Project Moonshot Intends to Create Energy Efficient Servers

Hewlett-Packard’s “Generation 2” Project Moonshot server is now available, based on the Intel Atom Series 1200 chip — also known as the Intel 64-bit Centerton chip. Project Moonshot’s overarching goal is to create compact, energy-efficient servers able to run workloads at a mere fraction of the cost of currently available hardware. Other versions that run chips from Calxeda, AMD, Applied Micro and Texas Instruments will follow.

HP executives call the new server a “software-defined server designed for the data center,” according to GigaOM“The new server puts 4,500 Proliant servers into one HP 1500 enclosure. Compared to traditional Proliant (DL-380) servers, this iteration uses 89 percent less energy, 80 percent less space and is 97 percent less complex than the former state of the art at 77 percent less cost.”

“HP Project Moonshot is a multiyear, multiphase program dedicated to designing extreme low-energy server technologies,” notes the HP site. “The project uses HP Converged Infrastructure technology to allow the sharing of resources — including storage, networking, management, power, and cooling — across thousands of servers while reducing power and cooling usage.”

Project Moonshot includes three elements: the HP Redstone Server Development Platform, the HP Discovery Lab, and the HP Pathfinder Program (details available on the HP site).

The Moonshot servers are based on HP networking, explained Mark Potter, VP and GM of HP’s industry standard server group. “This SDN switching is OpenFlow enabled so you can rapidly connect these computer architectures to any network,” he said, adding that HP is running 32- and 64-bit ARM-based Moonshot servers in its lab.

Given the rising trend of company’s making their own servers instead of relying on large companies to do so, it puts “traditional server vendors like HP, Dell and IBM in a tough spot,” according to GigaOM. “It’s good to see HP willing to cannibalize its existing products — if it doesn’t someone else will eat its lunch anyway.”

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