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The latest HP Proliant Moonshot servers extend the target market for these servers to include application delivery, video transcoding and managed web hosting environments.
October 24, 2014
Most data centers today are dominated by general-purpose x86 servers, so getting IT organizations to consider other options can be a tall order for anybody. And yet, most data centers are fundamentally inefficient in both the physical space they require and the amount of energy they consume.
To address that issue Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) created its line of HP Proliant Moonshot servers, which make use of a system-on-a-chip (SOC) architecture to reduce the physical size of the data center environment by several orders of magnitude. As part of that effort, HP extended the HP Proliant Moonshot lineup to include new offerings based on Intel processors that are aimed at specific classes of application workloads.
Rather than trying to replace every x86 server, Moonshot's general use case will be around a set of well-defined application workload categories, said Susan Blocher, vice president of Marketing and Business Development for HP Moonshot.
In addition to the big data analytics and web applications HP has already identified, the latest HP Proliant Moonshot servers extend the target market for these servers to include application delivery, video transcoding and managed web hosting environments.
Developed in partnership with Citrix (CTXS), the HP Moonshot platform for application delivery is based on the new HP Moonshot ProLiant m710 server, which makes use of the Intel (INTC) Xeon E3-1284L v3 processors that come with a built-in Intel Iris Pro Graphics P5200 processor. By eliminating the need for discrete graphics processor cards, the platform reduces the cost of delivering virtual applications using a platform that is much smaller than racks of general-purpose servers.
The transcoding platform, meanwhile, combines media management software from Vantrix with the HP Moonshot m710 to provide a more cost effective way to process ultra-high definition video.
HP also unveiled HP ProLiant m350 server based on a 64-bit Intel Atom C2730 processor for Web applications that can deliver eight cores per server, or 180 servers per 43u rack. Those systems complement a portfolio of HP Proliant Moonshot servers based on ARM processors HP announced last month.
Solution providers, Blocher noted, need to shift their thinking from classes of processors to what types of application workloads lend themselves to different classes of server architectures. While HP Proliant Moonshot servers don’t address every type of application workload, in the areas HP has identified as HP Proliant Moonshot opportunities, those servers are very difficult to beat in both price/performance and total cost of ownership, Blocher said.
Of course, most IT organizations don’t really think in terms of application workloads just yet, which presents a challenge for both solution providers and HP. But as density becomes more challenging to manage in the data center, HP is betting that for certain classes of workloads the HP Proliant Moonshot servers will provide a value proposition that is too compelling to ignore.
Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.
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