HP announced on Tuesday two new products to their blade server portfolio, however blade server fanatics, don’t get too excited.

 

32GB Dual Rank DIMM
First of the two announcements was the availability of a 32GB DIMM. Listed as “HP 32GB (1x32GB) Dual QUAD Rank x4 PC3L-10600 (DDR3-1333) Registered CAS-9 Low Power Memory Kit” under HP Part number 627814-B21 this new addition doubles the maximum capacity of blade servers. The BL460 G7 now boasts a maximum memory capacity of 384GB of RAM. As a side note, from my research, it appears this new 32GB DIMM is also available for the Proliant DL360 and DL380 G7 models. U.S. list price is $8,039.

(UPDATED 1/12/11) 32GB RAM is Quad Rank Memory. Native speed is 1066Mhz, which it will run at with 1 DIMM per channel. Once you hit 2 DIMMs per channel, the memory speed will be reduced to 800Mhz. Information on this DIMM was taken from HP’s BL460 G7 QuickSpecs at:(http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13706_div/13706_div.PDF)

HP StorageWorks D2200sb Storage BladeHP StorageWorks D2200sb Storage Blade
The other announcement that HP made was the addition of a new storage blade to their blade portfolio. HP StorageWorks D2200sb Storage Blade (open)This new storage blade offers up to 12 hot-plug SAS drives all inside of a half-height form factor. The blade uses a revolutionary drawer technology that allows the user to open the system and slide out a drawer that holds all 12 drives WHILE the drives are running giving the user the ability to replace a hot-plug drive without impacting the other running drives. The D2200sb provides high-performance direct storage connectivity to the adjacent blade server without the need for any cables.
The D2200sb Storage Blade also features an onboard Smart Array P410i controller with 1 GB flash-backed write cache, for increased performance and data protection.

(UPDATED 1/13/11) Daniel Bowers, from HP, posted a YouTube video that demonstrates how the D2200sb slides out to reveal all 12 drives:

Direct link to YouTube:
HP’s website (and you can get a free 60-day trial here

(thanks, Dan!)

While the D2200sb provide direct connectivity to a single blade, there are a couple of ways to use for shared storage:
1) Use HP P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) software to turn the D2200sb into an iSCSI SAN for use by all severs in the enclosure and any server on the network. You can find out more about this offering from

2) Combine the HP StorageWorks X1800sb Network Storage Blade with the D2200sb Storage Blade to enable file serving and iSCSI shared storage inside the BladeSystem enclosure. You can find out more about this storage blade from HP’s website.

The D2200sb Storage Blade is being offered in 4 “flavors”:

HP StorageWorks D2200sb Storage Blade – part #AP880A (U.S. List price: $1,999)
HP StorageWorks D2200sb Storage Blade Bundle with SAAP (Smart Array Advanced Pack) License – part # BK781A (U.S. List price: $2,111)
HP D2200sb PCIe and P4000 VSA Bundle with SAAP License – part # AP881A (U.S. List price: $5,726)
NOTE: Includes the D2200sb Storage Blade, a (SAAP) License and a single P4000 VSA license. VSA software is installed in a virtual machine on a VMware host server adjacent to the D2200sb.
HP StorageWorks D2200sb PCIe Storage Blade with (12) 600GB 6G SAS HDD bundlepart # AP882A (U.S. List price: $11,320)

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  • Anonymous

    kevin,
    pretty sure there is a typo on the 32GB dimm, would think that would be a quad ranked (QR) vs. dual ranked. This is important because QR dimms can only be populated 2 per channel and run @ 800Mhz. The 16GB Dual Rank makes sense, but not the 32GB Dual Rank.

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    Mike, the details of the #HP 32GB DIMM were taken directly from HP’s website at http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/13706_div/13706_div.PDF so if the description is wrong, it is an HP error that I’m not aware of. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    Mike is correct, the 32GB DIMM is a quad ranked DIMM. I’ll fix the wrong description on the hp.com specs. There is (as Mike says) also a new 16GB DR DIMM. Thanks for the correction.

    The chart within the ProLiant BL460c G7 and ProLiant DL380 G7 server Quickspecs that shows what speeds these operate isn’t completely clear. I’ll adjust those tables too. For example, the 16GB DR DIMM will run at 1066MHz if it’s operated at low voltage, but it will run at 1333MHz if operated at regular voltage.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_65PNS47CC5PBYTBTBEK4OT2DRY SomeOne

    So there are no hot swap drives in the D2200sb? I have to pull out the entire storage blade to replace a drive? That’s bad for availability. What happened to the sliding drawer concept that allowed you to replace a drive hot?

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    YES, the #HP D2200sb has hot-swap drives. The drawer pulls out, WHILE the drives are running. Take a few minutes to review the specs for details. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    I’ve updated the 32GB DIMM page to include the QUAD rank listing. Thanks Mike Roberts from Dell for pointing that out. Dan – thanks for clarifying.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_65PNS47CC5PBYTBTBEK4OT2DRY SomeOne

    I do not think the QuickSpecs make it clear. Yes it mentions hot swap drives, and the picture shows a drawer latch. But nowhere does it say there’s a drawer than you can slide out, while all disks are operating, and replace or add a drive. I think that’s a great feature, but you have to be a mind reader.

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    I’ve updated the #hp D2200sb section to better explain how it works. Thanks for your feedback.

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  • http://twitter.com/dchosnek Doron Chosnek

    At $8039 per DIMM, HP can support 384GB in a BL460c at the cost of $96,000 per server just for the memory! If you filled just one rack with these servers, you would spend $6 million just for the memory. And the memory would run at a paltry 800MHz.

    Cisco can stuff 384GB of RAM into a B250 blade for almost one fifth the cost using 8GB DIMMs… and run that memory bus at 1333MHz. I realize the Cisco B250 is twice as big as the HP BL460c, but when you’re saving $75,000+ in memory on EVERY SERVER and getting better performance out of that memory, you can afford to buy an extra slot in a blade chassis.

    Disclaimer: I do work for Cisco, but my opinions are my own.

  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    You’re right, it’s not clear. Here’s what it looks like to hot swap the drives:

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    Doron – you bring up a good point about the #HP 32GB DIMM, $8k is a high price to pay. Your comparison with Cisco’s B250 is interesting. I might need to write up something on that… Thanks for your comment, and for reading!

  • http://BladesMadeSimple.com/ Kevin Houston

    Dan, thanks for the video of the D2200sb Storage Blade. I’ve added it to my blog post. As always, I appreciate your support!

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/cfazekas Chris

    This page at Intel for the previous generation 5500 of processor states that populating 2 single/duel/quad rank DIMMs per channel the speed is lowered to 800Mhz,

    http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/asmo-na/eng/products/server/410405.htm

    For the current generation 5600 series Intel processors. It seems to state that ‘2 DIMMs per channel support for 1333Mhz DIMM’s” this to me means that we could fully populate the G7 with 192GB of Ram using 16GB DIMMs and all the ram would run at 1333Mhz, and would not dumb down to 1066 or 800 as stated on your website. It would also mean that fully populating the G7 with 16 x 32GB DIMM’s at 1033Mhz, would NOT slow it to 800Mhz, but would run at 1033Mhz.

    http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/asmo-na/eng/products/server/intelligentxeon/440799.htm

    I contacted my HP rep who did some researched and responded with the following:

    “Yes, this is true. Some recent modifications have been made to the BIOS’s to allow this to happen.”

    Could you / someone else from HP confirm this? I believe my research is correct, and the 5600 series Intel supports it, as such the BL460G7 should as well socketed appropriately with 2 DIMM’s per channel x 3 channels per CPU = 12 DIMM’s.

    Cheers,

    Chris

    Could you confirm this is true?

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  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    Using the correct 5500 or 5600 series processor model, yes, you can run twelve (12) 16GB DR DIMMs in a BL460c G7 at 1333MHz.

    HP actually enabled this capability (“2 DIMMs per Channel at 1333″) on some servers (like BL460c) with the Xeon 5500 series too. Some server models required a BIOS upgrade to do this.

    Remember that only the more expensive models within the Xeon 5500/5600 series can run memory at 1333. If your Intel Xeon CPU modle starts with an “E” (e.g. E5640), it can’t do 1333.

    Disclaimer: I work for HP.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/cfazekas Chris

    Thank you Daniel.

    Could you confirm if the new 32GB Quad Rank DIMM’s could run at their maximum (1066? or 1333?, HP docs say 1333, above post 1/12/11 update it states Native speed 1066″) in a fully populated (12 DIMM’s) with 384GB on the BL460c G7 with 2 x Xeon 5600 series Intel processors?

    Also, I am looking to purchase 6 x BL460c G7’s next week with 6 x 16GB Quad-Rank 1066 (500666-B21) installed in each (96GB). Could you advise if in the future I would be able to install an additional 6 x 32GB Quad-Rank PC3L-10600 (627814-B21) “low-power” DIMM’s. Or, alternatively, is there plans to release a non “low-power” 32GB PC3-8500 DIMM?

    Cheers

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  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    The 32GB Quad Rank DIMMs would run at 1066 if you put 6 DIMMs into a BL460c G7. They would run at 800 if you put 12 DIMMs into a BL460c G7.

    The part of this DIMM description on hp.com that says “DDR3-1333 DIMM” is a mistake; it’s being fixed.

    Yes, you could put 6x16GB QR 1066 DIMMs into a BL460c G7 today, and then in the future add 6x32GB QR DIMMs. You can mix “L” (it’s actually “Low Voltage”) and standard voltage DIMMs together. If you mix them together, the “L” DIMMs will just run at at standard voltage — they’re designed to do that.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t it be even better to compare with the B230? Since that is half hight, but still has 32 DIMM slots.

  • Anonymous

    Will the 32GB DIMMs be supported on other G7 servers as well?

  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    On most of the G7’s within a month or two.

  • http://www.hp.com/go/bladeblog Daniel Bowers

    Here’s a better video, showing it in the more-common c7000 enclosure:

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BGQLFLABLKDWGP34EJ2Y3AFBTQ B

    Why use a typical Cisco apples to oranges comparison, when you can do apples to apples comparing the full height HP 620G7 to the full height Cisco B250, and put in 392GB in the HP, using 16GB DIMMs at much less than $1000/DIMM?

    Typical Cisco marketing FUD…

    No offense… just sayin’…

    And I *don’t* work for either company…

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