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.

Comments closed
    • Rectal Prolapse
    • 8 years ago

    For some reason, I keep thinking this should’ve been called Project Rimshot.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 8 years ago

    I wonder if this isn’t pay back for Itanium.

      • pogsnet1
      • 8 years ago

      It is… HP is angry for discontinuing the Itanium. HP is Intel only server and no other, now they started doing non x86 compatible thing, kinda moving away. They can use Xeons if they like but since they hate doing what Intel wants them they will work on Intel’s enemy instead. ARM is a threat for x86 compatibles if few people see that, 10 years from now they might go head to head and has the possibility to dethrown Intel monopoly who is so busy killing all its compatible out of business.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    HP has been too distracted figuring out redstone wiring to deal their business.

    • sschaem
    • 8 years ago

    “select workloads and applications” == not CPU bound applications

    Those servers are most likely just dumb HTML pushers, and are only good at that.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]just dumb HTML pushers[/quote<] Yeah, that's only, what, 80% of the market?

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 8 years ago

        Well those markets are already served, what’s the point of buying a new system that does what your current system does?

          • willmore
          • 8 years ago

          OMG, really? Every web server that’s ever going to sell has already been sold? Wow! How did I miss that headline? <sarcmarc>

          If you take a second to read up on this, You’ll see that they offer both an equipment cost and a power cost advantage over existing server designs. Now, we’ll have to see someone (say, Google) take a swing at using these in a real application before we drink the flavoraid, but this kind of hardware hardly comes as a suprise. Such boxes have been predicted (and anticipated) for some time now.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      They are fine for file/mail servers as well. There are plenty of server uses that do not require raw processing power.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      How many things are CPU bound? The highest end CPU platforms emphasize memory bandwidth above all else. HPC is shifting increasingly to GPGPU.

      And almost everything remaining is [i<]cost[/i<] bound.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        Yep, just to underscore that: Cost of equipment and ongoing costs such as power and maintenance. That latter is where fewer switches, cables, and cabinets come in. Not to mention floor space.

    • pogsnet1
    • 8 years ago

    Just because Itanium has been discontinued now they ditch Intel.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      Hardly; [i<]hp[/i<] (unlike Dell) has always been a strong proponent of 'value' and 'choice' for consumers/customers (hence their reasonably extensive offering of AMD-based systems). The reality is that Intel doesn't have anything directly comparable to ARM right now. I'm sure when the new 8-core Atoms are available in 2013, you'll see [i<]hp[/i<] systems with them, too.

        • willmore
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, that’s why they killed off all of the Alpha machines when they aquired Compaq in favor of their in house PA-RISC design–which is/was vastly inferior. What was the choice they gave us in ’98-’99 when they wouldn’t even sell us a service contract for our HP made Alpha boxes? I’ll give you a hint, we were told to go do some thing that sounds like ‘duck’ to our selves.

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    Redstone? Will they have Minecraft branded models?

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      Those of us old enough will always equate the name ‘Redstone’ with ‘cheap American rip-off of German V-2 rocket’

        • Deanjo
        • 8 years ago

        Well while Redstone was essentially a copy of the Nazi V-2 for the most part, it was not ‘cheap’ by any means.

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          Are we talking cost or engineering?

          EDIT: although I cannot find a reference for it now, I remember hearing that Alan Sheppard’s Redstone actually used ‘original manufacturer’ (i.e., Nazi) graphite control vanes because the American-made ones were [i<]still[/i<] (15 years later) not as reliable.

            • Deanjo
            • 8 years ago

            In both cost and engineering. While the Redstone copied many items from the V-2 but also carried many improvements over the original (inertial navigation, separable warhead, several improvements to engine design). These improvements lead to an overall success rate of 53% on the Redstone vs the V-2’s 20% success rate.

            • drfish
            • 8 years ago

            I LOVE where this conversation went. 🙂

            • dpaus
            • 8 years ago

            OK, I’ll reserve the ‘cheap copy’ cracks for the Juno, then 🙂

            Those interested in the fascinating stories of U.S. rocket development immediately after the war will enjoy reading about [url=http://www.v2rocket.com/start/chapters/backfire.html<]Operation Backfire[/url<]. There's a [i<]huge[/i<] amount of information available at [url=http://www.astronautix.com/index.html<]Encyclopedia Astronautica[/url<] too.

            • destroy.all.monsters
            • 8 years ago

            That’d be real interesting if true. It’d be interesting to see why that was as well. I hope you find linkage.

        • rootbear
        • 8 years ago

        Redstone is part of my childhood, growing up in Huntsville, AL. I know my father worked on Apollo and he probably worked on the Redstone too. I’ll have to ask him.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      That’s what I was thinking too.

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