Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Thursday, June 8, 2023

HP Targets Service Providers With New Server Line 

Hewlett-Packard is seeking to capitalize on the growth of dedicated and shared cloud service providers with a portfolio of server, networking and other support tools intended to help service providers differentiate their services.

HP said Tuesday (March 10) its new Cloudline server family is aimed at software- and infrastructure-as-a-service providers along with telecommunications carriers and managed hosting specialists. The move to address the service provider market is based on market projections that many enterprises will shift their operations over the next five years to shared-cloud offering in cloud service providers' datacenters.

The streamlined Cloudline server family is the product of HP's server joint venture announced last year with Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group. The partners agreed to develop a new line of cloud-optimized servers specifically targeting the growing service provider market. HP also wants to leverage Foxconn's volume manufacturing capabilities as it targets emerging markets in Asia.

The new line of cloud services complements HP mainstay ProLiant server line, including its Moonshot servers.

HP said its new line of off-the-shelf servers is based on its Helion OpenStack approach, the open source cloud-computing platform. The Cloudline family is also being positioned as supplementing HP's recently announced Altoline network switches being produced through a separate joint venture with Accton Technology Corp., another Taiwanese manufacturer specializing in Ethernet switches.

The new switches are based on based on the Open Network Install Environment, giving customers access to Cumulus Network's Linux network operating system that is tuned to datacenter operations.

HP said the new switches would help service providers fine tune their network infrastructure to meet specific applications and workloads, thereby differentiating their service offerings.

The new server product line targets the computing requirements of the largest cloud and datacenter service providers. HP's pitch is that the Cloudline servers connected via the new network switches can help service provider achieve needed scale without breaking the bank.

HP's volume server approach aligned with a pair of high-volume Taiwanese manufacturers also provides the world's leading server vendor expanded access in the emerging Asian market. Lenovo, which acquired IBM's server business last fall, is also expected to focus heavily on the Asian server market as growth slows in other regions. The adoption of cloud services by Asian enterprises could help boost the prospects for the server competitors.

HP said it expects its Cloudline servers to be available for direct order on March 30. The servers will be offered only at "rack-scale," illustrating the server leader's desire to boost volume sales.

As part of its program geared to cloud and datacenter service providers, HP said a separate Service Provider Growth Suite, a datacenter maintenance package, along with a flexible capacity, "pay-as-you-grow" option are available now.