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HP launches new Z-series Workstations
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HP launches new Z-series Workstations 

Designed with an eye towards performance, reliability and innovation, the Z-series Workstations are optimized for use in various industries, including graphic design, media and entertainment, financial services, education, oil and gas, and healthcare.

The upgraded Z440, 640 and 840 desktop units feature increased memory and durability to handle projects of all sizes. The units are fully optimized for the workplace environment, and are equipped with Intel Haswell Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors, faster DDR4 memory architecture, and NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro Graphics solutions. Additionally, their increased memory capacity makes them ideal for Big Data operations, analysis and management.

“A lot of these (industries) have been hitting a wall from an I/O and graphics perspective,” said Jeff Wood, VP worldwide product management for HP’s commercial solutions business unit. “For example, if you think about the oil and gas (industry) doing seismic analysis, they’re gathering petabytes of data, and for them to be able to visualize this in real time requires that all that data be memory-resident. Now that we have a 1 TB and future 2 TB limit on the Z840, and the greater speeds of the DDR4 memory architecture, it’s going to be a huge plus for them.”

As more enterprises make the shift towards mobility, HP also introduced updated versions of its ZBook mobile workstations. Taking a cue from their first-generation predecessors, the ZBook 15 and 17 G2 laptops feature full-performance quad core Haswell Refresh CPUs, NVIDIA and AMD Professional 3D graphics, two Thunderbolt ports, increased memory and ODD support, and optional HP DreamColor displays.

Despite varying levels of interest in adopting cloud-based computing within the industry, the new ZBooks are cloud-ready, and can be easily integrated into cloud-reliant workplaces. This is a direct result of the performance of the previously-released Blade Workstations.

“We have customers that are anywhere and everywhere along the continuum of their interest in the cloud,” said Ron Rogers, VP of commercial solutions product development, business PC solutions. “Those that have extremely secure environments may not be as interested, but those who want to share information with their partners or centralize data in one place for access are more interested. We have had a lot of proof-of-concept with our Blade Workstations, and that’s where I think we’re working more directly on cloud and how we can integrate virtual and desktop workstations together.”

One key issue for many IT managers is being mindful of their operating budgets. The office-wide implementation of new workstations can often be costly. With that in mind, HP designed their new releases to be as cost-effective for businesses as possible while boosting employee productivity.

“It’s probably the safest investment they can make,” said Jim Zafarana, VP and GM of commercial solutions for HP’s PC global business unit. “Whatever your typical engineer or designer’s salary may be, if you can make that person (up to) 30 per cent more productive, the math gets really easy, and that’s just on a cost-recovery basis. The average price of a workstation across all (platforms) is probably around $2,000. If you can increase the productivity of a $50,000 (salary) person by 15 per cent, there’s a less than a year payback. That doesn’t even count the impact on your business. The impact as a productivity enhancer is nice, (but) the bigger impact is the business enabler.”

HP has worked alongside many of their top clients to ensure that the enhanced Z-series Workstations create the best possible customer experience within the commercial environment. Going forward, HP plans to continue to partner with component developers to create computing solutions that are in line with the demands of their customers and the various industries they serve, with a focus on enhancing data centre management.

“You’re going to see us continue to follow Intel, INVIDIA and AMD and be in time with the market when their refreshes come out,” said Wood. “You’re also going to see more interest in virtualization as (customers) try to manage more of the data centre-based computing, and mobile workstations getting thinner and lighter.”

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