HP unveils new Linux servers and support

Hewlett-Packard is to unveil new hardware and support for the Linux operating system, designed to encourage telecoms customers to...

Hewlett-Packard is to unveil new hardware and support for the Linux operating system, designed to encourage telecoms customers to switch from Unix to the open source alternative.

Gearing up for the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo this week in New York, HP will announce two Linux-based "carrier-grade" servers aimed at telecommunication customers and designed for managing wireless networks or hosting networks that converge voice and data.

Both conform to the Network Equipment Building Standard (NEBS), a set of telecommunication industry specifications, said David Snow, product marketing manager for carrier-grade servers at HP.

The cc2300 server includes two 1.26GHz Pentium III processors, 6Gbytes of RAM, two Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slots and the option of an AC or DC power supply. It measures 1.75in high and 20in deep.

The cc3300 is 3.5in high and features the same hardware as the smaller version. Additionally, it has two AC or DC power supplies and six PCI slots. Both use Intel's 32-bit chips and run version 7.1 of Red Hat Linux distribution.

The two servers will go on sale from 1 February, but HP said it has no customers to announce yet. Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica and Nokia have both deployed Linux servers from HP, Snow said. The transition to the new carrier-grade Linux servers for them "will be fairly smooth," he said.

Although pricing for the servers was not announced, HP said it has extended its utility pricing plan to customers who run its Linux products. The pay-per-use pricing plan was previously available only for its Unix servers.

In January, HP released a Compact PCI blade server that also offers NEBS support and runs the Linux operating system. In addition, the company will take part in an industrywide effort to be announced later to create a carrier-grade version of Linux, Snow said.

HP is also set to unveil a beefed-up version of the x4000 workstation running Red Hat Version 7.1, aimed at customers involved in high-end digital content creation. The x4000 runs Intel Xeon processors at speeds of 1.8GHz, 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz. Dreamworks SKG, one of its customers using the high-end Linux workstations, is expected to join HP at its booth at LinuxWorld.

On the services front, HP announced it would begin offering outsourcing and consulting services for its Linux customers. It will also offer a standard migration service to move customers from various operating system platforms to Linux. The date of availability has not yet been released.

Amazon.com is using HP Linux servers to host its Web infrastructure and migrated to the platform with HP's help. The Internet retailer claimed to have saved $17m (£12.1m) by moving to Linux. HP said it would formalise the migration service provided to Amazon and offer it to other customers.

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