will cost $29,026 (£18,560) and $50,595 (£32,352) respectively.

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