HPE Moonshot Review

The new architecture of interchangeable "boxes" allows for more customization and less environmental impact.

Originally posted in Spanish at http://mrtechpr.com/?p=105.

HP aims to create a new market niche for any corporate server with Moonshot system requirements. The servers are cheap, as the price is lower and is more efficient in its energy use. This provides HP with a major way to approach other companies and increase its customer base.

The Moonshot project consists of a series of servers, and their respective architectures, so that customers can assemble their data centers in a smaller space, and with a lighter environmental footprint. During a web-cast, a US company said its systems consume 89% less energy, take up 80% less space and  and are 77% lower priced than traditional servers with x86 architecture.

How does HP achieve these benefits? The new servers are based on SoC (System-on-a-Chip), or, in other words, it's the hardware that is in some smartphones and tablets, which leads to less energy and less space. In addition, the new architecture allows the system to have interchangeable Moonshot 'boxes' of servers, allowing greater specialization, but which still share resources. For example, if a customer requires more graphics power, you can design a server with a more powerful graphics card, as it is interchangeable, when your needs change. Therefore, you do not change the whole rack, but only the box.

Although the first version of Moonshot has Intel Atom processors, they are constructed to include AMD, AppliedMicro, Calxeda and Texas Instruments components.

For developers, the possibility of having different architectures and semiconductor suppliers is very important. Previously, when switching architecture, the software had to accommodate the new hardware. Now, it will be possible to simply change the 'box' so it has the right architecture.

For customers, the ability to have a box itself within a data center is desirable since the compatibility of one machine to another company is eliminated. HP said it is possible to assign each client, ensuring physical independence.

While all this sounds great, HP has a steep slope. Previously, servers and data centers were almost exclusively the domain of large companies such as Dell, IBM and HP. Now, several companies such as Quanta and Inventec build custom servers, and their customers do not have to pay the extra costs associated with larger vendors. In addition, many companies, such as Google, have decided to manufacture their own servers, which can also be a good choice.

Therefore, HP has to convince potential customers of the benefits of this new product. Everything looks to have a product superstar in hand: less energy consumption, lower cost, less space, scalable and customizable. However, with great potential gains, there is a big risk. HP, with Moonshot, has the opportunity to be the latest innovator.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
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