HP confirms ARM server plans

That talk about HP quietly working with a Texas startup on ARM-powered servers wasn't just idle speculation. HP confirmed those efforts yesterday, announcing not just an upcoming ARM-based server development platform, but also a "multiyear, multi-phased program" that includes a "customer discovery lab and partner ecosystem." 

HP's Redstone server development platform. Source: HP.

The program is named Project Moonshot, and HP code-names its development platform Redstone. Here's the skinny on the hardware:

The HP Redstone Server Development Platform is the first in a line of HP server development platforms that feature extreme low-energy server processors. Initially incorporating Calxeda EnergyCore™ ARM® Cortex™ processors, future Redstone versions will include Intel® Atom™-based processors as well as others. HP Redstone is designed for testing and proof of concept. It incorporates more than 2,800 servers in a single rack, reducing cabling, switching and the need for peripheral devices, and delivering a 97 percent reduction in complexity.(1) The initial HP Redstone platform is expected to be available in limited volumes to select customers in the first half of next year.

HP says Project Moonshot will help make data centers more power-, space-, and cost-efficient. It expects "select workloads and applications" to consume "up to 89 percent less energy and 94 percent less space, while reducing overall costs up to 63 percent compared to traditional server systems."

Initial Project Moonshot partners, who "contribute hardware, software and technical expertise," include ARM, Calxeda, Canonical (the folks behind Ubuntu Linux), Red Hat, and... AMD. It's not clear exactly what role AMD is playing, but HP's associated whitepaper mentions modified AMD SimNow simulation software.

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