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HP has long been the market leader when it comes to blade servers. According to IDC, blades account for 16.1 percent of server market revenue. For several years now, HP has owned close to half of the overall blade revenue via sales of its HP BladeSystem line.

HP ProLiant BladeSystem servers support the latest AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon processors, as well as Virtual Connect technology interconnect alternatives, Integrated Lights Out and embedded RAID controllers. The company also recently released HP ProLiant Generation 8 (Gen8) servers, which use the Intel Xeon E5-2600 processor family and the ProActive Insight Architecture to tightly integrate hardware and software while providing improved management and a greater degree of power control.

HP BladeSystem Gen 8 blades include the HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8, which HP calls the world's leading server blade. It is targeted at such tasks as transitioning the data center to the cloud. This two-socket Xeon E5-2600-based blades has up to eight cores per processor and as much as 512 MB of RAM. On the storage side, it deploys a mix of SAS, SATA and SSD drives, as well as PCIe 3.0 I/O expansion slots.

The HP ProLiant BL200c Server Blades, meanwhile, uses six core processors and up to 192 GB of RAM. At the higher end of the scale are HP ProLiant BL600c Server Blades. There are several versions, and each comes with a larger memory footprint. These blades serve as a good location for the deployment of a high volume of virtual machines, for database applications, ERP and CRM.

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