Datamation readers jumped behind Hewlett-Packard Co.’s ProLiant BL20p
server blade and easily propelled it into first place in the Server Hardware
category for our annual Product of the Year competition.
Dell’s PowerEdge 400SC finished second in the category, while IBM’s eServer landed the bronze.
The ProLiant BL20p server’s reliability and ease of management make it a
favorite of its corporate users. And that’s saying something since blade
servers haven’t always been known as tools for the big enterprise.
Those days are gone, says Raymond DeCrescente, chief technology officer of
the Albany, N.Y.-based The Capitol Region Orthopedic Group, a medical
practice and surgery center with 200 users and about 22 servers.
”We’re getting ready to take our practice into a paperless, all-digital
environment,” says DeCrescente. ”When I take on that kind of
responsibility, I’m looking for a product I can rely on, a service I can
rely on, an architecture I can rely. It has to offer me backup and
failover, and an all-over reliable system.”
DeCrescente, who runs Windows 2000 on his front end and back end, installed
nine ProLiant BL20p blade servers about four months ago. They are the
application servers for the company’s critical medical management systems.
That system handles business applications, surgery center applications and
soon will handle the Electronic Medical Records systems.
”These systems are the heartbeat of our business,” says DeCrescente. ”I
have to have a very scalable, reliable system. These servers are highly
scalable at less cost. They’re self-managing and self-healing. They’re
”We’re trying to keep constant uptime for the sake of our business and our
patients,” adds DeCrescente.
The winner of this year’s award is one member of HP’s larger ProLiant family
of blade servers. Unlike the ProLiant e-class, which is known more for its
power and space efficiency, the p-class is built to give high performance
and high availability to enterprise applications.
Product of the Year Stories
Anthony Dina, HP’s worlwide business development manager for blade systems,
says the BL20p, which is designed for medium and large businesses, is
focused on ease of installation, remote management and energy conservation.
DeCrescente says he didn’t stumble upon any surprises when he deployed his
nine new servers. It was, he says, an easy installation. The only
difficulties evolved around learning the new technology.
”It took us a little bit to get used to how you manage blades,” says
DeCrescente. ”It’s a little different. You don’t have separate servers and
monitors. The networking is neater. It’s all integrated… Once we
acquainted ourselves with them, we wouldn’t go back.”