HP has launched its Moonshot server, the first software-defined server that uses 89% less energy, 80% less space and saves up to 77% of the costs.

The company believes the server is more than an update to the traditional server world, but calls it the first in a new class of data centre solution.

The need for such a server has been driven by a number of mega-trends that are driving business and computing, says president and CEO Meg Whitman.

“We  are living in a period of huge change,” she says. “There are very powerful mega-trends that are changing the way technology is bought, consumed and paid for.”
The new trends, she points out, are a new style of IT driven by social, mobile, cloud and big data.

“Think Internet scale, with billions of users and devices all around the world,” Whitman says. “And it’s not just about the phones and tablets that are connected to the Internet, but literally millions of devices, all contributing brontobytes of data that needs to be delivered anywhere any time, and personalised.”

Project Moonshot has been in R&D for the last 10 years, Whitman says, and will power the next step in creating the foundation for the next 10-billion connected devices.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice-president and GM: enterprise group at HP, says that, with this launch, the company is redefining the server market.

While 2011 saw the first Moonshot proof of concept, today’s launch is the first commercial server in what Donatelli says is a news eco-system and class of server.

“Moonshot address the energy, cost and complexity challenges that make today’s data centres unsustainable,” he says.

“There are already social and cloud organisations that operate up to 1-million servers – imagine where they will be in five years. And you have commercial financial services institutions that have tens of thousands of servers today – it is not inconceivable that this could jump to hundreds of thousands in the next couple of years.”

With the massive increase in processing power that the new world of cloud, big data and mobility requires, data centres have to move from general to highly customised server designs.

“This is where software-defined servers come in, and why we have made the investment in Moonshot,” Donatelli says.

The first server is available today, based on Intel processors. However, Donatelli says future servers will offer processors from a variety of different companies, including AMD, Applied Logic, Texas Instruments, Intel and others.

In addition, because Moonshot is not constrained by chip development cycles, Donatelli says HP will be able to launch new products at accelerated rates – up to three times faster than traditional servers. “This means our customers will be able to innovate faster as well,” he says.

Donatelli unveiled the new HP Moonshot 1500 Chassis, designed to support servers using mobile device chips, the 4.3U chassis shares management, networking, storage, power cords, cooling components, direct attached disk drives, and two network switches.

The chassis supports up to 45 hot-pluggable, efficient, extreme low-energy servers, each tuned to a specific workload.

In addition, he launched the HP ProLiant Moonshot Server, based on the Intel Atom Processor S1260.

This purpose-built server provides optimal results in a dedicated hosting environment and lets you generate greater revenue from a smaller footprint all while driving down your operational costs using low-energy processors and direct attached disk drives.