Saturday, February 1, 2014

HP MoonShot - Will it go the distance

I am looking into the server hardware technology, with highly competitive market. The world of vitalization has taken the server world by storm and we have highly agile and feature packed  hardware's to support them.

So lets look at the hardware part of it !!

I attended a strategic meeting and was interested in the HP moonshot product. Its a cartridge server. It has one big rack chassis, which can house 45 cartridge at a maximum. Interesting !! The amount of RAM and storage per cartridge appears satisfactory. but it has individual RAM and storage per cartridge. It has two switch modules built in with 6 10G uplink interfaces.  But it is based on Intel atom processor architecture.

Here is the take, so we have a dual processor setup, but its atom processor. So effectively we can run vmware or hyper-v. So when I look at the windows 2012 R2 hardware requirement ..... it is clear we cannot run them on the atom based environment.  Hmmmm ... Interesting so what an I run ??
I can run Linux servers !! Infact the POC done by HP also uses some form of linux servers !

Ok so can I run some intensive applications .... Nope !! Can I run database servers..... Nope !!

Now we dont have vitalization which means we can run servers individually on each of the cartridge .... which means its like running individual server boxes except that they are all consolidated into the cartridge !!

So If you want to perform some maintenance on one of the chassis what do you do ?? you plug out the cartridge and move it to another chassis !! so instead of doing a vmotion you perform a physical cartridge motion !! That is of course assuming you have another empty chassis with you!!

 Hmmm .. ok ... so  are we taking a step backwards ??  maybe not .. this type of system might be useful for smaller organizations who would want to consolidate the individual servers instead of virtualizing them.

Ok what can be the practical use of the moonshot ?? we can use them to house linux based frond end or low processor intense servers.  So what market is this product aimed at ?? Simple answer would be for the very low budget market. Its also for a niche market. HP claims its for scale out server setup but lets see how much its getting adopted.

So to help you perform your own analysis;

Here is the link to compare a low end xeon processor which support the hypervisors and windows servers.

Here is the white paper by HP for the moonshot which includes the POC performed by them.

If you are very short on budget or want to have a small test environment this is the stuff for you !!

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