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Are you running out of data center space? It may be time for a new server architecture: HP Moonshot

KristenReyes ‎04-08-2013 08:30 AM - edited ‎09-30-2015 06:55 AM

Guest blog writeen by Nigel Church, HP Industry Standard Servers


Why would you need a new server architecture?


Well perhaps you don’t. Those enterprise applications you are running are well served by HP ProLiant rack mount servers or BladeSystem.


But imagine this…you’re using an application platform, built in-house from open source software and designed to scale-out. The business never stops asking for new functionality. They tell you personalization and localization of the customer experience is the highest priority. It needs to work hard because the user base grows daily and you are installing 1U rack mount servers by the truckload and the facilities guy is telling you he can’t get any more power into the building.


So perhaps you’re thinking that scenario is reserved only for Facebook and Ebay. They are certainly deploying new applications and doing things that a few years ago we didn’t think were possible…and doing it at huge scale. But consider this nightmare scenario - maybe the company I just described is your competitor.


The changes in how we interact with cell phones, GPS as well as the growing number of sensors are profound. Today, powerful processors are embedded into almost every kind of device (smart and not so smart). Operating systems for such devices have become small and powerful enough to facilitate a wide range of functions and interactions—and in this day and age almost anything can be connected to the Internet. This revolution presents exciting new ways to drive market differentiation, deepen customer relationships, and deliver growth and profitability—forever changing how consumers and businesses interact.


Expect that phone call soon.


We are running out of data center space


Leading companies have figured out that the course we are on is not sustainable. They are desperately trying to find ways to serve their customer base while conserving space and power.


At HP we took a step back. We knew we had to think differently. (Note: this is not the first time we've done this.  Perhaps some of you remember SystemPro back in 1989?)


With the HP Moonshot System we are doing it again. We are launching a revolutionary new server designed for at-scale applications that are used by millions of users. 



What is HP Moonshot?


The idea is very simple. We speculated if we could use more energy efficient CPU’s that were more attuned to a particular application there could be a power savings, cost savings, and a space savings and that's really what moonshot is all about-- creating tailored servers for specific applications that are run at scale.


HP Moonshot uses ultra-low energy servers which are derivatives of devices created for laptops, tablets and cell phones, designed to run all day on a single battery charge, designed to be incredibly energy efficient.


One of the most innovative characteristics of Moonshot is the overall architecture. We took everything that is a common resource in a traditional server and moved it to the chassis. The power, cooling, management, the fabric, the switches and the network uplinks are all shared across 45 hot-pluggable server cartridges in a 4.3U chassis.


In effect everything is shared except the software defined portion of the design which is contained in the community of server cartridges: tailored and tuned for a specific application.


That is how we achieve incredible savings in power, space and cost.


But there is in fact more.


Moonshot accelerates the pace of innovation by a factor of 3X. Maybe it is sufficient to refresh your servers every three years for traditional business applications. But if you’re dealing with an increasing proliferation of these new types of at-scale applications, you need the latest innovative technology yesterday.


HP Moonshot is a processor neutral design which means we can support x86, ARM, 32 bit, 64 bit etc. etc. HP is partnering with the leading silicon vendors to quickly bring to market innovative technology targeted at specific workloads - emerging Web, cloud, and massive-scale environments, as well as analytics and telecommunications. Future servers are under development for big data, high-performance computing, gaming, financial services, telecommunications, genomics, facial recognition, video analysis, and more.


HP defined the industry standard server market and has led it for years. With Moonshot we have redefined the market and taken it to the next level.


The Moonshot journey has just started and I promise, it will be exciting, so I'd like to invite you to come along for the ride. 


If you'd like more information on HP Project Moonshot servers, the system and partner programs, please visit

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