HP to attack datacentre market with ARM

ARM chips will be used in HP's new Redstone Server Development Platform.

HP

HP announced plans to stuff ARM-designed chips into its servers, as it looks to create super energy-efficient datacentres for cloud providers and large enterprises.

It marks a significant moment for ARM, which has done little to challenge the dominance of the x86 architecture used in the majority of servers today.

It also forms part of Project Moonshot a multi-year HP initiative designed to support those moving to "hyperscale environments."

HP Redstone is designed for testing and proof of concept. It incorporates more than 2,800 servers in a single rack.

HP is essentially looking to help companies truly consolidate their data centres, thereby making them more eco-friendly and efficient.

The company introduced the HP Redstone Server Development Platform, which will feature Calxeda's EnergyCore ARM Cortex processors. The system-on-a-chip processors should help companies basing deployments on the Redstone platform use 94 per cent less space in their data centres, HP said.

ARM launched its energy-efficient Cortex-A7 MPCore chip design last month with much fanfare around their power consumption capabilities. The British chip developer claimed its new processor design was five times more energy efficient than its predecessor, while also delivering significantly greater performance.

ARM won't be the only Redstone partner, however. HP confirmed future Redstone server deployments would come packed with chips from Intel and "others."

"HP Redstone is designed for testing and proof of concept. It incorporates more than 2,800 servers in a single rack, reducing cabling, switching and the need for peripheral devices, and delivering a 97 per cent reduction in complexity," HP said.

Select customers will be able to get their hands on Redstone offerings from the first half of next year.

To supplement the Redstone platform, the US tech giant launched the HP Discovery Lab. This services offering will let customers test out Redstone deployments before making any purchase. The first lab will open in Houston in January, with European facilities expected soon.

"The volume of data processed in financial markets has increased exponentially, and traditional scale-up or scale-out architectures are struggling to keep up with demand without vastly increasing cost and power usage," said Niall Dalton, director of high-frequency trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, a company looking into the Redstone technology.

"HP is taking a holistic approach to solving this problem and working to bring unprecedented energy and cost savings for tomorrow's large-scale, data-intensive applications."

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