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HP launches Moonshot for third platform

Software-defined servers designed for growing data centres

HP launches Moonshot for third platform
Jabi: We’ve reached a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable.

HP today unveiled its Moonshot system at an event in Dubai's Jumeirah Beach Hotel, in an attempt to address the space, power and cost constraints of modern data centres.

The new system is said to deliver "compelling new infrastructure economics" by using up to 89% less energy, 80% less space and costing less than 77% compared to traditional x86 servers, according to HP's internal bench tests.

Today's managed services shift has led to mega data centres that face restricted growth due to the current economics of traditional infrastructure, HP argued. HP Moonshot servers are claimed to be a first step towards addressing such constraints.

"With nearly 10bn devices connected to the Internet globally, and predictions for exponential growth in the Middle East, we've reached a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable," said Karam Jabi, Industry Standard Server Business unit manager, HP Middle East.

"HP Moonshot marks the beginning of a new style of IT that will change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the growth and development of the Middle East.

The new HP Moonshot system is the second-generation server from HP's Project Moonshot. This new class of server is built around the third-platform technologies of social, cloud, mobile and big data. HP Moonshot servers are built from chips more commonly found in smartphones and tablets, which allow servers to deliver reduced energy consumption and a high-density footprint, all at a significantly lower cost, according to HP.

The Moonshot platform consists of the Moonshot 1500 system and application-optimised HP ProLiant Moonshot servers. The servers will offer processors from multiple HP partners, each targeting a specific workload.

With support for up to 1,800 servers per rack, Moonshot servers occupy one eighth of the space required by traditional servers. Each chassis shares traditional components including the fabric, HP Integrated Lights Out (iLo) management, power supply and cooling fans. These shared components are designed to reduce complexity as well as add to the reduction in energy use and space.  

The first HP ProLiant Moonshot server is available with the Intel Atom S1200 processor and supports Web-hosting workloads. HP Moonshot 1500, a 4.3u server enclosure, is equipped with 45 Intel-based cartridges, one network switch and supporting components.

"We recognised several years ago the need for a new breed of high-density, energy-efficient servers and other data centre equipment." said Alexei Navolokin, regional market development director, Middle East, Intel.

"The Intel Atom processor S1200 product family delivers the world's first low-power, 64-bit server-class system-on-chip (SoC) for high-density microservers. The energy-sipping, industrial-strength microprocessor features essential capabilities to achieve server-class reliability, manageability and cost effectiveness. The data centre continues to evolve into unique segments and both Intel and HP continue to be leaders in these transitions and today's launch marks a new milestone in energy efficiency."

HP also announced a roadmap of workload-optimised HP ProLiant Moonshot servers incorporating processors from a broad ecosystem of HP partners including AMD, AppliedMicro, Calxeda, Intel and Texas Instruments Incorporated. 

Scheduled to be released in the second half of 2013, the new HP ProLiant Moonshot servers will support emerging Web, cloud and massive-scale environments, as well as analytics and telecommunications. Future servers will be delivered for big data, high-performance computing, gaming, financial services, genomics, facial recognition, video analysis and other applications. 

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