HP Chooses Intel's Centerton Processor For First Gemini Servers

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Hewlett-Packard said Tuesday that its first wave of Project Moonshot low-power servers, code named Gemini, will feature Intel's Atom-based Centerton processors.

When HP unveiled Project Moonshot last November, it touted its partnership with Austin, Texas-based startup Calxeda, which makes ARM processor-based servers. But for its first Gemini servers, which are slated to arrive later this year, HP is teaming up with Intel.

HP's Gemini servers work with server cartridges that are tailored for specific workloads. The Centerton cartridges will feature 64-bit support, error-correcting code memory and VT-x, Intel's hardware virtualization technology, which make them ideal for data center environments, Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager of HP's Hyperscale business unit, said at a press conference in San Francisco.

[Related: HP Intros Low-Energy Data Center Platform Based On ARM Servers]

Typical workloads for Gemini servers will be hosting, content delivery, analytics and distributed memory caching using technology such as Hadoop and memcached, according to Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel's cloud infrastructure group. "This is new way to address this part of the market," he said at the press conference.

During a Q&A session, Santeler declined to talk about specific features of the Gemini servers, noting that today's news was focused on the Intel partnership and Centerton, a 6-watt, 32-nanometer processor that is on track for production in the second half of this year.

HP and Intel are working together to tune Centerton specifically for Gemini servers, taking into account density of the underlying infrastructure and the frequency and power profile HP feels will be optimal for app workloads, Santeler said.

Santeler said the server cartridge design is HP's way of ensuring that the Gemini line won't become outdated and can keep up with the evolving needs of the industry. "We designed a server and server infrastructure that will be relevant for many years," he said.

HP's Project Moonshot Web is currently being hosted by one Centerton server, Santeler and Waxman said at the event. In HP's Discovery Labs, tests have shown it's possible to run 300 concurrent sessions on a single Centerton system -- or about 2,500 concurrent Web pages -- and to do this with a fraction of the power consumption of typical servers, the executives said.

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