HP loves a big box with a few lights on it and the latest is HP's Cloudline range of servers, launched in March. The products are unsurprisingly (the clue is in the name) said to be particularly well-suited for deployment in cloud-centric data centres.
HP Cloudline is actually a family of products, so these machines share species DNA with the firm’s HP Apollo, Proliant and Moonshot products. The core sales spin here – if there is one – is that with Cloudline, HP is claiming to have extended its open infrastructure vision from cloud and network switches to include servers.
The industry broadly agrees that an open cloud design philosophy using open components will increase adaptability and integration. The supposition is that a vendor shouldn’t be able to talk about hyperscale, if it can’t talk about interoperability for compute, memory, networking and storage through the "hyperscaling" process: i.e. when things basically get bigger.
But it’s not just a question of physical openness. Tooling should be open too. HP Cloudline supports open management tools, including OpenStack, and uses common industry interfaces, such as IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) in hardware and firmware. This adherence to open standards means that data centres can in theory be built with multi-vendor equipment more easily. Obviously, this isn’t really what HP wants. But open cloud is too tough a standard now for anyone to fight against – even HP knows that.
“The business success of today’s service providers is directly correlated with their ability to cost-effectively acquire and operate their IT infrastructure to meet customer demand,” said Alain Andreoli, senior vice president and general manager of HP Servers. “Built on open-design principles with extreme scalability, HP Cloudline servers help service providers reduce infrastructure cost and accelerate service delivery to improve business performance.”
Cloudline runs on the Intel Xeon E5 v3 processor platform, so how does a server provider choose one if he or she is out shopping for the day?
Every Foxconn-built HP Cloudline server is customisable for various workload job types from acting as a web server to core roles in cloud computing, content delivery, hosting and big data. HP breaks the product set down into five different models, sporting special performance characteristics for front-end web performance, memory and storage–rich compute applications and those that are storage-intensive. The implication (presumably) being that storage-rich means a lot of data and storage-intensive means a lot of data a lot of the time with a higher transactional throughput.
And what of pricing? At time of writing, that revelation was planned for the end of the month. ®