HP aims to make ARM servers mainstream

Summary:Project Moonshot consists of a lab, server development platform and ecosystem. If successful, HP will enable its customers to kick the tyres of ARM servers.

Hewlett-Packard has launched Project Moonshot, an effort that could make low-power ARM servers more mainstream. HP's obvious risk is that it could annoy Intel, a key partner for its Itanium effort.

Project Moonshot consists of a lab, server development platform and ecosystem. If successful, HP will enable its customers to kick the tyres of ARM servers. HP said in a statement that the server development program — the HP Redstone Server Development Platform — will use Calxeda's EnergyCore ARM Cortex processors.

HP noted that future Redstone servers will use Intel Atom processors and others. HP's Redstone servers are proof of concept today, but can incorporate 2800 servers in a rack (statement, backgrounder).

If this set-up sounds familiar that's because SeaMicro is taking a similar approach. SeaMicro uses Atom chips today, but ARM will be in play going forward. The result is the same: high-powered servers with low energy consumption.

For HP, Project Moonshot may be a way to diversify and bolster sales of its low-power servers. Intel will be a supplier, but not the only one in the low-power race.

HP plans to wrap its low-power servers into its converged infrastructure and green technologies. The promise is that customers can cut power while boosting datacentre capacity.

The components of Project Moonshot go like this:

  • The Redstone server platform
  • A lab that allows customers to experiment, test and benchmark applications on the Redstone server. The first lab will open in Houston in January with more planned in Europe and Asia
  • A program to allow partners to develop technologies to go along with Project Moonshot technologies. Initial partners include AMD, ARM Holdings, Calxeda, Canonical and Red Hat.

The risk here is that HP could strain its relationship with Intel, which has supported the company as it battles Oracle over Itanium support. ARM servers could prove to be a big threat to Intel's core business. On the other hand, HP needs to be moving ahead. Project Moonshot, a multi-year effort, is a step in the right direction.

Via ZDNet US

Topics: IT Priorities, Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Servers


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.