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Posted by Richard Fichera on November 1, 2011
What's the Big Deal?
Emerging ARM server Calxeda has been hinting for some time that they had a significant partnership announcement in the works, and while we didn’t necessarily not believe them, we hear a lot of claims from startups telling us to “stay tuned” for something big. Sometimes they pan out, sometimes they simply go away. But this morning Calxeda surpassed our expectations by unveiling just one major systems partner – but it just happens to be Hewlett Packard, which dominates the WW market for x86 servers.
At its core (unintended but not bad pun), the HP Hyperscale business unit Project Moonshot and Calxeda’s server technology are about improving the efficiency of web and cloud workloads, and promises improvements in excess of 90% in power efficiency and similar improvements in physical density compared with current x86 solutions. As I noted in my first post on ARM servers and other documents, even if these estimates turn out to be exaggerated, there is still a generous window within which to do much, much, better than current technologies. And workloads (such as memcache, Hadoop, static web servers) will be selected for their fit to this new platform, so the workloads that run on these new platforms will potentially come close to the cases quoted by HP and Calxeda.
The Program And New HP Business Unit
Officially, the announcement was HP announcing their new hyperscale business unit, based on the premise that very high-volume data centers will continue to proliferate, driven by massive continued increases in demand for web and cloud-based applications handling massive amounts of data, and that the trajectory of current systems technology with respect to power, cooling and density may be inadequate for emerging requirements.
HP’s hyperscale initiative consists of three major components:
What Does It Mean
Reduced to its essence, this means that ARM servers are on the industry road map. Among the major effected constituents:
Not that it was exactly boring before, but the server world just got a whole lot more interesting, and customers just got a major early Christmas present – a whole new technology platform for emerging high-volume web and cloud workloads. All in all a very positive event for the industry and for us, the eventual beneficiaries of this technology.
Let us know what you think about this. Inspiration or insanity? Will it impact you directly? Does it change your plans at all?
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