Menu
HP's Moonshot server now packs 64-bit ARM chips

HP's Moonshot server now packs 64-bit ARM chips

HP is offering the chips as one of the options on a server that can handle different architectures

It's been a long road getting there but Hewlett-Packard has become the first major vendor to add a 64-bit ARM server to its price list.

HP has added a 64-bit ARM chip as one of the options for Moonshot, a new type of server from HP that can accommodate different chip architectures to address specific workloads.

Customers can now buy Moonshot with Applied Micro's ARM-based X-Gene system-on-chip, in a server aimed at customers running web caching applications such as memecache, as well as high performance computing workloads that require high throughput.

HP is also offering a 32-bit ARM option from Texas instruments with an integrated DSP chip. That system is designed for processing complex data streams at high volume in real time, allowing for work such as hunting down fraud in e-commerce networks.

The ARM options join the Moonshot systems based on x86 processors that HP has already been selling.

ARM CPUs are more commonly used in smartphones and tablets, but proponents say their low power consumption makes them good for building servers that consume little energy and pack a lot of compute power in a small space -- the main selling points for Moonshot.

A few other vendors, notably Dell, have built 64-bit ARM-based servers for particular customers, but HP is the first big vendor that's selling one as a standard product. Customers can order the systems starting Monday and HP will ship them throughout October, said Gerald Kleyn, director of Moonshot R&D.

PayPal is using the X-Gene servers in production for data analysis, he said, and Sandia National Laboratories is using them for a high performance computing application that they'll discuss at ARM's TechCon conference this week.

HP first talked about putting ARM chips in Moonshot three years ago, but it switched gears soon after and the first systems, introduced last year, were based on Intel Atom processors. Soon after, its initial ARM partner, Calxeda, went out of business, partly because the ARM server market was moving too slowly.

It's taken longer than some expected for the 64-bit ARM servers to get to market, but many pieces have had to fall in place, including software that will run on the ARM architecture.

That software is still fairly limited, but that's OK since most companies will use them for specific tasks where the low power use and high density can pay off, Kleyn said.

The new Moonshot servers ship with Canonical's Ubuntu Linux pre-installed, as well as a stack of software from ngnix that includes memecache and other web programs, he said. IBM's Informix is also offered as an option - the only commercial database currently available for Moonshot..

HP is also giving developers remote access to 64-bit ARM systems in its labs so that they can develop more software.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, thinks ARM processors, as well as new system designs like Moonshot, have a lot of potential. Data centers are hitting capacity limits and they'll be forced to experiment with more energy- and space-efficient platforms, he said.

But they're not for any workload. "Moonshot is for people with very clear ideas about specific use cases," he said.

The new Moonshot systems pack a lot of compute power in a small space.

The chassis for all Moonshot systems is 4.3 rack units (7.5 inches) tall and can house up to 45 processor boards, or what HP calls "cartridges," with shared cooling, network, storage and other components to maximize density. Each cartridge is basically its own mini server.

The X-Gene cartridge, called the Proliant m400, comes with up to 64GB memory attached, as well as a small form factor SSD at 120GB or 480GB, and a dual-port 10 Gigabit network interface card from Melanox -- the first time HP has included 10GB Ethernet with Moonshot. An m400 Moonshot system starts at about $58,000, including 15 cartridges, one networking switch and three power supplies, HP said.

The m800 system using Texas Instruments' 32-bit Keystone based system-on-chip starts at $81,651 with 15 cartridges, one networking switch, 32GB of m.2 storage and 4 power supplies.

Both the m400 and the m800 are immediately available, HP said.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsHewlett-Packard

Featured

Slideshows

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel

​As the channel changes and industry voices deepen, the need for clarity and insight heightens. Market misconceptions talk of an “under pressure” distribution space, with competitors in that fateful “race for relevance” across New Zealand. Amidst the cliched assumptions however, distribution is once again showing its strength, as a force to be listened to, rather than questioned. Traditionally, the role was born out of a need for vendors and resellers to find one another, acting as a bridge between the testing lab and the marketplace. Yet despite new technologies and business approaches shaking the channel to its very core, distributors remain tied to the epicentre - providing the voice of reason amidst a seismic industry shift. In looking across both sides of the vendor and partner fences, the middle concept of the three-tier chain remains centrally placed to understand the metrics of two differing worlds, as the continual pulse checkers of the local channel. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable, in association with Dicker Data and rhipe, examined the pivotal role of distribution in understanding the health of the channel, educating from the epicentre as the market transforms at a rapid rate.

Educating from the epicentre - Why distributors are the pulse checkers of the channel
Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017

After Hours made a welcome return to the channel social calendar last night, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and resellers descending on The Jefferson in Auckland to kickstart 2017. Photos by Maria Stefina.

Kiwi channel reunites as After Hours kicks off 2017
Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel

Arrow Electronics introduced Tenable Network Security to local resellers in Sydney last week, officially launching the distributor's latest security partnership across Australia and New Zealand. Representing the first direct distribution agreement locally for Tenable specifically, the deal sees Arrow deliver security solutions directly to mid-market and enterprise channel partners on both sides of the Tasman.

Arrow exclusively introduces Tenable Network Security to A/NZ channel
Show Comments