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HPE claims new gen-10 ProLiants have more mem persistence, more secure server firmware

Will they live up to the promise, though?

HPE today announced its generation-10 ProLiant servers – claiming they have better security and more persistent memory and manageability – while, like Dell, saying nothing much about the coming Skylake server CPUs from Intel.

Instead it’s majoring on a new security feature, terabyte levels of persistent memory, a pay-as-you-go business model and better manageability.

The security feature is at the firmware level, with an iLO (integrated lights out) offering made from custom HPE silicon and iLO firmware. The aim is to repel firmware attacks and stop servers executing compromised firmware code. HPE says the iLO chip has an immutable fingerprint in the silicon, which prevents servers from booting up unless the firmware matches the fingerprint.

It calls it “silicon root of trust” protection, and it includes encryption and breach detection technologies and is complemented by HPE supply chain security and HPE Pointnext security assessment and protection services. HPE claims no other server supplier offers this level of security.

The company has two software items for the gen-10 ProLiants:

  • Server management software product OneView 3.1 to “transform compute, storage and network into software-defined infrastructure.”
  • Intelligent System Tuning benefits from a partnership with Intel for Xeon Scalable Processors.

OneView 3.1 has composable storage capabilities, improved firmware management, extended support for a broad range of HPE compute platforms, and support for new composable ecosystem partners including Mesosphere DC/OS.

Mesosphere and HPE have set up a strategic alliance which includes joint engineering and a reference architecture.

The tuning offering will feature modulating frequency (jitter smoothing), increased performance (core boosting), and tuning of the server to match workload profiles.

Gen 10 ProLiants will have Scalable Persistent Memory. This looks like an update on HPE’s existing Persistent Memory, understood to be DRAM backed up by flash in a non-volatile DIMM form factor.

It will have terabyte-scale capacity running at memory speeds. HPE claims it will deliver the fastest persistent memory in the market at scale. For example, there will be 20-times faster restores, based on comparing restoring a Microsoft SQL Hekaton in-memory database with SSDs versus restoring with HPE Scalable Persistent Memory.

The pay-as-you-go options enable customers to scale server resources up or down and only pay for what they actually use.

HPE’s composable infrastructure Synergy systems will use gen-10 server modules in, for example, the 480 and 660 models. They will have 25/50 Gbit/s Ethernet connectivity and a 2.8x increase in direct-attached storage capacity.

The tenth-generation of ProLiant servers, Synergy Compute Modules and HPE Converged System will be available this summer. ®

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