While touring the press to its HPC Center of Excellence and Moonshot Discovery Lab, both in Grenoble (France), HP rolled out the red carpet to finally introduce its HPC version of Moonshot. Released last year for traditional IT needs, Moonshot is primarily designed for data centers. It comes as a 4.3U stackable chassis that can accommodate up to 45 server « cartridges » that use lightweight processors from the mobile world like Intel’s Atom C2750 X2150 or AMD’s Opteron X2150, as well as a Kyoto-based architecture APU integrating a quad-core CPU and a GPU. While not the most powerful in terms of raw computing muscle, they offer a highly competitive performance/Watt ratio – a metrics that more and more computing centers consider first.
It’s also interesting to note that these interchangeable cartridges are designed and configured specifically according to the type of application or workload – Web services, cloud or remote desktops, to name a few. They don’t yet support double precision however, which restricts their use for certain HPC applications such as genomics, for example. But according to Philippe Trautmann, HP’s EMEA HPC & POD Sales Director, these upcoming (and highly anticipated after last year’s promises) low power cartridges are likely to start setting a new trend in supercomputing. In addition to the above mentioned Intel or AMD x86 CPUs, HP will also offer ARM-based (Applied Micro or AMD) and even a Ti DSP versions. Given the conservative spirit that still pervades the HPC community – for technical reasons, don’t get us wrong – we’ll be curious to see the latter’s share of the pie for Moonshot’s first commercial years.
Philippe Trautmann, HP’s EMEA HPC & POD Sales Director, presents HP’s Moonshot for HPC.
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