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HP Moonshot server class leaves concept, to power commercial-grade internet of the future

HP Moonshot server class leaves concept, to power commercial-grade internet of the future
Ben Gilbert
Ben Gilbert|@RealBenGilbert|April 9, 2013 3:11 AM

We're all about the future of the internet here at Engadget, so you can imagine our excitement when HP today announced that it's shooting for the moon with its latest server system, the HP Moonshot. Promising significantly reduced energy consumption and space requirements, the Moonshot is HP's "second generation" server tech, and it's intended for use with "social, cloud, mobile, and big data," according to the company. In so many words, this is HP's attempt to get out ahead of where it sees internet use going -- it was first unveiled in concept form last summer, but now it's apparently ready for primetime. A video of the new tech getting introduced is just beyond the break.

Said servers are rolling out in 2013's latter half, and can be tailored to a clients' needs with specs from a variety of internals providers (AMD, AppliedMicro, Calxeda, Intel, and Texas Instruments are all specifically named by HP). All of this amounts to one thing: the information superhighway of tomorrow is being paved today, and we can't wait to take a spin. Here's hoping there'll still be plenty of stupid gifs.

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HP Launches New Class of Server for Social, Mobile, Cloud and Big Data
Software defined servers designed for the data center and built for the planet
PALO ALTO, Calif. - HP today unveiled the world's first commercially available HP Moonshot system, delivering compelling new infrastructure economics by using up to 89 percent less energy, 80 percent less space and costing 77 percent less, compared to traditional servers.(1)

Today's mega data centers are nearing a breaking point where further growth is restricted due to the current economics of traditional infrastructure. HP Moonshot servers are a first step organizations can take to address these constraints.

"With nearly 10 billion devices connected to the internet and predictions for exponential growth, we've reached a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable," said Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer, HP. "HP Moonshot marks the beginning of a new style of IT that will change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the next 20 billion devices."

HP innovation delivers less energy use, less space, less cost

HP has been the leader in defining next-generation computing platforms for decades.

More than 20 years ago, HP introduced the first successful commercial UNIX server, the HP 9000 Series 840, as well as the first x86 server, the HP SystemPro. More than a decade later, HP was granted one of the first patents for blade server architectures. The company has remained the x86 server market leader for the last 16 years.(2)

HP has continued to push the boundaries of technology and innovation by ushering in a paradigm shift that paved the way for the first "software defined" server that enables enterprises to optimize their servers based on specific workload needs. Built from HP's industry-leading server intellectual property (IP) and 10 years of extensive research from HP Labs, the company's central research arm, HP Moonshot delivers a significant improvement in energy, space, cost and simplicity.

Designed for the data center, built for the planet

The new HP Moonshot system is the second-generation server from HP's Project Moonshot. This new class of server is engineered to address the IT challenges created by social, cloud, mobile and big data. HP Moonshot servers are built from chips more commonly found in smartphones and tablets, which allow the servers to deliver reduced energy use and a high-density footprint, all at a significantly lower cost.

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

With support for up to 1,800 servers per rack, HP Moonshot servers occupy one-eighth of the space required by traditional servers. This offers a compelling solution to the problem of physical data center space.(3) Each chassis shares traditional components including the fabric, HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLo) management, power supply and cooling fans. These shared components 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 fully equipped with 45 Intel-based servers, one network switch and supporting components.

A growing ecosystem of industry leading technology partners

HP also announced a comprehensive roadmap of workload-optimized 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.

"Faced with constraints for energy efficiency and analytic compute capacity to support world-leading geosciences research, we absolutely require technological innovations from leading companies like HP," said Chris Hill, principal research engineer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and co-chair, Research and Education Subcommittee, Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing. "Innovations such as HP Moonshot are providing us with confidence that infrastructure can continue to scale out to support fundamentally insatiable requirements-all with less energy, a smaller footprint, increased integration and lower cost.

HP Information Technology has implemented HP Moonshot servers to support the hp.com environment, which receives approximately 3 million visits per day.

"Testing results show that with Moonshot servers we can expect to run hp.com, with the energy equivalency of a dozen 60-watt light bulbs, which is a game changer," said John Hinshaw, executive vice president, Technology and Operations, HP. "We also plan to deploy Moonshot for additional applications to lead the next wave of transformation in the data center."

Concierge services for the new era of extreme scale computing

HP also introduced an enhanced partner program and new services that will accelerate the pace of innovation in this new class of server. These include:

HP Pathfinder Innovation Ecosystem-includes nearly 25 silicon vendors, operating system developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) dedicated to the rapid development of new servers to support varied workloads.
HP Moonshot Concierge Services-includes the HP Discovery Labs and HP Technology Services support and consulting solutions for platform migration and energy efficiency.
Additional information about HP Moonshot is available at TheDisruption.com.

Pricing and availability

The HP Moonshot system is immediately available in the United States and Canada and will be available in Europe, Asia and Latin America beginning next month.

Pricing begins at $61,875 for the enclosure, 45 HP ProLiant Moonshot servers and an integrated switch.(4)

Clients can customize their HP Moonshot system acquisition with flexible financing and asset management solutions from HP Financial Services.

HP's premier America's client event, HP Discover takes place June 11-13 in Las Vegas.

(1) According to internal HP engineering that compares HP Moonshot servers with traditional x86 server technology.

(2) "IDC WW Q412 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker," March 18, 2013.

(3) Based on internal HP Lab research and comparative analyses.

(4) Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.

Intel is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance, market share or competitive performance relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by HP's businesses; the development and transition of new products and services and the enhancement of existing products and services to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the protection of HP's intellectual property assets, including intellectual property licensed from third parties; integration and other risks associated with business combination and investment transactions; the hiring and retention of key employees; assumptions related to pension and other post-retirement costs and retirement programs; the execution, timing and results of restructuring plans, including estimates and assumptions related to the cost and the anticipated benefits of implementing those plans; the resolution of pending investigations, claims and disputes; and other risks that are described in HP's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including HP's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2012. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2013 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

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HP Moonshot server class leaves concept, to power commercial-grade internet of the future