HP’s New Server Crunches Data Like No Other

Hewlett-Packard just unveiled the HP ProLiant SL4500 Gen8 server, a new box architected for big data.

The SL4500 delivers 240 terabytes in a single 4.3u chassis, which amounts to 2.16 petabytes of storage in a standard 42u rack that holds nine servers. The machine is available in a wide variety of configurations so that customers can pick the one that best complements their analytics use cases.

In addition to storage density, HP is also touting some of the specialized components included in the SL45000.  The server comes equipped with an HP Smart Array controller that offers seven times the IOPS that Generation 7 models did, as well as a wide variety of software capabilities that round out the data-centric sales pitch.

The ProActive Insight Architecture products embedded into the server automate backup, firmware updating and other admin tasks associated with system health. These are leveraged in  conjunction with the SmartCache storage optimizer and analytical solutions from Vertica. The SL45000 supports the Hadoop distributions of Cloudera and HortonWorks, as well as MongoDB and OpenStack.

“Given the large and varied amounts of fast-moving data that needs to be stored and accessed quickly and the different requirements of end users, these workloads can be highly varied, complex, and inefficient to manage if run on traditional hardware infrastructure,” IDC vice president Dan Vesset said. “In order to fully embrace the promise of Big Data, it is critical that the underlying infrastructure be optimized for the workload.”

HP cited some figures that underscore this last statement. The company says its latest product can save clients as much as a million bucks over the course of three years, thanks to 61 less power consumption, 63 percent less cabling, and 31 percent lower costs.

Hewlett-Packard launched nearly half a dozen storage arrays for the SMB market less than a week ago. It seems that Meg Whitman’s plans get the struggling hardware vendor back on track rely in great part on keeping HP’s engineering and sales teams as occupied as possible.