HP Rolls Out Apollo, a New Family of Modular HPC Systems

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

HP's new line of high-performance computing (HPC) hardware can deliver up to four times the performance of standard rack servers in less space and using less energy, according to the company. The new HP Apollo HPC systems announced earlier this week, come in two models, the HP Apollo 6000 and Apollo 8000 for organizations with supercomputing requirements. 

HP Apollo 6000

The HP Apollo 6000 is an air-cooled system with ProLiant XL220a server trays designed for single-threaded applications. HP says it will deliver higher performance and use up to 60 percent less floor space than competing blade servers.

The HP Apollo 6000 System has a modular 5U chassis that will hold up to 10 trays with each tray containing up to two ProLiant XL220a servers. A single 48U rack will support up to 160 HP ProLiant XL220a servers. Each external power shelf will support up to six of the Apollo 6000 chassis (120 servers). The HP Apollo 6000 Power Shelf is rated at 2650W or 2400W and both are Platinum hot-plug power supplies.
HP Apollo a6000 Chassis. Image courtesy of HP.HP Apollo a6000 Chassis. Image courtesy of HP.
The ProLiant XL220A servers are powered by an Intel Xeon E3-1200 v3 series quad-core processor running at 3.7GHz (4.1GHz Turbo) and will support up to 32GB memory and up to 2TB storage per server. Each server has one GbE and one 10GbE network adapter, two PCIe, and two PCIe x8 Gen3 expansion slots, and uses HP's Integrated Light-Out (iLo) firmware for advanced power management. The servers support Microsoft Windows Server, Red Hat Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems. According to HP, additional compute and accelerator trays will be available soon.

"We are seeing up to 35 percent performance increase in our Electronic Design Automation application workloads. We have deployed more than 5,000 of these Intel Architecture-based servers, achieving better rack density and power efficiency, while delivering higher application performance to Intel silicon design engineers," said Kim Stevenson, chief information officer, Intel. 

HP Apollo 8000

The HP Apollo 8000 is a high performance system cooled by liquid and includes technology that protects the hardware against damage from the liquid. Because liquid cooling is more efficient than air cooling, the HP Apollo 8000 can pack more servers per rack compared to air-cooled designs. In the case of the HP 8000, each rack can contain up to 144 servers.

The HP Apollo 8000 system has a standard rack footprint and will hold up 72 trays, with each tray containing up to two HP ProLiant XL730f servers. The Apollo 8000 intelligent Cooling Distribution Unit (iCDU) rack includes dry-disconnect server technology to protect the hardware. Each iCDU rack supports up to four HP Apollo f8000 racks for a maximum of 320kW and managed by HP Apollo System Manager software. This is no lightweight as the system is weighing in at 2188 pounds before installation.

HP Apollo 8000. Image courtesy of HP.HP Apollo 8000. Image courtesy of HP.The dual socket ProLiant XL730f servers support the current generation of Intel Xeon E5-2600 series processors with support for future versions. The XL730f servers will support up to 256GB of memory along with future DDR4. Storage capacity on the server's single SSD is available in 80GB or 120GB capacities. Integrated network is for 1GbE per server or an InfiniBand ConnectX-3 Pro FDR Adapter kit. HP's Integrated Light-Out (iLo) firmware for advanced power management, HP Apollo 8000 System Manager, HP Insight Cluster Management Utility, and HP Advanced Power Manager software is included. The HP InfiniBand switch for Apollo 8000 is based on the Mellanox 36 port QDR/FDR10/FDR integrated leaf module.

The HP Apollo 6000 and 8000 are available for order from HP and channel partners now; pricing is available upon request.