HP Unveils New Intel-Based Servers, Gains in Market Share

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Underscoring the company’s comeback after several tumultuous years, HP on Thursday unveiled a new generation of Intel-based servers designed to improve business outcomes, not just run faster and more efficiently than before.

The debut of the new ProLiant machines, the ninth generation of the company’s industry-standard office workhorses, comes amid news that HP is gaining share over rivals in the market for Intel servers, according to IDC. In the quarter ended in June, HP’s worldwide market share rose to 25.4 percent from 25 percent. The  gain may not sound like much, but it translates into millions and millions of dollars of additional server revenue for HP, which sold $3.19 billion worth of servers during the period.

In contrast to HP, IBM, which is selling its low-end, Intel server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion, lost share, as did Dell. IBM’s share fell 10.2 percent to 23.6 percent, while Dell’s share slipped 6.5 percent to 16.6 percent.

HP’s new servers, which the company says will “help customers reduce cost and complexity, accelerate IT service delivery and enable business growth,” should help the Palo Alto, California, computer maker continue its recent sever momentum. HP has positioned the new servers as a “a vast pool of processing resources that can be located anywhere, scaled to any workload and available at all times.” The marketing tact, of course, is HP’s nod to cloud computing, where more customer interest is focused. The servers “are optimized for convergence, cloud and software-defined environments,” HP said.

“No one can match what we are doing and what we have today [in our server line],” said Peter Evans, vice president of HP Servers Global Marketing.

From a technical standpoint, the new Gen9 servers feature, according to HP materials:

  • PCIe accelerators and HP DDR4 SmartMemory that increase compute capacity
  • Converged management across servers, storage and networking to enable a software defined enterprise
  • Faster setup, monitoring and firmware maintenance with reliable, secure and innovative embedded management, including UEFI and RESTful APIs for hybrid cloud environments
  • PCIe Accelerators, HP SmartCache and HP FlexFabric adapters that deliver improved performance

In an interview with Channel Partners, Chris Ogburn, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at HP, said HP’s new generation of servers offer more than raw throughput enhancements to partners and customers alike. Inside HP, he said, engineers and market strategists recognize that the server market is evolving. With a move toward cloud computing, partners and customers want different things from the servers they buy or leverage, he said. In particular, they want their investments to net gains in terms of measureable business outcomes.

A server alone cannot directly lead to improved patient outcomes in a hospital or to increased manufacturing yields at a car market. But the new Gen9 can speed deployment of new applications or crunch large pools of data more efficiently, leading to true, business gains.

“The conversation is around enablement today, or new applications and capabilities. IT leaders are being asked to deliver more agility to their organizations, and the Gen9 servers can help our partners have those conversations and produce those gains,” Ogburn said.

The new servers are scheduled to be available through partners beginning Sept. 9. Pricing will vary based on model and customer configurations, according to HP.

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