N-Class and A-Class Servers

The HP e3000 A-class server is small, fast and inexpensive. It offers up to 65 percent more performance than previous entry-level e3000 servers and is available with 110 or 140 MHz, up to 2-way multi-processing, and supports up to 8 GB of memory.

The N-class server is a fast, affordable, mid-range and high-end system with up to 35 percent more power than its highest performing predecessor -- the 12-way 997 server. It offers 220, 330, 440 and 550 MHz processors, up to 4-way multi-processing, and supports up to 16 GB of memory.

HP Press Release

Robelle Tests the New Servers

By Neil Armstrong, Robelle Senior Programmer
Neil Armstrong
In December 2000, I had the opportunity to test the new N-class servers on MPE/iX 7.0. These new N-class servers (and the smaller A-class servers) have the new PCI hardware, and much of the underlying IO layer has been re-written to support this new hardware.

I installed our test suites and ran all of our tests in a fraction of the time it takes to run our test suites in our lab at our home office in Surrey BC. This was done without changes to our software, a recompile, nothing.

In fact the NM version of our test suite typically takes 80 minutes on a 968 LX with no users. On the new N-Class server I was using the test suite took only 15 minutes.

This is a huge time savings.

I did some custom tests extracting 5Gb of data, sorting and outputting the data. While watching the process with Glance I saw IO rates exceeding 400 IO's per second. Previous to this testing, the highest rates that I saw on a customer's 997-4 way was approximately 95 IO's per second. The N-class testing was done with the files "fflushed" from memory to ensure that we stressed the IO subsystem as much as possible.

One of the most impressive tests was the reading and output of a 5Gb dataset, with the comparison a 10 byte key value using Suprtool's Table feature, with all 5Gb of data selected. It was done in 6 minutes 38 seconds. With the faster memory and processors of late the new PCI IO brings IO rates more in line or balanced with the system as a whole.

These were some of the fastest HP e3000 servers I have ever seen, and this new technology extends the performance curve beyond anything I had ever imagined for the HP e3000.

February 1, 2001

Unlimited Licenses on A and N-Class

Ron Seybold of the 3000 Newswire has written about the licensing on HP's new A-class and N-class servers. HP has pressed Reset on their pricing and now allows unlimited users on any new server.

Big Files in MPE/iX 7.0

3000 Newswire is reporting that the first release of MPE/iX for the new N and A class servers will expand the maximum file size from 4GB to 128GB. Originally, this was scheduled for a later release.

HP e3000 Advisor Quotes Robelle

The February, 2001 issue of the HP e3000 Advisor contains an article by Winston Prather called "Something to Shout About". In it he quotes Neil Armstrong of Robelle on his experiences testing Suprtool on the N class platforms.

Reaction to N-Class Servers

The new N-class servers get a boost from this article at searchHP.com. Debbie Goode, Director of Information Technology Services, at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., is quoted extensively on the value of their new N-class e3000 server, especially as it applies to education:

"The day we did testing, we hit it with the Web applications," said Goode, who joined the university in 1976 as an analyst and programmer. "You could easily bring down the 979 if you overburden it. The N-class kept going; we never did have to reboot it. It kept responding. Cameron bought its first 3000 in 1975. I came aboard here in 1976 and we are still using programs we wrote in the mid-1970s. And with all the upgrades we've had to do, there's was only one time we had to recompile every program," Goode said. "It's always just been a matter of doing a full backup, installing the new system and reloading. We've always been able to get up and going in a weekend. We've always been extremely pleased with its upward compatibility. It's given us a lot of value and where we are a state-funded college, we don't have a lot of money. (The e3000s) just don't break." .