HP Unveils C-Class Blade Servers

Computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. on Wednesday unveiled a line of servers that the company claims will reduce by half the cost of maintaining corporate data centers.

HP executives said the BladeSystem c-Class is easier to set up and maintain than either its previous "blade" server models or those offered by competitors, such as International Business Machines Corp.

Blades are slimmed-down, self-contained servers that administrators can plug into a network as needed. The machines, which are used to serve up Web pages and handle other computing chores, are a $10 billion per year market and make up the fastest-growing segment of the server business, said Ann Livermore, executive vice president for HP's server group.

HP's latest offering, which will be available in July at unspecified prices, are part of an initiative HP has dubbed "adaptive infrastructure." It's designed to automate many of the most time-consuming tasks required to set up and maintain large fleets of servers.

It competes with similar initiatives from IBM, Sun Microsystems Inc. and other rivals.

BladeSystem c-Class servers can be administered remotely using a technology known as virtualization. It also integrates software that automates the process of adding printers, storage appliances and other devices.

HP's management software allows a typical administrator to manage 200 separate devices, a tenfold improvement, HP executives said.

The new architecture also reduces electricity consumption by half compared with older systems, helping customers tame the increasing costs of powering their systems and keeping them cool, HP said.

Shares of HP closed at $30.14, up 35 cents, in Wednesday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


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