HP Partners: Excited About Moonshot Servers, Not So Much MicroServer Gen8 Servers

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HP's Donatelli also used his HP Discover keynote to promote the upcoming HP Moonshot modular server line as an alternative to traditional servers, including other HP servers, for use in Internet data centers and other areas where high performance, low-power consumption and flexible configurations are important considerations.

The server industry is expected to sell about 10 million new servers in the next three years, requiring the building of 10 new power plants just to provide the energy those servers will need, he said.

"So what you have to do is re-invent what a server is and can do for all you want to do," he said.

HP has done so with the Moonshot with its modular capability based on cartridges that can be configured with different processors and even pre-configured with specific applications.

HP's initial Moonshot server, which is currently available, features the Intel Atom processor, which allows up to 450 servers per rack, Donatelli said.

Future plans include the release of modules based on x86 processors with GPUs, Texas Instruments processors with digital signal processors (DSPs) and 64-bit ARM processors. Some of those modules will be pre-configured with big data, high-performance computing, gaming, financial services, genomics, facial recognition and video analysis applications.

"The idea here is, these servers will get increasingly powerful. ... It's all about matching the server to your application to get the right combination of performance, power and cost," Donatelli said.

Camera Corner's Lemke said Moonshot looks very interesting, but he is not sure it will fit his customer base yet because for now it appears targeted mainly at large Web farms running the Linux operating system.

"In our area, enterprises have application servers, VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] servers, but not a lot of Linux-based Web farms," he said. "But it will be interesting to see what happens as HP comes out with new modules."

Chris Case, president of Sequel Data Systems, an Austin, Texas-based solution provider and HP partner, said he expects Moonshot to be a real player in the telco and cloud provider market.

"It will be interesting to see how HP works with partners on this," he said. "This is a game-changer for HP."


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