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New HPE ProLiant servers with Arm target energy savings

The new HPE ProLiant system incorporates the Ampere Altra and Ampere Altra Max cloud-native processors with the goal of energy and cost savings.

HPE's new ProLiant servers target cost-conscious corporate data centers and third-party cloud service providers intent on delivering cloud-native workloads.

The new Arm-based HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 is a single-socket system that incorporates the Ampere Altra and Ampere Altra Max cloud-native processors.  The new chip contains 128 cores and is designed to take advantage of the energy saving capabilities of the Arm processor, the company said during its HPE Discover conference this week.

"This system gives us an advantage in running certain workloads, especially cloud-native workloads, while supplying performance with lower power usage, which results in better cost efficiency," said Neil MacDonald, executive vice president and general manager of the compute business group at HPE, in a press briefing.

Ampere's Arm chips specifically target cloud workloads and are also used in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

HPE's new system is designed for IT shops with existing cloud-native workloads, MacDonald said.

"It's not a platform for the core enterprise with packaged, off-the-shelf classic enterprise software; that's not our target," he said. "Increasingly, however, enterprises are embracing more in-house development that has to leverage the technologies associated with cloud-native development."

The only way corporate data centers can grow over the next few years is to introduce more cost-efficient systems that don't sacrifice performance, said Renee James, chairman and CEO of Ampere Computing.

"You won't see users saying 'no more data centers' because they can't afford the costs of energy sources," she said. "They can't meet their ESG goals unless they can improve the power-performance ratio."

While Ampere chips are optimized for cloud-native workloads, users of such workloads can also use the new HPE system as general-purpose chips capable of running Windows and Linux-based applications, AI-based applications, modern databases and gaming software, James added.

You're seeing serious moves by companies like HPE and Dell with servers designed to combat not just cloud costs but the total cost of ownership.
Dana GardnerPrincipal analyst, Interarbor Solutions LLC

Some analysts say embedding cloud-native support in silicon could prove to be a prudent decision at this point. They believe such an approach will find an audience among those facing increased costs of not just energy in large data centers, but also the ongoing costs associated with cloud computing.

"Cloud computing costs are still expensive and hard to control, plus we are about to go into some hard economic times," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst with Interarbor Solutions, LLC. "You're seeing serious moves by companies like HPE and Dell with servers designed to combat not just cloud costs but the total cost of ownership."

The new ProLiant system represents a commitment to Arm-based servers -- something many of HPE's competitors are doing.

"HPE is recognizing it can't be the company that doesn't have some level of commitment to Arm," said Dan Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research and CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. "If they don't, they run the risk of alienating a subset of its customer base."

The RL300 will come with the company's Integrated Lights Out (iLO) server management software that lets users configure, monitor and update servers from any remote location.

Other system features include support for up to 16 DIMMS with the ability to store 4 terabytes per system, three PCIe Gen4 expansion slots, and support for the direct attachment of NVMe storage with up to 10 NVMe SSDs and dual M.2 NVMe SSD options.

The new server, the first in a line of systems that will follow, focus on cloud-based services including media streaming and financial services on IaaS, PaaS and SaaS platforms.

The RL300 Gen11 server is expected to be available as a service through HPE GreenLake or through HPE's partner network by the end of this year's third quarter.

Pricing for the system was not available as of press time.

As Editor At Large with TechTarget's News Group, Ed Scannell is responsible for writing and reporting breaking news, news analysis and features focused on technology issues and trends affecting corporate IT professionals.

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