HP embraces open hardware designs with Cloudline servers

HP adopts specifications from Open Compute Projects for its new line of low-cost servers

Hewlett-Packard is following in the footsteps of Facebook and Microsoft in embracing open hardware designs with its new low-cost Cloudline servers.

Cloudline servers are no-frills cloud servers that break away from proprietary technology HP uses in its popular Proliant servers. The servers are HP's first based on industry standard specifications defined by the Open Compute Project, which was founded by Facebook in 2012, and Open Networking Foundation, which was formed in 2011.

The use of low-cost, bare-bones servers is growing among Internet service providers like Google and Facebook, which are looking for a cheap and efficient ways to upgrade hardware in data centers. Cloudline gives HP a chance to pursue that customer base, said John Gromala, senior director of hyperscale product management.

These are also the first servers resulting from a partnership with China-based electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn. HP provides the server and supply chain expertise, while Foxconn provides the manufacturing expertise, Gromala said. The servers were announced in conjunction with the Open Compute Project Summit, which is being held in San Jose.

Cloudline servers will share specifications with server offerings from other companies using OCP's Open Rack and Open Cloud Server specifications. Microsoft contributed the Open Cloud Server specification to OCP. Servers designed to OCP specifications will allow companies to standardize on BIOS, component, systems management, storage and networking technologies. That's particularly beneficial for companies deploying hardware from different vendors or standardizing on open firmware, Gromala said.

Moreover, Cloudline servers could be cheaper than Proliant systems with proprietary technology. At a baseline, Cloudline prices could be 10 percent cheaper than Proliant systems, but depending on hardware configurations, the savings could go up to 25 percent. However, Gromala said Proliant servers could be cheaper than Cloudline servers with more customized networking and storage features.

The Cloudline servers are designed for open-source deployments of software like OpenStack, which deals with large data sets and is highly scalable. Some customized servers such as HP's Moonshot and CloudSystem offer specific advantages of being "end-to-end" servers where the hardware and software are configured to work in tandem, Gromala said.

Through the new Cloudline servers, HP hopes to take on a group of "white-box" server makers that includes Quanta and Inventec. Those companies make servers based on customer designs for companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon. HP also hopes to compete with smaller server makers like Inspur and Sugon, which build industry-standard low-cost x86 servers.

Gromala said that HP can bundle services and software with its hardware offerings, which the smaller competitors can't do.

The most basic Cloudline server is the CL1100, a low-cost two-socket server for Web hosting. The CL2100 and CL2200 are two-socket servers that offer more memory and storage capacity. The systems will ship starting on March 30, which is when HP will disclose pricing.

The CL7100 and CL7300 are meant for rack-level deployments of one- or two-socket servers with shared power and cooling resources. The servers, which will ship later this year, have more network and storage expansion capabilities than the CL1100, CL2100 and CL2200 servers.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags serversHewlett-Packardhardware systems

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Scan at 1 Photo per second!

Quickly organise your entire photographic history. Automatically color correct and restore poor condition and even faded photos. And, most importantly easily share your memories with friends and family using your favourite social media applications such as Instagram, Twitter, and more.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?