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HP Announces First ARM Servers: Project Moonshot

By - Source: HP | B 17 comments

HP has begun using ARM processors for a new server platform called Redstone, which will become available in the first half of next year.

HP Project Moonshot ARM

Project Moonshot is the first product to leverage this platform and integrate "more than 2800 servers in a single rack." As expected, HP will be using Calxeda Energycore processors, which draw as little as 1.5 watts per dual-core unit. Down the road, HP said it wants to use Intel's Atom processors for its Redstone platform and indicated that it is interested in using other ARM-based products as well. However, Intel is currently not a Moonshot partner; the listed companies are ARM, AMD, Calxeda, Canonical and Red Hat.

To introduce Redstone, HP will pen so called "Discovery Labs," which will enable customers to test their applications on actual servers. It is a similar idea HP already had back in 2001 when it opened testing facilities for its customers in Palo Alto. The first Discovery Lab will be in Houston and go into operation in January of next year. Additional labs will be offered in Asia and Europe in the future.

HP said that its Redstone servers will consume 89 percent less energy and 94 percent less space than traditional data center installations. These servers will also be about 64 percent cheaper, the company said.

HP Discovery Lab Project Moonshot

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  • 0 Hide
    Device Unknown , November 2, 2011 10:16 PM
    Total Win their.
  • 1 Hide
    Parsian , November 2, 2011 11:01 PM
    Question: Can you do all the task you could do on an x86 on an ARM?
    Or Is ARM just can handle a subset of instructions can be developed base on need and usage?

  • 1 Hide
    JeanLuc , November 2, 2011 11:02 PM
    Good old ARM CPU's just goes to show that Britain still invent great things from time to time.

    AN ARM based server is long overdue, I'm guessing its the software that has held it back but with it's low power draw demand for low powered servers was eventually going to force the market to break away from the same old Intel and AMD based x86 options.
  • 1 Hide
    Device Unknown , November 2, 2011 11:03 PM
    Well, sure. Providing the software supports it's instruction set. With windows 8 being ported for it, that will solve that problem. Linux supports it. No games that i know of, except ones made for linux. But if ARM is entering the desktop scene, expect their to be developers flocking to it.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 2, 2011 11:11 PM
    Parisian: ARM only needs an ARM compiler, and the source code to the application, not much of anything is hand written in assembly language anymore.

    Being that real men run Linux on their servers, as evidenced by the whopping 90%+ marketshare Linux has on web servers and supercomputers, this shouldn't be a problem. Unless of course, you're a 2nd rate corporate developer fretting about how to run your crappy ASP.NET website, but nobody cares about them anyways.
  • 1 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , November 2, 2011 11:37 PM
    Nice ! ARM shows that no matter how attentive, a monopoly(Intel) always fails to innovate. It's like asking the gazelle to run faster if there is no tiger following. I bet Intel will get its act together 5 years from now. It is hard to tell if the Juggernaut will fall to lower earth (having to compete for once) or will it be able to retool without falling from #1 spot.
  • 1 Hide
    alidan , November 2, 2011 11:39 PM
    ParsianQuestion: Can you do all the task you could do on an x86 on an ARM?Or Is ARM just can handle a subset of instructions can be developed base on need and usage?Thanks

    from what i understand, x86 is more complex, arm is less, x86 gets more done per clock, but eats power like nothing else. arm can get enough done per clock to be relevant, but it also uses such low amounts of power that thats where it saved money, i believe that you could but 6 quad core arms into the same power foot print of one x86, they may be less powerful stand alone, but more powerful together.

    hard for me to explain.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2011 1:07 AM
    Sigh! The issue is not the ISA (instruction set architecture). The issue is what a particular chip is designed to do. AMD just came up with two new core designs. One Bobcat, is designed for as little as one watt per core, and implements the full AMD64 ISA. The other Bulldozer, is designed for higher power per core, currently aimed at 10 to 20 watts/core.

    You all know here that Bulldozer has gotten panned for all the wrong reasons. Are there some right reasons for panning it? Yes, but the fact that it takes an "eight core" Bulldozer chip with four modules to compete with an Intel four core chip with Hyperthreading is about terminology. Both chips run eight threads at once, so if you care about throughput not single-thread performance they are equivalent. If you do care about single-thread performance, look at the 2 module (four core) chips, which since they run in the same power envelope, allocate twice the wattage to each core. (Or you can turn two modules off in the BIOS, just like you can turn off Hyperthreading.)

    Back to Bobcat. AMD is selling one part with no GPU and superlow power draw, but it does not have server features like virtualization and ECC memory support. Apparently AMD is working on an SoC (system on a chip) version of Bobcat that will include these features. However, I don't expect it to show up before next year.
  • -3 Hide
    memadmax , November 3, 2011 1:22 AM

    But can it play crysis?
  • 0 Hide
    mcd023 , November 3, 2011 2:10 AM
    did those things not even have fans on the heat sinks? wow. I'm sure they're not the top performers, but they definitely hit a big area of the market. Very impressive. they fit 72 servers where they would've had four.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , November 3, 2011 2:33 AM
    ParsianQuestion: Can you do all the task you could do on an x86 on an ARM?Or Is ARM just can handle a subset of instructions can be developed base on need and usage?Thanks

    Arm is a simple/basic chip design which has traditionally been aimed at the low power market (cell phones, GPS, etc). The nice thing about them is that they run super low power, and super low heat compared to the workload of an equivilant x86 processor. Now it will take several ARM chips to do the load of one x86 processor, but even with all of the extra cores it is still in a lower thermal/power envelope which makes them very interesting for the server market where the cost to run the thing is just as important as the up front cost of buying it. and let us not forget that less heat means less power, less noise, less strain on temperature sensitive parts, and given the ridiculous parallel nature of this design I am sure it can eat through large chunks of heavily threaded data very quickly. Also, due to the simplicity of the design, the chips are relatively easy and chap to produce, which puts them at a more competitive price point compared to traditional server processors.
    Here are the problems with it; Nothing big is designed for ARM architecture. This means new software and new bugs to deal with. it will not always be a problem, but there are always going to be growing pains when moving to a new platform. Intel's Atom proc is (according to intel) going to be wattage competitive with ARM on a processor level. What intel is not saying is that Atom still requires a separate north bridge to interface with the world around it, while ARM has everything built in (thus the meaning of 'system on a chip' which Atom is not). Traditionally the chip sets bundled with Atom processors take nearly as much power as the processor itself, which simply defeats the purpose of the thing. If Intel were to employ the same technology on its chip set, then this would not be a problem, but I would be surprised if they did this any time soon.
    Lastly, Intel is on the verge of developing some amazing 'many core' CPUs which would have something along the lines on 80 cores on one chip. The tech looked impressive on the demo at their last conference, but there is no word on when these chips would become available. it could give ARM a run for the money though if it is released soon.
    As a traditional Intel/x86 fanboy I am actually glad to see Intel having to fight a battle somewhere. I am not saying they have been stagnant, but AMD has simply not given them a real reason to keep moving forward. Perhaps competing with ARM will finally make 8+ core processors a reality in the near future.
  • 0 Hide
    DjEaZy , November 3, 2011 3:59 AM
    ... with the right software, it could 'explode'!!! And software will be the key... and it's interesting, how things develop... there was rumors, that in the future apple will go ARM in laptop's... and windows 8 will be arm compatible... nVidia haz the tegra platform, that can utilize GPU too... AMD announced a partnership with ARM on OpenCL... all this story's can be found in Tom's... there will be use of x86 CPU's, because of the transition, but... it seams... when the software matures on ARM, the winners from that will be ARM, of course, nVidia and AMD with the GPGPU stuff...
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , November 3, 2011 5:36 AM

    Thanks a lot for the answers. I just realized, my crappy HP touchpad (:S i probably touched it wrong :D ) messed up my last sentence structure while i was submitting the question.
  • 0 Hide
    larkforsure , November 3, 2011 8:15 AM
    [ Begging for helps ] Complaint about Human Rights Violations by IBM China on Centennial

    Please Google:

    Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China
    How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media
    IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial
  • 0 Hide
    climber , November 3, 2011 10:47 AM
    I guess you could say HP gives a real shot in the ARM to servers. *sorry if double posted*
  • 1 Hide
    mavroxur , November 3, 2011 1:24 PM
    Wow, and I thought redstone was mostly useless.....

    /minecraft reference

  • 0 Hide
    CyberAngel , November 4, 2011 1:10 AM
    and the CPU power per core is 0,1% of x86-64 Haswell