HP revamps blade server line

Hewlett-Packard Co. last week unveiled the next generation of its blade server systems, which add improved management capabilities and technologies from its NonStop fault-tolerant line.

The new product line is the result of a three-year development effort that stemmed from HP's expectations that users will increasingly rely on blade technologies.

HP user Sodexho Alliance DS agrees with that notion, expecting that the technology will eventually spread through its IT operations. The Montigny le Bretonneux, France-based food-service company runs a data center in Buffalo, N.Y., that houses some 300 Intel-based Windows servers, 25% of which run on HP's current p-Class blades.

Later this year, the company will begin a gradual migration to the new c-Class servers announced last week, said Kevin Galvin, Sodexho's information services and technology director of LAN services.

Ultimately, he said, Sodexho hopes to replace all of its rack-mounted servers with blades. Galvin said the blades should lead to "significant labor savings, because we're trying to automate things."

The company also expects that the blades will one day let it virtualize its Windows operating system environment, which Galvin said should further cut Sodexho's IT equipment and software costs.