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HP Launches Project Moonshot in the Enterprise Server Market

If you follow the technology industry, you are probably aware that HP - like Dell - has been struggling to stay relevant as sales of mobile tablets and smartphones continue to surge while the traditional PC market shrinks. IBM, for example, long ago made the transition from being primarily a PC vendor, and HP also needs to find some way to do the same thing.

If you follow the technology industry, you are probably aware that HP - like Dell - has been struggling to stay relevant as sales of mobile tablets and smartphones continue to surge while the traditional PC market shrinks. IBM, for example, long ago made the transition from being primarily a PC vendor, and HP also needs to find some way to do the same thing.

HP does, however, have deep roots in the server and data center markets, and they have just come out with the first product in their  "Project Moonshot" initiative, an ambitious plan to revolutionize the traditional x86 server market using so-called "software defined server" technology. Project Moonshot aims to significantly reduce the energy use and costs of data centers and allow for fast scaling of data centers that are used for Cloud Computing, various Big Data initiatives and traditional web hosting. The development of software defined data centers allows for rapid scaling and customization of applications, which means enterprise IT professionals can scale out  server capacity on the fly while enterprise software engineers are able to customize specific applications via a programming interface. 
 
HP's first Moonshot 1500 server enclosure is loaded with 45 Intel Atom-based server cartridges. HP claims - per it's website - that the 1500 and future Project Moonshot servers will do the following:

 

  • Consume 89% less energy;
  • Use 80% less space;
  • Cost 77% less; and
  • Is 97% less complex.
Internet pioneer Marc Andreessen once famously said that "software is eating the world", and one can see how the notion of a software defined data center - as opposed to one based on hardware and raw computing capacity - is a new paradigm. It should be noted, however, that HP is not the first vendor to jump into the software defined data centers, as a number of startups are doing the same thing. Likewise, I would take with a grain of salt HP's claim that it's Moonshot line will be 97% less complex - that seems like a rather subjective statement to say the least!
 

By the same token, however, if HP's new server lines truly provide for dramatic reductions in energy, cost and data center space, then it is indeed fair to say it could be a game changer for HP, even if they will be competing against other vendors. Of course, as the hype of HP's announcement fades, the true test of Project Moonshot will be how does in the market; at a minimum however, given HP's long-standing relationships in the enterprise market, Project Moonshot certainly seems like it could well be the shot in the arm that HP needs to regain traction.

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