This morning, HP announced the immediate availability of two new server cartridges, the m710 and 350, for the high-density Moonshot server chassis system. Along with the two new hardware configurations, four application-specific solutions have also been introduced. The new application-specific solutions are application delivery, managed web hosting, video transcoding, and web infrastructure in a box. Each solution is designed to take full advantage of the hardware capabilities of the cartridges just announced.
For the m710, which is built around the Xeon E3-1284L v3 with built-in Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 (delivering four Haswell cores and the GPU in the same package), HP is providing an application delivery system with Citrix XenApp. XenApp allows virtual application delivery to multiple platforms, giving workers on any supported platform access to Windows applications in their own secure environment. XenApp is able to make use of the embedded GPU, simplifying the deployment of a large-scale virtual application infrastructure.
Also making use of the m710 and the latest Xeon architecture is video transcoding support. HP is pairing with Harmonic and Vantrix to deliver what it claims is 20 times more transcoded video streams per rack, when comparing Moonshot servers to standard equipment, along with an 80 percent reduction in costs and a 95 percent reduction in floor space in the datacenter. The transcoding solutions are also able to offload to the embedded GPUs.
For the m350 server cartridge, HP is looking at the high-volume user market that is suitable for use on 8-core Atom C2730 processors, Intel's second-generation 64-bit system-on-a-chip (SoC) product. With a server density of up to 180 servers per 4.3U Moonshot 1500 chassis, HP feels that it has the perfect solution for high-density managed hosting environments. This configuration offers the highest-density CPU core count from the HP Moonshot product line.
For the existing M300 cartridge, HP is now offering an all-in-one web-infrastructure-in-a-box solution. There are two specific product SKUs for this, as a reference architecture supporting either Canonical Ubuntu or Red Hat Linux. By default, the hardware comes with a year of support for Ubuntu, should the customer choose that platform; choosing Red Hat requires the customer to purchase support for the product.
More importantly, HP has worked out special pricing with the two Linux vendors that doesn't penalize the choice of the dense SoC model when compared to a single server with multiple CPU sockets. Since the pricing for most OS technologies is socket and not core based, there are many situations where multi-processor servers with high core counts would have a pricing advantage over the SoC model. HP believes that it has negated this advantage with the pricing model it negotiated.
Both the m710 and m350 are now available and shipping to customers. Complete details on the Moonshot family, including the latest hardware, can be found here (PDF).