Server motherboards will also have support for 10-Gigabit Ethernet, which should move network traffic a lot quicker, Brookwood said. Data centers largely deployed 10-gigabit Ethernet at the backbone for incoming and outgoing networks, and then distributed data to servers through 1-gigabit Ethernet. Networking through 10-gigabit Ethernet has been available on a separate chip, but has not been widely integrated on the motherboard yet, Brookwood said.
"It's been talked about for years, but it'll be finally coming to fruition," Brookwood said.
Support for 10-gigabit Ethernet on the server will also permit unification of multiple physical networks with the ability to converge all network traffic into a single 10-gigabit Ethernet pipe. IT administrators will be able use hardware and software tools to partition network communication from traffic related to Fibre Channel over Ethernet, in which storage arrays talk to servers.
"With 10-gigabit Ethernet you're seeing an ability to go towards a more unified physical network architecture," Brookwood said.
Outside of throughput improvements, server makers are including sensors to track down and resolve hardware issues. HP is including 1,600 sensors in its new Proliant Gen8 servers to monitor systems and diagnose problems. HP's 3-D Sea of Sensors helps identify overutilized servers based on real-time location, power, workload, and temperature data. Workloads can be redirected accordingly to keep servers operating at peak efficiency, which helps reduce the manual labor involved in monitoring power and cooling. A set of technologies called Thermal Discovery Services tracks power usage at the rack level to improve airflow efficiency to cool servers.
HP announced seven new Proliant Gen8 rack, blade and tower servers, with starting prices ranging from $1,723 to $2,878 depending on configuration. The BL460c Gen8 blade server is targeted at the cloud and the DL360p, DL380p and DL160 are scalable servers targeted at multiple workloads including enterprise applications and cloud deployments. The Proliant SL230s and SL250s servers are targeted at workloads related to high-performance computing.
IBM also announced the new iDataPlex dx360 M4 rack server, which is already being deployed at the Leibniz Supercomputing center in Munich. The 2U rack server has warm water cooling abilities, and will be used to provide supercomputing services, IBM said. IBM also announced the 2U Systemx x3650 M4 and the 1U Systemx 3550 M4 two-socket servers which will start shipping on March 16. The company did not immediately provide pricing information.
Dell's new PowerEdge server portfolio includes blade, rack and tower servers that pack up to 768GB of memory and store up to 36TB of data. The PowerEdge M, R, and T series servers will be available worldwide, though a company official declined to immediately provide server prices.