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Hewlett-Packard on Monday officially unveiled the first shipments of its high-density, low-energy-consumption HP Moonshot servers based on the Intel Atom S1200 "Centerton" processors and promised future versions based on a wide range of processors including ARM and AMD.
The new HP Moonshot servers mark a radical departure in how servers are architected, said Jim Ganthier, vice president of marketing for HP's Industry Standard Servers and Software group.
"One Moonshot rack is approximately equal to seven to eight racks of existing competitive or even HP ProLiant servers," Ganthier said. "And yes, I can compare them to a ProLiant DL380, the world's best-selling server today."
The commercial introduction of the first HP Moonshot servers made Monday a very exciting day, said Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and long-time HP partner.
"This is the next paradigm shift in servers," Baldwin said. "This is just the beginning. They have a lot of other modules that will plug in there. Some will have more power, more CPUs, all sorts of things. This will really differentiate HP from the major players out there with large-scale server environments."
Baldwin gave HP a "two-thumbs-up" on the introduction of the HP Moonshot.
"This is something [HP Enterprise Group Executive Vice President and General Manager] Dave Donatelli was really excited about back at the HP Global Partner Conference," he said. "I'm sure there's going to be a lot of positive reviews. We're going to definitely have them at our next Symposium end-user conference this summer. It will be the hot new thing."
HP in late 2011 first unveiled Project Moonshot as a way to build energy-efficient data center architectures, with initial demonstration systems and even a test cloud built using ARM processors from Austin, Texas-based Calxeda.
However, the first commercial shipments are based on the Intel Atom S1200 "Centerton" processors, which Intel unveiled in December. The Centerton processors are the first Intel low-power-consumption Atom processors to feature 64-bit support.
The Intel Atom S1200-based Moonshot servers use up to 89 percent less energy and 80 percent less space than traditional servers in large part because of their "shared everything" design, Ganthier said.
"HP has taken servers that shared little [and turned them] into servers that share everything, including cables, fans, power supplies, cable arms and switches," he said. "For a dedicated hoster, we put the power of 20 to 45 servers in 4.3U of rack space."
While servers do not ship in 4.3U form factors, Ganthier said the number is convenient because that is about one-tenth of a full rack, which measures 42U.