Volume 4, Number 12 -- April 3, 2007

HP Does an Athlon-Opteron Tower Server for SMBs, Too

Published: April 3, 2007

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

As part of a larger set of announcements to do just about everything for small and medium businesses except pay their bills, Hewlett-Packard last week announced its first tower server aimed at small and medium businesses that is based on processors from Advanced Micro Devices.

Like a conceptually similar tower server aimed at SMBs that was launched by server wannabe Gateway last week, HP's ProLiant ML115 server uses an AM2 socket, which means it can support Athlon and Opteron 1000 series processors that are designed for single-socket motherboards. In this case, like the Gateway machine, the ML115 can use the single-core Athlon 64 3500+ processor running at 2.2 GHz or the dual-core Opteron 1000s running at from 1.8 GHz to 2.8 GHz. In both cases, the single core Athlon option is there to push the entry sticker price down to $499. That is, by the way, $100 cheaper than the initial configuration of the Gateway box and the smallest ProLiant ML100 that HP itself sells; that machine supports Intel's single-socket Celeron and Xeon 3000 processors. Which just goes to show you that the server racket is absolutely a volume game.

The ML115 comes with 512 MB of DDR2 main memory, expandable to 8 GB. It uses up to four SATA or SAS disk drives, but they are not hot plug, and comes with an integrated controller in the motherboard's BIOS that supports RAID 1 mirror or RAID 5 data protection. The server has an integrated Gigabit Ethernet card and has a Lights-Out 100c remote management card as an option (for $219). The ProLiant ML115 also has an x16 PCI-Express slot, which means enterprise-class peripherals can be plugged into it, should companies want to add external storage arrays.

By adding in real server features, HP is trying to get people to buy servers and not use desktop machines instead. "We do see a lot of customers using desktops as servers, and there are issues with doing this in terms of reliability and features," says Krista Satterthwaite, group marketing manager for HP's Industry Standard Servers division.

That $499 price tag gives you a ProLiant ML115 with the Athlon 64 3500+ processor, 512 MB of memory, and a single 80 GB SATA drive. Moving up to a dual-core 1.8 GHz Opteron 1210 processor, 512 MB of memory, and a 160 GB SATA drive pushes the price up to $729. With a dual-core 2.2 GHz Opteron 1214, 512 MB of memory, a 72 GB/15K RPM SAS disk, and an eight-port host bus adapter for SAS drives, the machine costs $1,329. The ML115 supports Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 and its SBS variant for small businesses, Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 4, and Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and NetWare 6.5.


Gateway Adds Entry Opteron Tower Server, Windows NAS Arrays

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
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