IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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A New Era of Database Tech: HP New Zealand and Weta Digital
Mon, 13th Oct 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

HP recently announced the launch of its new portfolio of HP ProLiant XL230a Generation 9 (Gen9) servers that will help customers reduce cost and complexity, accelerate IT service delivery and enable business growth. With new technology features and workload-optimised design, the new server portfolio advances HP’s vision for compute, heralding a new era of data center technology.

The Gen9 line-up, based on Intel's next-generation processor, consists of 21 new servers targeted at specific workloads that will be introduced globally through fiscal year 2015.

Considering Gen9’s capacity for increasing speed of production, it won’t be a surprise to learn that the world’s first 400 production units of HP ProLiant XL230a Gen9 Apollo servers, a server designed for the High Performance Computing market, have already arrived in New Zealand, two months ahead of the global launch, and are being operated by Weta Digital.

Weta Digital were looking to expand their compute capacity in their Wellington data center, which currently has huge workloads on-the-go in order to meet critical production deadlines for The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies, the final instalment of The Hobbit trilogy.

HP worked with Intel to add the HP ProLiant XL230a Gen9 Apollo server solution to the early release programme so as to support Weta Digital, and upon their arrival and installation in New Zealand the servers went straight into production.

Keith Watson, Managing Director, HP New Zealand said: “We were delighted to be able to leverage our worldwide resources in order to get a great local result for Weta Digital, with Gen9 delivered and installed in record time.”

“This was particularly satisfying, as meeting the Weta deadline meant being one of the first off the block internationally, posing a logistical challenge for our team, especially as in this case we were also catering to specific requirements, at volume.”

Kathy Gruzas, CIO Weta Digital added: “In the visual effects industry, being able to render complex imagery quickly is essential. Productivity is closely tied to the ability to review work on fast turnaround and allowing artists the maximum number of iterations before the deadline.”

“At peak production we will render 50-100 TB of data overnight which means we need processing power that can scale flexibly and dependably with our needs.”

“We’re excited about ProLiant Gen9 because we’re seeing up to 30% better performance over our previous server generations, for 25% less power. That’s a real difference-maker for us.”

IT organisations – under increasing pressure to quickly and efficiently deliver more applications and services, as well as store and deliver exponentially increasing amounts of data while reducing costs – are constrained by traditional data center and server architectures. The new HP ProLiant Gen9 servers are designed to address these challenges, delivering flexible, scalable computing resources that are aligned to companies’ business goals.

“We’re always willing to work closely with our customers in order to get the right result for their business,” said Keith Watson.

“The combination of HP ProLiant Gen9 servers and HP Technology Services allows for the creation of bespoke solutions so that our customers can capitalise on compute innovations, and confidently move their traditional infrastructure to the New Style of IT. And, in this instance, we’ve certainly proved that distance is no barrier to access, with technology easily bridging the gap between the US and New Zealand.”

The new HP ProLiant Gen9 portfolio is a major delivery milestone in HP’s compute strategy, which addresses IT demands with a vast pool of processing resources that can be located anywhere, be scaled to any workload and is available at all times.

Designed to run modern workloads, enterprises will be able to support key business goals, such as delivering new mobile services to employees or customers in minutes, turning unique customer behaviour data into actionable insight in seconds, and capitalising on business opportunities in real time.

HP ProLiant Gen9 servers span all form factors – blade, rack, tower and scale-out—to give organisations the ability to:• Triple compute capacity and increase efficiency across multiple workloads at a lower total cost of ownership with design optimisation and automation.¹• Accelerate IT service delivery and increase infrastructure provisioning up to 66 times faster when combined with HP OneView converged management features that will be available later this year.²• Improve workload performance of business-critical applications up to four times to drive business growth with unique HP storage, memory and networking innovations.³

To learn more about how the HP ProLiant Gen9 server portfolio can help your organisation achieve its business goals, contact Nigel Owen, HP New Zealand Compute Business Manager at

1. HP internal comparison between HP ProLiant DL380 Gen9 vs. HP ProLiant DL380 G6.2. Based on anonymous customer results, including the “Achieving Organisational Transformation with HP Converged Infrastructure    Solutions for SDDC” report developed by IDC for HP, January 2014. HP Gen9 servers currently ship with Insight Control. Customers can purchase OneView today, but it is not compatible with Gen9 at this time. HP OneView will support Gen9 servers in late 2014.3. Based on HP SmartCache Performance testing done with equivalent controller in a controlled environment.