HPE launches the ProLiant RL300 Gen11, a server rack unit for Ampere Altra and Altra Max. Both processors run on Arm. The architecture has been gaining ground in recent years. HPE wants to join the ride.

HPE is no stranger to Arm. In 2020, the organization launched the Apollo 80, a server rack unit for the A64FX, an Arm processor from Fujitsu. The model is an oddity. Most rack units run on x86 processors. Not only at HPE, but in the offering of almost every manufacturer.

In recent years, Arm has been gaining ground. That’s why HPE is working on a successor to the Apollo 80. The system is almost two years old. In the meantime, Arm processors have made several steps.

Why Arm?

Most processors run on one of two architectures: x86 or Arm. The right choice depends on the workload. Typically, x86 is faster, while Arm is more energy efficient. The latter benefits cloud providers and customers. The lower the energy bill, the lower the prices.

Meanwhile, Arm is gaining speed. Cockroach Labs recently researched the fastest processors available in public clouds. AMD Milan (Arm) beat Intel Ice Lake (x86).

HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11

The new HPE ProLiant RL300 Gen11 runs on Ampere processors. The rack unit has several configurations. The most extensive configuration supports up to 80 Ampere Altra cores and 128 Ampere Altra Max cores.

The system allows up to sixteen DDR4 memory modules, totalling 4TB of memory. In addition, there’s room for ten NVMe SSDs (2.5 inch) and two M.2 SSDs.

HPE is not the first to design a rack unit for Ampere Altra. Several competitors preceded the org, including Foxconn and Wiwynn. The difference is that their rack units are designed for cloud providers. HPE has a different audience in mind.

Private clouds

The organization focuses on large companies with private clouds. Anyone in need of an on-premises Arm server for high-performance workloads is at the right address. The model supports HPE iLO, a familiar server management app. OpenBMC, the open-source alternative, is compatible as well.

Ampere claims that Altra processors perform two to three times faster than comparable models, but we take that statement with a grain of salt. Processor speed varies by server and workload.

The ProLiant RL300 Gen11 will be available starting in the third quarter of 2022. Prices are unknown. The model comes standalone, or as-a-service through HPE GreenLake.