HP's Project Moonshot lands power efficient ARM servers
Source: HP HP has announced a programme which it hopes will accelerate data centre use of low power processors, Project Moonshot. As part of the programme it has launched Redstone, a low power processor development platform which supports ARM and x86 processors; the company is shipping a version which uses up to 2,800 Calxeda system on a chip (SoC) based nodes.
The Calexda SoC includes a quad core processor with ARM Cortex A9 cores running between 1.1 and 1.4 Ghz, with a shared 4 MB L2 cache, memory controllers and I/O blocks including 10 Gb and 1 Gb Ethernet channels, PCIe and SATA. Calexda then adds an EnergyCore Management Engine and Fabric Switch, the latter allowing up to 4,096 SoC's to be connected in any network topology whilst presenting the interface as two virtual Ethernet ports to the system software running on the device.
Source: HP Among the system software that will be running on these devices will be Ubuntu and Red Hat Linux. One advantage that open source operating systems have over proprietary offerings, which may be licensed per node, is that it is far more economical. Canonical's Chris Kenyon has noted that Ubuntu has been ported to the ARM Cortex A9 architecture as the company has, for some time, been working with Calexda. It is now working with HP on benchmarking and optimising the Ubuntu ARM port for the expected workloads on the Redstone systems.
HP has also created a new laboratory, HP Discovery Lab in Houston, where it is researching this new generation of servers. In a video, the director of engineering for the lab shows the Redstone server and how they test it.