The Internet is a wonderful thing, and possibly one of the greatest inventions we have come up with as a race. It is the repository of our collective knowledge, allows us to talk with family across the globe, watch shows that have long since faded from the airwaves and basically make magic happen wherever we may find ourselves. What most people don’t realize is that for every Facebook, Instagram, Gmail and Twitter out there, there are loads and loads of servers humming quietly in the background, making the magic happen. These servers require power, space, and other resources. So far, these traditional, general-purpose servers have been doing an okay job, but these servers, when scaled to our projected future needs, won’t be sustainable. By 2016, more server space will be needed amounting to about USD 20 Billion in build costs and eight to ten new powerplants will have to be built. That’s enough power for two million american homes. The current hardware just isn’t sustainable.
HP has seen this coming. They spent time, effort and research hours to develop Project Moonshot, the world’s first software-defined servers. These servers are tailor-made to handle highly specific tasks, and can therefore be constructed to be eight times more efficient, take up 80% less space , use almost 90% less energy than a general purpose server for the same task, and cost 77% less. This takes the modularity of the traditional racks to a new level, allowing one chassis to support up to 45 servers, with each one fully capable of doing that task for which it was designed. This also allows servers to be much more earth-friendly. HP engineers have calculated that replacing 100,000 traditional servers with the appropriate Moonshot devices is equivalent to retiring 18,000 cars.
The current generation of Moonshot servers are designed to handle Dedicated hosting, with subsequent variants tailored for analytics, telco services, gaming, FSI and FPGA tasks.
“With nearly 10 billion devices connected to the Internet, and predictions for exponential growth, we’ve reached a point where the space, power and cost demands of traditional technology are no longer sustainable,” said Meg Whitman, president and Chief Executive Officer, HP “HP Moonshot marks the beginning of a new style of IT that will change the infrastructure economics and lay the foundation for the next 20 billion devices.”
The HP Moonshot system consists of the HP Moonshot 1500 enclosure and application-optimized HP ProLiant Moonshot servers. These servers will offer processors from multiple HP partners, each targeting a specific workload.
With support for up to 1,800 servers per rack, HP Moonshot servers occupy one-eighth of the space required by traditional servers. This offers a compelling solution to the problem of physical data center space.(3) Each chassis shares traditional components including the fabric, HP Integrated Lights-Out (iLo) management, power supply and cooling fans. These shared components reduce complexity as well as add to the reduction in energy use and space.