Feeds

HP fuels second-gen Moonshot servers for April 8 launch

Rocketing into the clouds and elite data centers with hyperscale iron

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The next-generation of HP's "Project Moonshot" super-dense servers for hyperscale data centers, code-named "Gemini", are being prepped for their long-awaited launch next Monday.

HP has a lot a stake with Project Moonshot, not the least of which being the viability of high-volume server manufacturing for big data-center operators who want minimalist and compact server designs, and who do not want to buy plain-vanilla HP ProLiant, Dell PowerEdge, or IBM System x rack machines with all their extraneous features.

Among other things, Moonshot aims to make it less appealing for customers to go to Taiwan and have companies like Quanta build custom motherboards and systems, or to embrace the Open Compute Project's open source hardware. (Although Moonshot and Open Compute are not necessarily incompatible as ideas go, it seems unlikely HP would open source whatever intellectual property it has come up with for the Gemini machines.) Moonshot is also trying to steal some bespoke server business away from Dell's Data Center Solutions unit.

The first-gen Moonshot servers, dubbed "Redstone" after the rocket that carried NASA's Mercury capsule on suborbital flights, were based on Calxeda's EnergyCore ECX-1000 ARM server processors and their integrated switching. When HP disclosed the Gemini follow-ons last June, it said that the Redstone machines were experimental, "focused on the development market," as Paul Santeler, GM of HP's hyperscale business unit, put it.

This no doubt irked Calxeda a bit, which does not think of its initial ARM server processors with their integrated networking as a development platform, but rather something suitable for certain kinds of production workloads in the cloud.

No matter. HP was hinting about its future designs and committing to the fact that Intel's dual-core "Centerton" Atom S1200 server chip would be the first engine used in the "server cartridges" that snap into the Gemini chassis.

As El Reg reported a month ago, there is chatter that Moonshot server nodes are under development by Texas Instruments using its KeyStone II ARM server chips, which marry ARM cores and digital signal processors into a very powerful and compact hybrid computing element.

HP is dealing with a lot of different loads with the Moonshot effort,
and hopefully there is some pay associated with them

It stands to reason that Calxeda ECX-1000 and future processors due later this year will be embedded inside of Moonshot boxes, too, as well as various x86 processors and perhaps additional ARM chips from AMD and Marvell. HP is not saying at this point, but what seems clear is that HP needs for Moonshot to be a more open platform than ProLiant ever was.

For now, HP is keeping mum about the announcement event, except to say that CEO Meg Whitman and Enterprise Group general manager Dave Donatelli will be hosting a webcast next Monday at 11 am Eastern to go over the latest Moonshot machines and, presumably, to talk about real feeds and speeds and the business potential of the new servers.

HP has been pretty vague for the past year and a half, and it's about time for it to start talking about real products. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.