HP Integrity Server Buyer's Guide

As HP's high-end line, it is understandable that Integrity servers (including NonStop, which now falls under the Integrity umbrella) don't see nearly as much action as HP ProLiant. During the past year, the company made two major changes:

  1. The addition of the Integrity Superdome 2 to 32 socket server. This provides a boost in scalability, more choices in I/O and new online firmware update capability.
  2. The NonStop BladeSystem NB54000c.
HP's Integrity servers don't see nearly as much refresh action as its ProLiant line. This year, a new NonStop BladeSystem and Integrity Superdome means big changes for its high-end line.

"The NB54000c blade is the newest NonStop server. It provides availability, scalability and data integrity with the high performance," said Mike McNerney, director, server planning and marketing, Business Critical Systems, HP.

Let's review the various Integrity and NonStop models:


The HP Integrity server blades support the HP-UX, Windows and OpenVMS operating systems. It is possible to mix and match HP Integrity, HP ProLiant and HP Storage blades within the same BladeSystem c-Class enclosure.

There are three blades on offer:

The BL860c i2 is a a 2-socket, full-height blade server with up to 384 GB memory. It features four Flex-10 Ethernet ports. McNerney said it is a good fit for application-tier and transaction workloads, database, Java and technical computing applications. In addition, it meets telecommunication requirements with NEBS Level-3 certification.

The BL870c i2 Server is a 4-socket blade with up to 768 GB of memory and eight Flex-10 Ethernet ports. It is best for the database tier of multi-tiered enterprise applications, such as SAP and Oracle enterprise applications. It is also NEBS Level-3 certified.

The BL890c i2 is an 8-socket UNIX blade with up to 1.5 TB of memory and 16 Flex-10 Ethernet ports. McNerney suggested it be used for larger workloads, such as enterprise resource planning, CRM, BI and other applications with large shared-memory needs.

Integrity Racks

There are four entry-class Integrity racks in the one to four processor range.

The rx2800 i2 has a quad-core Intel Itanium processor (either 1.46 Ghz/16 MB or 1.73 GHz/20 MB) or the dual-core Itanium processor (1.6 GHz/10 MB). It has up to 384 GB of memory and runs the HP-UX 11iv3, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 for Itanium and OpenVMS v8.4 operating systems

"The rx2800 i2 is a versatile entry-class system for smaller or more remote deployments which meets NEBS Level-3 certification requirements," said McNerney.

The rx2660 comes with the dual-core Itanium processor (1.42 Ghz/12 MB or 1.66 GHz/18 MB) or a single-core Itanium (1.6 GHz/12 MB). It has up to 32 GB of memory and runs HP-UX 11iv3 and HP-UX 11iv2, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 for Itanium, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11, and OpenVMS v8.3 and v8.3-1H1 operating systems.

The rx3600 Server comes with a dual-core Itanium processor, up to 192 GB of memory and runs more or less the same OSes as the previous racks. HP recommends it for database and for applications which need high performance.

The rx6600 Server, on the other hand, is typically used as a platform for workload consolidation and virtualization. It comes with a choice of dual-core Intel Itanium processors, up to 384 GB of memory and the full range of OSes.

HP also offers two midrange Integrity racks which are generally used for multi-OS consolidation, scale-up, and high performance applications. The rx7640 comes with a couple of Itanium processor choices and runs the expected number of OSes. The rx8640 is a similar model with faster processors.


The Superdome family is the high-end of the Integrity line. Superdome 2 is the latest generation. It comes with a modular, bladed design, common components and standard racks.

All Superdome servers run on dual-core Intel Itanium (1.6 GHz) microprocessors. They are targeted at large enterprise application requirements and server consolidation.

"All Superdomes run HP-UX, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 for Intel Itanium-based systems, Linux and Open VMS," said McNerney. They scale from 16 to 64 processors and from 512 GB of memory to 2 TB."

There are three models. The Integrity Superdome 2-8s are the entry point machine. The 2-16s are the midrange, and the newest Integrity Superdome 2-32s offer increases in scalability, more choices in I/O and online fIrmware updates.

"The Superdome 2-32 socket, scales up, out and within to consolidate application tiers on common platforms while offering the same original functionality and capabilities of the Superdome 2, -8 and -16s," said McNerney. "Increasingly, Superdome 2 has been deployed to manage mission-critical workloads within private cloud environments. It is ideal for this market segment, particularly as a backend database engine."


HP Integrity NonStop systems are designed for the highest application availability. McNerney said they are used by financial institutions, mobile operators, global manufacturing companies, hospitals and public sector organizations. They scale from 2 to 4080 processors and from 16 GB to 194 TB of memory.

The Integrity NonStop NS2000 is the entry-class model. The NB50000c is next up in terms of scale. The newest member of the family is the NB54000c blade. Other NonStops available include the NS1200 (an entry-class, software fault-tolerant solution for emerging markets), the midrange NS14200 and the high-end NS16200.

"The NS16200 offers the highest application availability with absolute data integrity and linear scalability," said McNerney.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

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This article was originally published on Aug 25, 2011
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