HP claims ''FIRST'' with 64-bit ARM servers

One in the eye for Dell -- Project Moonshot adds new blade types


HP's customizable server chassis 'n' cartridge range is getting interesting. Now it offers a 64-bit ARM unit, optimized for Web cache and HPC workloads. HP claims it's the first top-tier vendor to sell such a beast from its standard price list.

In a related announcement, Bill & Dave's gang also have a 32-bit ARM unit, optimized for media transcoding, deep-packet inspection, and other workloads that like DSP hardware.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers run cool and quiet.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Shoot for the moon, you say? Aye, aye, says James Niccolai:

It's been a long road getting there but Hewlett-Packard has become the first major vendor to [sell] a 64-bit ARM server...as a standard product. ... Moonshot [is] a new type of server from HP that can accommodate different chip architectures to address specific workloads. ... With Applied Micro's ARM-based X-Gene system-on-chip, [it's] aimed at customers running web caching applications [and] high performance computing workloads that require high throughput.

ARM CPUs are more commonly used in smartphones and tablets, but proponents say their low power consumption makes them good for building servers. ... Customers can order the systems starting Monday. [They] ship with Canonical's Ubuntu Linux pre-installed, as well as a stack of software from ngnix that includes memecache and other web programs.

The chassis for all Moonshot systems...can house up to 45 [of] what HP calls "cartridges," with shared cooling, network, storage and other components to maximize density. ... The X-Gene cartridge, called the Proliant m400, comes with up to 64GB memory...a small form factor SSD...and a dual-port 10 Gigabit network interface card. ... An m400 Moonshot system starts at about $58,000, including 15 cartridges, one networking switch and three power supplies.  MORE

Yevgeniy Sverdlik is yas ot ouy rof ysae: [You're fired -Ed.]

Nearly three years after HP first...showed a prototype...server based on an ARM Server-on-Chip by now-bankrupt Calxeda, the company announced...availability of two models of ARM servers. [In addition to] the ProLiant m400...the ProLiant m800 is powered by a 32-bit ARM SoC by Texas Instruments and is more of a niche product, aimed at highly specialized workloads that can take advantage of [its DSP].

Cambridge, England-based ARM Holdings licenses its processor architecture to chip manufacturers. Its low-power chips power most of the world’s smartphones.

The m400 ARM...server has high memory bandwidth and high IO throughput, making it good at moving a lot of data into memory quickly. Caching applications, such as...memcached, perform well with such memory-optimized servers. ... A single Moonshot chassis packs 45 m400 nodes. Each [of which] carry an eight-core chip [and] consume 75 Watts at full speed and 42 Watts when idling.  MORE

Well, here's to you, Daniel Robinson. Stephen loves you more that you will know:

Available immediately, the new server cartridges represent the fourth "leap", or release of HP's Moonshot hardware. ... The m400 [ships] with Ubuntu Linux, which includes the Juju service orchestration tool and Canonical's Metal-as-a-Service (MaaS) tool for automatically provisioning bare metal servers.

The m800...is a little more exotic, comprising four separate servers, each based on a TI chip with four Cortex-A15 ARM cores and up to eight TMS320C66x high-performance DSPs apiece. [It] ships with software for transcoding and voice recognition processing that makes used of the DSP hardware.

HP's Moonshot platform is aimed at emerging workloads. ... The most popular niche so far has proven to be running hosted desktops, according to...Iain Stephen, Vice President and General Manager for HP Servers in EMEA...typically using the m700 cartridge which integrates four separate servers, each based on a quad-core AMD Opteron X2150 SoC. "This is a completely new way of doing computing, with a chassis with a number of processors in it for specific tasks."  MORE

Meanwhile, Patrick Moorhead contributes THIS:

This launch also represents the first enterprise-class shipment of a 64-bit ARM server [which] could deliver up to 35% lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for scale-out web tier/caching environments.

The key factor that will drive adoption of the ProLiant m400 cartridge for Moonshot or any other ARM-based servers will be whether or not they can deliver measureable value. ... For the majority of large scale datacenters, this value is measured [with] TCO. ... The ProLiant m400 for Moonshot offers 66% fewer racks for the same performance and identical infrastructure across tiers to help ease load balancing.

Moonshot is all about...customized hardware in a leveragable chassis for specific applications...versus homogeneous server computing. Don’t forget there are already Intel Atom CPU-based Moonshot cartridges for web tier, AMD-based APU (CPU+GPU) cartridges focused on remote desktop [and now] Texas Instruments-based DSP cartridges focused on certain real-time analytics and deep packet inspection. ... More choice in the datacenter is a positive sign for the industry and for enterprises.  MORE


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk. Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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