LINUXWORLD: HP unveils new Linux servers, support

Hewlett-Packard on Monday unveiled new hardware and support for the Linux operating system, aimed at moving telecommunication industry customers from Unix to the open source alternative.

Gearing up for the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo this week in New York, HP will announce two Linux-based "carrier-grade" servers aimed at telecommunication customers for managing wireless networks or hosting networks that converge voice and data.

Both conform with NEBS (Network Equipment Building Standard), a set of telecommunication industry specifications, said David Snow, product marketing manager for carrier-grade servers at HP.

The cc2300 server includes two 1.26GHz Pentium III processors, 6G bytes of RAM, two PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) slots and the option of an AC or DC power supply. It measures 1.75 inches (1U, or 4.45 cm) high and 20 inches deep.

The cc3300 is 3.5 inches (2U) high and features the same hardware as the smaller version. Additionally, it has two AC or DC power supplies and six PCI slots. Both use Intel's 32-bit chips and run version 7.1 of Red Hat Inc.'s Linux distribution.

The two servers will go on sale Feb. 1, but HP said it has no customers to announce yet. Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica SA has deployed "hundreds" of Linux servers from HP, and Nokia is a customer of HP's Linux servers, Snow said. The transition to the new carrier-grade Linux servers for customers such as Telefónica and Nokia "will be fairly smooth," he said.

Although pricing for the servers was not announced, HP said it has extended its utility pricing plan to customers who run its Linux products. The pay-per-use pricing plan was previously available only for its Unix servers.

In January, HP released a Compact PCI blade server that also offers NEBS support and runs the Linux operating system. In addition, the company will take part in an industrywide effort to be announced later in the week to create a carrier-grade version of Linux, Snow said.

HP is also set to unveil Monday a beefed-up version of the x4000 workstation running Red Hat Version 7.1, aimed at customers involved in high-end digital content creation. The x4000 runs Intel Xeon processors at speeds of 1.8GHz, 2.0GHz and 2.2GHz. Dreamworks SKG, one of its customers using the high-end Linux workstations, is expected to join HP at its booth at LinuxWorld.

On the services front, HP announced it will begin offering outsourcing and consulting services for its Linux customers. It will also offer a standard migration service to move customers from various operating system platforms to Linux. The date of availability has not yet been released. is using HP Linux servers to host its Web infrastructure and migrated to the platform with HP's help. The Internet retailer claimed to have saved $17 million by moving to Linux. HP said it will formalize the migration service provided to Amazon and offer it to other customers.

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