HP upgrades ProLiant line with Xeon models

Hewlett-Packard this week added a pair of new servers to its ProLiant line, as the company upgrades some of the key technology gained through its acquisition of Compaq Computer.

HP is adding a new two-processor ProLiant model and a new four-processor ProLiant model to its arsenal; both systems will use Intel Corp.'s Xeon processor. The dual processor ProLiant DL380 rack mount server has started shipping with 2.4GHZ and 2.8GHz Xeon chips available, according to HP's Web site. HP, based in Palo Alto, California, will wait until Intel brings out its next generation Xeon chip -- code-named Gallatin -- to release the four-processor ProLiant ML570 system, the company said in a Tuesday statement.

The Gallatin processor will arrive by year end as Intel's first server chip built with a 0.13-micron manufacturing process and designed for multiprocessor systems, Intel has said.

HP pointed out its quick adoption of Intel's latest chip technology as proof that HP plans to extend Compaq's success with ProLiant servers. HP executives championed the ProLiant systems as a major technology win when the company completed its acquisition of Compaq earlier this year.

Before the merger, HP was losing ground in the Intel-based server market, facing fierce competition from Compaq, Dell Computer Corp. and IBM Corp.

The ProLiant DL380 is targeted at customers looking for a compact system to handle file and print serving, mail serving or Web hosting tasks. This Xeon-based server should provide a performance boost over its predecessors based on the Pentium III processor. A ProLiant DL380 with two 2.8GHz Xeon chips, 512M bytes of memory and an 18G byte hard drive is priced at US$5,317, according to HP's Web site.

The beefier ProLiant ML570 server will ship with several high end features designed to provide users with better management and performance functions, according to the statement.

HP said the new system could boost performance on database and business applications over its current ProLiant servers in this class by up to 80 percent. The company attributed most of these gains to the larger cache size and higher clock speed expected from the Gallatin processor, according to the statement. Users will also be able to upgrade memory without shutting the server down.

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