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HP aims for low-energy computing

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cloud computing? server technology? data center? energy use?

Emerging web, cloud computing and hyperscale environments are seen to consume enormous amounts of energy. Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (HP) Project Moonshot is the company's initiative to get around that problem and to take low-energy data center computing to the next level, the company stated.

HP sees a future in power-efficient data centers powered by the kinds of power-sipping computer chips used in smartphones and tablets. As such, the company is working on a server technology that cuts complexity, energy use and costs, according to a description at HP's website.

As people and businesses switch to using software as services hosted in the Internet 'cloud,' demand is rising for data centers with tremendous or 'hyperscale' capacity to handle the tsunami of digital information.


HP's Project Moonshot will develop low-energy data center technologies.

"The volume of data processed in financial markets has increased exponentially, and traditional scale-up or scale-out architectures are struggling to keep up with demand without vastly increasing cost and power usage," noted Niall Dalton, high frequency trading director at Cantor Fitzgerald L.P, a global financial services firm evaluating the HP technology.

HP is making Redstone servers built with ARM chips used in mobile gadgets and combined with 'converged infrastructure' technology that spreads word loads across thousands of machines.

"Companies with hyperscale environments are facing a crisis in capacity that requires a fundamental change at the architectural level," said HP hyperscale business unit VP, Paul Santeler.

Moonshot provides a server development platform along with a lab for customers and partners.

HP expected its new data center approach to reduce energy consumption for some types of workloads by as much as 89 percent while requiring less space for equipment and cutting costs up to 63 percent.

Critics question whether mobile gadget chips have the strength for data center needs, noting that software must be carefully crafted to divide workloads or risk overwhelming processors.

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