HP serves up virtual partitioning

Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new top end model in its L class family of Unix servers, the L3000, write Nicholas Enticknap and...

Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new top end model in its L class family of Unix servers, the L3000, write Nicholas Enticknap and Will Garside.

The product incorporates the same memory bus and I/O connectivity of the more powerful N class family which, says UK mission-critical marketing manager Terry Walden, provides a threefold improvement in performance over the technology used in the L2000.

As a result, HP is claiming new records for a four-way server in transactional processing performance, according to the TPC-C benchmark, and Web serving performance, using the SPECWeb99 benchmark.

The L3000 incorporates two features introduced by HP on other servers earlier in the year. The first, capacity-on-demand, provides for spare processors to be configured. They can be activated when required and are only paid for at that time.

The other is virtual partitioning, a mainframe-class feature which, on mid range systems, has hitherto only been offered on AS/400 machines from IBM. The only other HP product offering this capability is the top-end Superdome server released last September. On the L3000, the technology will provide up to four logical partitions. As with Superdome, the capability will not be delivered until the next release of HP/UX arrives in the second quarter of next year.

The configuration options of the L3000 are similar to those of the L2000. Both products have up to four 64-bit 550MHz PA-8600 Risc processors and support a maximum of 16Gbytes main memory and 292Gbytes internal disk capacity. The L3000 is shipping now, with prices starting at £32,000.

The L3000 will ship at an entry price of $35,000 for a single processor machine which, on paper, is still more expensive than rival Sun' u450 four-way server.

HP mission critical market manager Terry Walden said, "The u450 may be lower-cost, but in terms of features, such as utility computing, virtual partitioning and instant capacity on demand, the L3000 is better value for money in the long run."

This was last published in December 2000

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