HP shoots for the moon with launch of new server

April 15, 2013 2:32 pm

The HP Moonshot server system delivers new infrastructure economics by using up to 89% less energy, 80% less space and costing less than 77% compared to traditional servers. With support for up to 1,800 servers per rack, HP Moonshot servers also occupy just one-eighth of the space required by traditional servers.

“From an HP labs perspective we’ve been working on a low energy server for around six years,” says Paul Morgan, HP’s EMEA Industry Standard Servers Manager for Hyperscale Business. “HP didn’t just wake up yesterday and say ‘we need a new low energy server, it’s been a long journey.”

“I’ve been like a very expectant father waiting for my baby to arrive,” he admits. “Now the waters have broken and my baby’s about to go to market”.

Morgan’s analogy smacks of the IT giant’s recent troubles and misfortunes, with many analysts even predicting an inevitable group break-up at some point in the near future. Moonshot is hoped to be a gamechanger for HP, as well as for the server space.

“Meg [Whitman – HP CEO] is really touting Moonshot as one of the keys to HP’s turnaround and comeback. We’re the largest IT company in the world and we certainly believe we’re the best manufacturer of IT infrastructure in the world. What we’re doing here is continuing to show to our leadership through innovation,” claims Morgan.

More than 20 years ago, HP introduced the first successful commercial UNIX server, the HP 9000 Series 840, as well as the first x86 server, the HP SystemPro. More than a decade later, HP was granted one of the first patents for blade server architectures. The company has remained the x86 server market leader for the last 16 years, or as Morgan phrases it; “number one for 67 consecutive quarters”.

Energy consumption a headache for Mideast firms

While HP’s Moonshot was officially launched last week at their glamorous London event, today saw the regional launch, along with associated keynotes and CIO seminars. What makes this new server system even more interesting for this market in particular is its energy saving ability.

As datacentre needs boom across the GCC, firms are struggling to meet the power demands for their racks, explains Karam Jabi, Industry Standard Server Business Unit Manager for the Middle East.

“When we go into a [Middle East] datacentre, they want to buy more servers but they can’t, simply because they can’t have enough power dedicated to the area. They end up consuming more area, taking racks to other locations in order to source the power,” he says.

“You end up over-occupying space with additional servers and waste both space and energy. This is a key issue for every GCC country and there is more focus now on power. It never used to be a discussion – I’ve been doing business here since 1996 – it never used to be an issue. Now every costumer, including the governments, are concerned about power consumption and cost.

Jabi estimates that for every $1 spent on server infrastructure, $4 is spent on facilities, namely power, management, cooling, and other associated administration. Slashed running costs are just as key as physical storage space. With the explosion of data-intensive trends, HP are well positioned to scratch the Middle East data itch.

“With nearly 10 billion devices connected to the internet globally, and predictions for exponential growth in the Middle East, we’ve reached a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable,” says Jabi.

“HP Moonshot marks the beginning of a new style of IT that will change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the growth and development of the Middle East”.