A Brief Look at ProLiant History
When someone mentions the history of Industry Standard Servers, it inevitably includes ProLiant Servers and Windows. These are two distinguished brands whose stories are prominently woven throughout the Industry Standard Server revolution along with many great American technology companies. As the industry has evolved, the corporate landscape has changed dramatically, and so has the Industry Standard Server
. One thing an analysis of its history proves is that producing great technology has not
success. It takes more than great technology to survive. The ability to adapt and change to meet the needs of the market is essential to survival, not only for technology
, but also for any business. In this
changing industry, ProLiant and Windows have not only
, but also have driven the industry forward,
the expectations of business with their capability to increase productivity through technological innovation.
The legendary heritage of ProLiant servers
in September, 1993, when Compaq announced the ProLiant 1000 as the first of a new brand of computer that would soon become a leader within the emerging Industry Standard Server category. At the time, many thought of x86 servers as toys that
no real challenge to the big iron of the day, but history
a different story. The Industry Standard Server category grew at an amazing rate. In just two
, Compaq grew to achieve the number one worldwide PC market share position and became the fifth largest computer company in the world.
ProLiant servers became a benchmark for quality and innovation as sales grew at record rates. The ProLiant 1000 was built upon the EISA (Extended Industry Standard Architecture) bus architecture with eight EISA bus-master expansion slots and one management modem slot. The system board had an integrated Fast-SCSI-2 controller and an integrated SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) video controller. It shipped with 16MB of RAM, expandable to 144MB on Pentium models using
SIMMs (Single Inline Memory Modules). The system included a
Ethernet controller and CD-ROM drive.
With its first ProLiant, Compaq would lead with new and effective technology. Compaq and another industry-standard leader, Hewlett-Packard, pioneered the 32-bit EISA bus architecture as an improved solution to ISA and IBM's proprietary Micro Channel Architecture.
After collaborating with HP, Compaq
to drive the Industry Standard Server category with industry partnerships championing standards and the development of new technologies for ProLiant.
The History of Innovation on ProLiant Servers
Innovation of new features and technologies are a hallmark of ProLiant. Maintaining continuity across the platform is also a mainstay of the platform that has simplified integration as technology moves forward, making upgrades and transitions easier year after year. This commitment to innovation is shown in this historical retrospective:
: SMP (Symmetrical Multiprocessor) architecture, offline backup processor with automated recovery, 2MB Transaction Blaster, Fast Wide SCSI, Advanced Error Checking & Correcting memory, SMART array controller, and Hot Plug
: PCI bus architecture, integrated Ethernet controller, integrated 1024 x 768 video, and Insight Manager.
: Integrated 32-bit Ethernet controller, standby recovery server, and online recovery server
: Pentium Pro four-processor capability, second generation SMART-2 array controller, integrated dual peer PCI bus architecture, redundant 10/100 Ethernet Network Interface Controller technology, redundant processor power modules, 4GB of memory, Error Checking & Correcting memory data bus and L2 cache, Automatic Server Recovery-2, Fast Wide SCSI 2, server health log, and Remote Insight board.
: Hot Plug PCI, 64-bit PCI, redundant Hot Plug power
, redundant Hot Plug system fans, redundant cableless SMART 3100ES array controller, integrated dual-channel Wide
SCSI-3, gigabit upgradeable Network Interface Controller, first 3U (U=1.75 inches) low-profile space-saving rack server, and small business tailored servers.
: 100MHz GTL (Gunning Transistor Logic) bus architecture, Fibre Channel Array Storage, Ultra2 LVD (Low Voltage Differential) SCSI, 100MHz FSB, and 3U rack server optimized for ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and corporate data centers the ProLiant 1850R.
: Profusion architecture introduced for eight-way ProLiant servers, integrated array controller, simplified package cluster systems, and Task-Smart appliance caching servers.
: 1U rack mount server with 133MHz front-side bus, dual integrated 10/100 Wake On LAN Network Interface Controller, 72.8GB drives, Ultra3 SCSI, and simplified ProLiant product line ML and DL servers.
: PCI-X, online spare redundant memory, Hot Plug tape drives,
SCSI backplane, Integrated ATA RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks), Advanced Data Guarding RAID, and Itaniaum 64-bit development server.
: Hot Plug mirrored and Hot Plug RAID memory,
servers, iLO (integrated Lights-Out) management processor, and integrated dual gigabit over
Network Interface Controllers.
: Two-processor and four-processor blade servers, 4U ultra-dense eight-way DL560 server, 2U ultra-dense four-way DL560 server, SMART array
generation controllers, Ultra320 SCSI, DDR RAM, 533MHz front-side bus, and CD-RW/DVD-ROM
2004 and beyond
: X-86 64-bit extensions extend the memory space of the X-86 platform beyond the 4GB memory limit with AMD Opteron and Intel EM64T Xeon processors, processor cache
4MB, and advanced blade servers enable space optimization and accelerate the rate and ease of adaptability, which
deployment and allows businesses to become more agile.
Along with technological innovation and updated feature sets, one of the outstanding attributes of innovation in the ProLiant platform has been the continuity of operations across the platform and ease of transition to new or updated features. SmartStart has been a standard since the first ProLiant, and although new features have been added over the years, the basic look and feel of operation and functionality are the same for each model of ProLiant server. This continuity of operation exists with SMART array controllers, Hot Plug drives, and other server functionality that simplifies operations across the ProLiant line and shortens the learning curve when IT staff transition to the new generations of ProLiants as technology is refreshed. This allows personnel more time to focus on business operations.
HP, Compaq, and the Evolving IT Industry
Throughout ProLiant history, many things have changed. Perhaps one of the most significant changes in recent history has been the HP/Compaq merger. As the ProLiant nameplate passed from Compaq to HP, two great heritages joined forces to continue the vision of the Industry Standard Server and the ProLiant
. As the new HP emerged, so did a new ProLiant team, founded upon decades of experience focused on the best total customer experience and innovation driven by customer demand. Tasked to create the building blocks for an adaptive enterprise, the ProLiant team continues working to push modularity, simplicity, adaptability, and automation forward.
HP's philosophy for moving businesses forward to a higher level of business agility is built around a strategy called the
Adaptive Enterprise (
. Historically business processes have been tailored to fit the IT platform and available solutions and have lacked flexibility, so change has traditionally been a complex,
, and costly process. The AE is HP's vision of an organization in which business objectives and IT are synchronized to easily manage and capitalize on change. AE is about helping lower IT-
costs while making IT flexible enough to deliver what business managers really need and want. It's about achieving a tight coupling between business and IT so that IT isn't an
to change. ProLiant servers will move forward with this strategy by providing the
to achieve a higher level of business agility at a lower overall cost. For more information on the AE, see the HP AE Web site (http://www.hp.com/go/adaptive).