[LINK] HP servers, 91 kilowatts to 9 kilowatts

Frank O'Connor francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Thu Nov 3 00:09:10 AEDT 2011

Sounds cool. From experience only the most demanding database and other industrial strength applications really thrash and test servers and CPU's, other than that they can do what they do fairly efficiently using relatively few cycles (with an efficient process handler for the OS - LINUX was ideal from Day One for this. Couldn't believe what that kernel could do so well, even on the old '286 and '386 architecture!)

I sort of lost respect for HP hardware during the late 80's and early 90's when I tried to repair a few of their PC's  ... and found that the non-standard card slots and memory SIMM slots meant I had to buy really expensive HP cards and memory to do the repairs. I never recommended another HP PC purchase again, and actively worked to see them out of any area I was in - anybody that desperate to lock you in to overpriced spares and parts isn't someone you want to do business with. (They never figured in the home market, presumably because the low margins didn't suit them.)

Aside from that their hardware was pretty good quality, but pretty average performance.

Hopefully they've learned their lesson.
On 02/11/2011, at 11:05 PM, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:

> H.P. Builds Servers With Cellphone Chips
> By QUENTIN HARDY www.nytimes.com  November 1, 2011, 5:35 pm
> Hewlett-Packard announced on Tuesday a new design for some of the world‚s 
> largest computer centers and says it could reduce power consumption in 
> some cases by 90 percent.
> The design, called Project Moonshot, replaces the conventional 
> microprocessors used in computer servers with the kind of chips used in 
> cellphones and notebook computers. 
> These mobile chips, which have usually run on small batteries, are 
> designed as power misers, shutting down some inessential tasks and 
> slowing others when placing calls or reaching the Web.
> It is, for now, a specialty service for perhaps 50 of the world‚s largest 
> online companies, said Paul Santeler, the manager of H.P.‚s hyperscale 
> business. „Believe me, they‚ll all be kicking the tires‰ on the new 
> offering, he said. „For a Web architecture with tons and tons of users, 
> where all the growth is, it makes a lot of sense.‰ 
> The world is adding 7,000 computer servers a day, he said, most of them 
> for Web activities like social networking and watching video.
> The new design will use chips made by Calxeda, an Austin, Tex., maker of 
> low-power ARM chips for servers. 
> Over time, the computers may also be attractive to financial firms, 
> scientific researchers and government security organizations, all of 
> which have to plow through increasingly large amounts of data, looking 
> for meaningful patterns, Mr. Santeler said. In a few more years, analysts 
> say, they could also end up in mainstream corporate computing.
> While a transition to these chips in servers has been predicted by makers 
> of the mobile chips, H.P. is the first major computer company to offer a 
> commercial product. In addition to incorporating the mobile chips, 
> building the computers required innovations in software, data storage, 
> and networking.
> H.P. plans to start selling the Moonshot computer in mid-2012 and is 
> still figuring out what to charge. 
> The company says that in addition to saving power, the machines will save 
> money on real estate and ancillary gear. H.P. says a load that normally 
> requires a $3.3 million system of 400 servers, with 10 storage racks and 
> 1,600 networking and power cables, and using 91 kilowatts of power, could 
> be done in the new system for $1.2 million, using one-half a storage 
> rack, 41 cables and 9.9 kilowatts. The mobile chips are smaller, so there 
> would be 1,600 of them in such a system.
> Mobile chips have another distinctive feature: Most are not made by 
> Intel,  the dominant supplier of traditional personal computers and 
> servers. Intel, however, has a line of low-power chips, called Atom, and 
> though these are not now used in Moonshot, H.P. went out of its way to 
> say that Atom would be used in future versions.
> Mr. Santeler dismissed the idea that Moonshot‚s mobile chips would be a 
> threat to Intel, H.P.‚s biggest supplier of microprocessors. Intel 
> chips „have the preponderance of compiled code and real-life solutions‰ 
> for established businesses, he said. „This is for a part of the market 
> that buys in bulk, thousands of machines at a time.‰
> Richard Fichera, an analyst with Forrester Research who has studied the 
> new design, said about one-third of his business clients have expressed 
> interest in such computers. In three to five years, he said, servers 
> built on cellphone chips will be „fairly ubiquitous‰ in big companies.
> --
> Cheers,
> Stephen
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