HP to start selling Atom-based Project Moonshot servers next quarter
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) will ship its first low-power server for hyperscale computing environments next quarter, said CEO Meg Whitman. Designed around a new Intel Atom chip known as Centerton, Project Moonshot is positioned as an alternative to traditional server designs based on x86 Xeon processors. And at a power-sipping six watts, it consumes a mere fraction of the power used by the latter.
At the company's earnings call on Thursday, Whitman said: "We expect this to truly revolutionize the economics of the data center with an entirely new category of server that consumes up to 89 percent less energy, 94 percent less space and 63 percent less costs than our traditional x86 server environment."
The reduced power consumption is expected to reap enormous dividends. According to Whitman: "To put in that perspective, if just 10 large web services providers switched their traditional x86 servers to Moonshot, they could save a combined $120 million in energy operating expense and nearly one million metric tons of CO2 per year."
To be clear, Moonshot servers are not designed with traditional enterprise applications in mind, and will require applications that are specifically written for them. According to Computerworld, programs that fall into this category are expected to be web applications and big data software such as Hadoop.