Future HP servers will learn from smartphones

HPHere in sunny Barcelona @ the ETSS conference, Mark Potter – HP’s CTO for its Enterprise Group was expounding his company’s vision for how the future will look for file servers.

Basically, the IT industry appears to have woken up to a technology which smartphones have been using for ages – the SoC (System on a Chip). Not revolutionary concept for the fact that Potter suggested that HP would use ARM cores in addition to Intel based processors. Given that Intel and AMD were major sponsors of this show, we’re sure he couldn’t elaborate more. Anyway, Potter was keen to pump up what HP is calling The Machine as a new era in server technology.

HP seems a bit ambivalent in its approach to The Machine because Dr Tom Bradicich, vp for Moonshot Engineering with HP servers suggested that Moonshot was the first step towards The Machine model. Except it isn’t The Machine.

Curiously, HP appears to have announced the Moonshot last month at an event hosted by our old friends – Citrix.

Well, the Moonshot is now a reality and shipping but for some reason Bradicich revealed that initially this product would only be made available through his company’s “US partners”.

Which is a bit strange because most resellers that ChannelEye was speaking to here claimed to have a US presence. So they should all be able to source the product.

Besides SoCs, the other technology which Potter was bigging up was photonics.

We’ve all heard of it before but HP seems to be suggesting that you’ll see products actually utilising photonicsavailable from HP before Q1 2015.

Which will be great because photonics are a key part to HP’s dream of The Machine.

Thanks to photonics, a server won’t have to write information to anywhere – It will simply reside in shared memory.

Sounds impressive but the major advantage to photonics is the energy saving, Potter quoted somebody else as saying that “copper is an energy sucking devil”.

But he’s got a point. Potter revealed that if cloud computing was a country it would be the fifth largest electricity consumer above the UK and just below Japan.

If The Machine really can return such massive energy savings through the use of photonics which HP is suggesting, then the ROI for customers of its channel partners will be significant.

As Potter hinted, a great way of getting enteprises – which have recently been low spenders, to update their data centres.