HP Launches Automated, Self-Sufficient ProLiant Server Line
HP has built a brand new fleet of servers, the ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8), designed to be self-sufficient. So much so that HP boasts the servers can “enable IT staff to save more than 30 days of administration time,” when used in a “typical” data center. So what exactly is under the hood of this pre-Skynet machine? Let’s take a look …
HP ProLiant Gen8 servers come courtesy of HP’s special program “Project Voyager,” and the goal was to build a server that could maintain its own hardware and software, allowing for “lifecycle automation.” Translation? A server that fixes (most) of its own issues, including hardware, software and even power management. HP calls the magic “continuous intelligence,” and has tested it in more than 100 data centers. The result was positive: All data centers saw an boost in sever performance and a drop in administrative intervention.
Under the hood, HP is implementing the following technologies:
- Integrated Lifecycle Automation: Any manual housekeeping sever tasks have been automated. Seems simple, but this is really just the first layer of automation. Up next is …
- Dynamic Workload Acceleration: Gen8 servers can tell when they’re going to get bogged down and can shift requests in real time to move resources to the places that need it most. HP uses a combination of SSDs and RAID to ensure access demands are met in a timely manner.
- Automated Energy Optimization: Newly included sensors enable HP ProLiant Gen8 servers to balance a workload across multiple servers in a rack, ensuring no single server draws an obscene amount of power and no single server adversely affects overall performance. HP calls this a “3-D Sea of Sensors,” which automatically detect power usage inside the server, in addition to aggregating power used by a single rack.
If you’re more interested in the technicalities, check out the full press release. If you’re a VAR looking to sell these servers, you’ll have to wait just a little while. General availability is coming in March 2012 for partners, although “early-adopter clients” can get their hands on HP ProLiant Gen8 servers today. Looking forward to the future, will automation converge with cloud and mobility? I’d say it’s a fair bet. Expect similar vendors (inlcuding IBM) to follow suit with enhanced automation capabilities.