Moonshot to rise over NZ in June

Moonshot to rise over NZ in June

HP looks to improve its fortunes with servers optimised for single applications

Hewlett Packard announced it will ship the first of its Moonshot solutions in June, weeks after the brand made its global debut.

Moonshot is the name for HP's "software defined" server units, a rack of ProLiant server cartridges which run on Intel Atom processors that are normally found in devices. According to CIO magazine in the US, Moonshot's cartridge-based servers share infrastructure, eliminating redundant components, and are optimised to run a specific application.

HP claims the Moonshot servers will use up to 89 percent less energy, 80 percent less space and cost 77 percent less than traditional x86 servers.

The announcement was seen by CIO as part of HP's strategy to turn the company's recent fortunes around. The company's financial position had already showed signs of an improvement, when in February HP reported a better than expected quarterly result. And HP looks like it wants to keep the momentum up with its emphasis on software defined networking.

"Very powerful megatrends are forcing us to change the way technology is delivered, maintained and paid for ," HP CEO Meg Whitman said, according to CIO. "HP Moonshot marks the beginning of a new style of IT that will change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the next 20 billion devices."

The company is running its own website using the first application-optimised iteration of Moonshot, which Whitman says is expected to run "with the energy equivalency of a dozen 60-watt light bulbs".

Moonshot will start shipping to New Zealand in June, with the company expecting to roll out from 100 to 300 units here before the end of the year. Pricing for the first iteration begins at $78,015 for the enclosure, 45 HP ProLiant Moonshot servers and an integrated switch.

"A lot of HP resellers are service providers, either [for] SaaS or IaaS," says Nigel Owen, business unit manager for industry standard servers and software in New Zealand. "This is a tehcnology direction that will flesh out more, and may well suit those providers."

Owen says new iterations of the solution will roll out later in the year.

"At the moment it is for dedicated web hosting, but it will have Microsoft and VMware capabilities by the end of the year," he says. "It might not fit all our partners in the first iteration, but many of them will look at it again when the virtualisation iterations come out."

There is also an evolving set of resources and technologies that resellers in this space can use to optimise for very specific applications through two HP initiatives in support of Moonshot.

That includes the HP Pathfinder Innovation Ecosystem, a group of silicon vendors, operating system developers and ISVs "dedicated to the rapid development of new servers to support varied workloads", according to an HP statement. There is also HP Moonshot Concierge Services with support and consulting solutions for platform migration and energy efficiency.

"Depending on what the customers' applications are, they will work through the HP ecosystem to get their suite, particular application optimised by HP on the platform," Owen says. "From there it becomes scalable with the cartridges."

The solution differs from blade racks in terms of reduced energy consumption, thanks mainly to the use of smartphone processors, but it is optimised for a particular function, as opposed to traditional general purpose blades. HP will be selling the solution through Exeed and Ingram Micro in New Zealand, and direct to a small number of Tier 1 providers and customers, Owen says.

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