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From an IT Perspective, You Earn Street Cred by Eating Your Own Dog Food

KristenReyes ‎09-04-2013 04:39 PM - edited ‎09-30-2015 06:58 AM

Guest blog written by Nigel Church, HP Servers


Making marketing proclamations that a solution is a good fit for an enterprise business is one thing—actually standing behind that claim by first testing it on yourself is another. Eating your own dog food, drinking your own champagne  - whatever you like to call it  - can often provide a wealth of information on the validity of the claimed benefits.  With this in mind, the internal IT group at HP couldn’t wait to get their hands on the new HP Moonshot server and create a test case using HP as the test subject.


From the domain, a conglomerate of several hundred applications, the team narrowed it down to two sites with the ideal content and traffic that matched the capabilities of the current shipping HP ProLiant Moonshot cartridge - which is based on the Intel® Atom 1260 processor. These consisted of's main gateway to HP’s web presence, as well as the ftp site where we all go to download driver updates.  These two sites account for about 300 million hits per day - a combination of one third browsing and two thirds downloading of drivers and updates.


The Moonshot installation was surprisingly easy and very low risk. Moonshot was installed alongside the existing legacy servers and load balancers routed the traffic across to the Moonshot server cartridges. With the Linux image already available, there was no need to change application code – Moonshot was handled just like any Linux server. “It’s just a cool package, 45 servers in that small unit; it’s a web hosters dream. You want to have as much capacity in a small form factor as possible because we need to server thousands of concurrent users, something that can handle a small amount of concurrent requests at the same time.” says – Volker Otto, Director for Platform Services and Automation of IT Infrastructure, HP.


So where do we stand today? We are well on the way to achieving the goal of handling 100% of the browsing traffic and 100% of our FTP site.


Moonshot is installed in all six data centers handling the proxy/cache layer using HAProxy load balancer and Varnish.  In one data center, we have in two more layers in production 1) Apache file serving and 2) a Gluster 7TB redundant file system. The results are very promising with 60% of the hits handled by the cache layer and the non-cacheable objects served by Apache layer. This configuration will be installed in the remaining five data centers, still in the same single Moonshot chassis! The next phase will be to establish a FTP server to serve the driver downloads and updates.

When the legacy servers are finally retired, we estimate we will use 94% less energy costs in 80% less space.


Want to learn more?  See what our customers and partners are saying and check out our technical white paper: Web Solutions with HP Project Moonshot


For even more details on Moonshot, visit


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