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HP Data Center Project ‘to Reduce Energy up to 89%’

HP has unveiled Project Moonshot, an initiative to reduce data center energy use by up to 89 percent through the sharing of storage, networking, management, power and cooling across thousands of servers.

HP says the project will simplify data centers for companies operating thousands of servers, by using up to 94 percent less space than traditional server systems, while reducing costs by up to 63 percent.

The company says the project will promote industry collaboration to accelerate the development of “hyperscale” computing environments, including cloud services and on-demand computing. Companies using this kind of computing are facing a crisis in capacity, requiring a fundamental structural change, according to Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager of the hyperscale business unit in HP’s Industry Standard Servers and Software division.

One such company is financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald, which has been evaluating the HP technology. Director of high-frequency trading Niall Dalton says the volume of data processed in financial markets has increased exponentially, and traditional server architecture is having trouble keeping up without vastly increasing costs and power usage.

HP expects that AMD, ARM Holdings, Calxeda, Canonical and Red Hat will all participate in developing elements of Project Moonshot, and says additional partners will be announced as the program develops.

The multi-year program has three key components:

  • The HP Redstone Server Development Platform (pictured): This is the first in a line of HP server development platforms that the company says feature extreme low-energy server processors. It incorporates more than 2,800 servers in a single rack, reducing cabling, switching and the need for peripheral devices, and delivering a 97 percent reduction in complexity, HP says. The initial HP Redstone platform is expected to be available in limited volumes to select customers in the first half of next year.
  • The HP Discovery Lab: This enables clients to experiment, test and benchmark applications on the HP Redstone Server Development Platform, as well as on other low-energy and traditional platforms. The first lab is scheduled to open in Houston in January, with additional sites planned to open in Europe and Asia. Clients can access the sites physically or remotely.
  • The HP Pathfinder Program: Part of the HP AllianceONE partner program, Pathfinder encourages development of elements of the Project Moonshot program within open industry standards.

The Project Moonshot infrastructure is an extension of the HP ProLiant brand of servers. HP says the project is also based on experience gained through previous offerings such as HP Data Center Smart Grid, as well as the recently announced HP EcoPOD, which HP calls the world’s most efficient data center.

IO offers its own brand of modular data center, similar to the EcoPod, and this week it announced a deal with Allianz.

Apple and Facebook data centers have also been in the news lately. Apple has quietly been planning a solar array to help power its $1 billion Project Dolphin data center in Maiden, N.C., and construction is underway on a Facebook data center in Lulea, northern Sweden. Investment agency Invest Sweden said the electricity supply in that location has the capacity to be drawn from 100 percent renewable resources.

Facebook also announced that Intel, Dell, Mozilla, Rackspace and Netflix have all joined its Open Compute Project, which aims to increase efficiencies and reduce the environmental impacts of data centers.

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