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With the recent launch of it’s highly anticipated “Moonshot” server product line, hardware giant Hewlett-Packard hopes to revolutionize the server infrastructure manufacturing business. With over 10 billion devices already hooked to an expanding world wide web which shows no signs of slowing down, the existing server technology cannot hope to realistically match the exploding demand for data storage infrastructure in the near future. Designing and manufacturing bigger, expensive servers is no longer a feasible idea, due to space, power and cost constraints. Microservers like the new HP Moonshot offer a tantalizing alternative.

Microservers are compact, low-power servers designed with the objective of handling large volumes of individual tasks that need very little processing power, like handling static HTML elements on a high traffic website. They provide a cost-effective alternative to full-size servers that are more geared towards handling processor intensive tasks.

The first product unveiled by HP in their new microserver series, is the HP Moonshot 1500, a server enclosure loaded with 45 Intel Atom based CPU cartridges, with the necessary supporting components added on-board. The Intel Atom S1200, a very compact and power-saving model based on the x86 architecture, makes the 1500 perfect for web-hosting workloads.

The new server design from HP is geared towards delivering the most efficient service to a specific workload at the kind of massive scales that we are seeing at present with billions of devices accessing the internet at any given instant. To deliver this level of specialization, HP has developed a kind of “server ecosystem”, where multiple specialized processors or storage nodes (or cartridges as HP calls them) can be used.

HP plans to use the myriad x86 CPUs, GPUs, APUs, FPGAs and DSPs from Intel, AMD, Calxeda or Texas Instruments for the server cartridges on their ecosystems in upcoming Moonshot releases. There are also plans to incorporate ARM based servers in the near future. 

The current HP Moonshot 1500 box is a 4.3u server chassis, which when combined with the 45 Atom cartridges, translates into 450 server nodes per rack. And with each cartridge operating at sub-10W TDP, (compared to 90W-plus requirements of the high-end servers), the 1500 will consume approximately 90% less power, 80% less space and with a proportionate price decrease as well.

hp moonshot

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.