Dwight Barron, the Chief Technologist of HP’s Hyperscale unit talked Project Moonshot during an interview at theCube with John Furrier and Dave Vellante. Moonshot is a new power-efficient breed of mini servers that accommodate hundreds or thousands of cores that share cooling, storage and other resources to drive down the costs of high density computing. The first product is the SL6500 HP ProLiant chassis -based Redstone Server Development Platform.
During the discussion with Barron the consumerization of IT trend came up a lot in regard to the new technology HP is offering. Furrier noted that Moonshot’s emphasis on power consumption shares close similarity with consumer demand for longer lasting phone batteries, which seems to have seeped over to the microprocessor business. He continued to compare Moonshot with the early server and PC markets, forecasting a great deal of growth and disruption that Barron expects to evolve in the direction the users are aiming towards.
Barron expanded on this point, saying that the cloud will play a big role as power will be directed to the datacenter – where watts can be converted into more compute. Emerging hardware technologies such as flash will also play a role according to him, and will help create a “new middle ground between DRAM and rotating media.”
In addition to hardware, software also has a role in shaping the industry and HP’s latest offering in particular. Barron said that the company will be optimizing Moonshot for specific software, and the emphasis will be set on things like open-source initiatives and analytics.
Nearer to the end of the interview, Barron referred to Moonshot as a “new round of experiments” rather than the end of Intel, as some have suggested. The reason is that Moonshot leverages AMD-designed chips, a Cambridge-based competitor of the chipmaker (at least in some areas).