(UPDATED) FIRST LOOK: HP's New Blade Servers and Converged Switch

(Updated  6/22/2010, 1:00 a.m. Pacific, with updated BL620 image and 2nd Switch pic)

As expected, HP announced today new blade servers to their BladeSystem lineup as well as a new converged switch for their chassis. Everyone expected updates to the BL460 and BL490, the BL2x220c and even the BL680 blade servers, but the BL620 G7 blade server was a surprise (at least to me.)  Before I highlight the announcements, I have to preface this by saying I don’t have a lot of technical information yet.  I attended the press conference at HP Tech Forum 2010 in Las Vegas, but I didn’t get the press kit in advance.  I’ll update this post with links to the Spec Sheets as they become available.

The Details

First up- the BL620 G7

The BL620 G7 is a full-height blade server with 2 x CPU sockets designed to handle the Intel 7500 (and possibly the 6500) CPU.  It has 32 memory DIMMS, 2 hot-plug hard drive bays and 3 mezzanine expansion slots. 

HP Proliant BL620 Blade Server

HP Proliant BL620 Blade Server

BL680 G7
The BL680 G7 is an upgrade to to the previous generation, however the 7th generation is a double-wide server.  This design offers up to 4 servers in a C7000 BladeSystem chassis.  This server’s claim to fame is that it will hold 1 terabyte (1TB) of RAM.  To put this into perspective, the Library of Congress’s entire library is 6TB of data, so you could put the entire library on 6 of these BL680 G7’s!  

HP BL680 G7 Blade Server

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

“FlexFabric” I/O Onboard
Each of the Generation 7 (G7) servers is coming with “FlexFabric” I/O on the motherboard of the blade server.  These are NEW NC551i Dual Port FlexFabric 10Gb Converged Network Adapters (CNA) that supports stateless TCP/IP offload, TCP Offload Engine (TOE), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and iSCSI protocols.  

Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module
The final “big” announcement on the blade server front is a converged fabric switch that fits inside the blade chassis.  Titled, the Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module, it is designed to allow you split the Ethernet fabric and the Fibre fabric at the switch module level, inside the blade chassis INSTEAD OF at the top of rack switch.  You may recall that I previously blogged about this as being a rumour, but now it is true.   

 The image on the left was my rendition of what it would look like.   

   

   

   

And here are the actual images.   

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-Port Module

 HP believes that converged technology is good to the edge of the network, but that it is not yet mature enough to go to the datacenter (not ready for multi-hop, end to end.)  When the technology is acceptable and mature and business needs dictate – they’ll offer a converged network offering to the datacenter core.  

What do you think about these new blade offerings?  Let me know, I always enjoy your comments.  

Disclaimer: airfare, accommodations and some meals are being provided by HP, however the content being blogged is solely my opinion and does not in anyway express the opinions of HP.

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