HP's Moonshot Systems Will Feature a Range of Architectures

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HP's Moonshot Systems Will Feature a Range of Architectures

The first systems from HP will be powered by Intel's Atom S1200 "Centerton" SoC, but later this year, other models will roll out that will be powered by other platforms, including ARM's architecture and even Intel's Xeon processors.

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Project Moonshot Promises Performance, Efficiency

The systems will use 89 percent less power and 80 percent less space than traditional systems, while reducing complexity by 97 percent and overall costs by 77 percent, HP officials say.

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Density Is a Key Part of Project Moonshot

HP's Moonshot 1500 chassis can hold up to 45 plug-in server cartridges. The cartridges include a dual-core Atom chip, as much as 8GB of memory and up to 1TB of storage. The server cartridges share various components, including cooling, networking, power supply and HP's Integrated Lights-Out management software.

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For the Moonshot Systems, Size Does Matter

HP officials said they can fit 1,800 Moonshot servers in a rack. Such density and power efficiency are increasingly important for organizations dealing with such trends as big data, cloud computing or more mobile devices accessing the network.

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It's a Software-Defined Server

HP's Dave Donatelli, holding a Moonshot server cartridge, said the servers will be defined by the applications that run on them, not by their architecture.

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A Faster Server Release Cycle

By leveraging multiple chip architectures from diverse sources—from Intel and AMD to Calxeda and AppliedMicro—HP will be freed from the traditional 18- to 24-month x86 chip cycle and will be able to accelerate the rate it releases new servers by a factor of three.

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Project Moonshot Kicks Off With Intel

Intel's low-power "Centerton" Atom SoCs will be the first chips used in Moonshot servers. Later this year, Intel will release its next generation of Atom chips for microservers, dubbed "Avoton." In this photo, Raejeanne Skillern, director of cloud marketing at Intel, holds an Avoton SoC in her left hand and a Centerton chip in her right.

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ARM Is on Its Way

Even though the first Moonshot servers are powered by Intel's Atom, models running on SoCs designed by ARM and sold by its partners will begin appearing later this year. ARM and a number of its hardware and software partners were on hand at the Moonshot launch event in New York.

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AMD Is in the Mix

AMD also will play a role in HP's Project Moonshot. Not only does AMD offer its own x86-based Opteron server chips, but the long-time Intel rival starting next year also will make server SoCs based on the ARM architecture.

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Calxeda Was the First

Calxeda, which makes ARM-based server chips, was the first chip partner mentioned by HP officials when they first introduced Project Moonshot in 2011.

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Applied Micro and Its 64-Bit ARM Chip

Applied Micro was another ARM hardware partner at the HP event. The company has created a 64-bit ARM chip that not only has been tested by HP, but also by Dell, which also is looking into using ARM-designed SoCs for low-power servers.

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Marvell Aims Its Armada at Servers

Marvell's ARM-based Armada chips also are being looked at by HP and Dell.

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Texas Instruments and ARM

Texas Instruments has leveraged the ARM architecture for chips that run in a number of devices, from servers to storage systems to networking products.

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Linaro and Linux on ARM

Linaro was founded in 2010 by a number of tech vendors—including ARM, IBM and Texas Instruments—as a nonprofit organization whose goal is to enable engineers to create open software and tools for the ARM architecture. Linaro also was on hand for the Moonshot server launch.

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Major Linux Distributors Will Play a Role

Red Hat, SUSE Linux and Canonical, with its Ubuntu operating system, were among the tech companies in New York for HP's Moonshot event.