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Thread: HP Launches Their Low-Power Moonshot Servers

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    Default HP Launches Their Low-Power Moonshot Servers

    Phoronix: HP Launches Their Low-Power Moonshot Servers

    For the better part of two years now HP has been working on "Project Moonshot" as what the company hopes will be revolutionary as a new ultra energy-efficient server architecture. Moonshot began with Calxeda-based ARM SoCs, but in the end HP settled for Intel Atom processors. Released today were HP's Moonshot system based on the Intel Atom S1200...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM0NjA

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    I much prefer the AMD offering from HP's Microserver line. While not U1 (would be awesome though), the HP36L, HP40L and now HP54L are awesome servers.

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    I don't fully understand the point of using ARM in servers. Home servers I can understand because most handle tasks that a PIII can do; nearly all modern ARM processors are faster than PIII and are about 1/6th as power demanding. But what's the point in mainframe or company servers? ARM doesn't have the grunt to outperform an Opteron or Xeon (and if it did, it would be more power consuming), and it doesn't have the multithreaded capabilities of a GPU clusters. Also, unless you virtualize the ARM server, setting up ARM devices is considerably more tedious than x86.

    I like ARM, I hope it becomes a major contender in the PC market, but I just don't understand what gain it has in server situations.

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    They use Atom CPU's not ARM:
    Moonshot began with Calxeda-based ARM SoCs, but in the end HP settled for Intel Atom processors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
    They use Atom CPU's not ARM:
    I know, I was just asking in general.

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    Because we always have to visualize here's a few pics explaining it a little better.





    Apparently, they want to have this rack, where you can slide in all sorts of modules, be in x86, arm etc and build a cluster. It does makes sense. Arm CPU's for light load with low power usage, x86 cpu's for heavy lifiting and intensive tasks. Can't run 1 process obviously and switch it between various architectures. But one enclusure with an ARM storage 'bit', arm firewall, but x86 for your VM's

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I don't fully understand the point of using ARM in servers. Home servers I can understand because most handle tasks that a PIII can do; nearly all modern ARM processors are faster than PIII and are about 1/6th as power demanding. But what's the point in mainframe or company servers? ARM doesn't have the grunt to outperform an Opteron or Xeon (and if it did, it would be more power consuming), and it doesn't have the multithreaded capabilities of a GPU clusters. Also, unless you virtualize the ARM server, setting up ARM devices is considerably more tedious than x86.
    Actually I wonder why they decided not to use ARM. ARM should be the better choice compared to Atom CPUs.
    What I generally do not understand is why they can use such low power CPUs at all?! I mean normally servers are rich of Opterons/Xeons as you've already mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuc!eoN View Post
    Actually I wonder why they decided not to use ARM. ARM should be the better choice compared to Atom CPUs.
    What I generally do not understand is why they can use such low power CPUs at all?! I mean normally servers are rich of Opterons/Xeons as you've already mentioned.
    There are server farms out there that usually have 1 CPU to monitor all in a cluster (I believe IBM did this once with each rack having maybe 8 or so Power7 servers and 1 quad core Opteron to control them all) in which case either ARM or Atom would probably do a good job. The only reason I see Atom being used over ARM is compatibility, because yes, ARM would otherwise be not only a faster but cheaper choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I don't fully understand the point of using ARM in servers. Home servers I can understand because most handle tasks that a PIII can do; nearly all modern ARM processors are faster than PIII and are about 1/6th as power demanding. But what's the point in mainframe or company servers? ARM doesn't have the grunt to outperform an Opteron or Xeon (and if it did, it would be more power consuming), and it doesn't have the multithreaded capabilities of a GPU clusters. Also, unless you virtualize the ARM server, setting up ARM devices is considerably more tedious than x86.

    I like ARM, I hope it becomes a major contender in the PC market, but I just don't understand what gain it has in server situations.
    There are workloads that use large numbers of threads/processes, don't need much performance per thread/process, but are not suited to run on GPUs. Webservers for example would benefit from running on a lot of small ARM cores instead of few huge Xeon/Opteron cores, AFAIK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vim_User View Post
    There are workloads that use large numbers of threads/processes, don't need much performance per thread/process, but are not suited to run on GPUs. Webservers for example would benefit from running on a lot of small ARM cores instead of few huge Xeon/Opteron cores, AFAIK.
    Yep, this is designed to go into large farms where they mostly need to do lightweight webservers. That runs much more power-efficiently on these low power cpus, than if you used typical server cpus.

    However, it's a very specialized field. You certainly wouldn't want to run a database, or any app that needs good single-thread performance.

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