March 16, 2010, 1:57 PM — Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM rolled-out new servers on Tuesday based on Intel's latest Xeon 5600 microprocessors, which promise better performance and power consumption.
The companies are launching new rack, blade and tower servers that incorporate Intel's Xeon 5600 quad-core and six-core processors, as they battle for a larger slice of the server market.
Analysts said the servers will benefit from the new processors, which Intel claims are up to 60 percent faster than the predecessor Xeon 5500 chips introduced last year. The new chips will also offer better performance while consuming less power, which should help reduce electricity bills and facility costs, analysts said.
"It's not a revolution on the server side, it's more of an evolution and the sharpening up of the server vendors aiming at what they believe is the most important things to potential customers," said Dan Olds , principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group.
The performance and power benefits could also help improve server sales, which have been falling since the start of 2009, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. The server upgrade cycle has taken a back seat due to the poor economy but there are signs of an uptick in enterprise spending, McCarron said.
Worldwide server shipments totaled 2.2 million [M] during the fourth quarter of 2009, growing 4.5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, according to IDC. However server revenue dropped by 3.2 percent due to falling prices but revenue from x86 servers -- the type of machine introduced on Tuesday -- rose 14.3 percent to $7.6 billion [B].
Customers are increasingly moving in the direction of virtualization, and hardware enhancements in the servers, like extra cores, multithreading and more memory channels, creates headway for more virtual machines on servers, McCarron said. Users will be able to throw more workloads to maintain higher server utilization rates.
That should help consolidate servers, especially in data centers, where virtualization drives high server utilization rates, McCarron said.
The reduction of servers and consolidating infrastructure has a trickle effect on data centers, reducing energy and cooling costs, said Krista Satterthwaite, product marketing manager of HP. HP on Tuesday launched 16 Proliant G6, including blade rack and tower servers with Xeon 5600 chips.
Dell said it would offer PowerEdge blade servers (M710, M610), four rack servers (R710, R610, R510, R410) and three tower servers (T710, T610, T410) with Intel's latest chips.