Ubuntu & HP's project Moonshot

Chris Kenyon

on 2 November 2011

Tags: ARM

HP logo

 

Today HP announced Project Moonshot  – a programme to accelerate the use of low power processors in the data centre.

The three elements of the announcement are the launch of Redstone – a development platform that harnesses low-power processors (both ARM & x86),  the opening of the HP Discovery lab in Houston and the Pathfinder partnership programme.

Canonical is delighted to be involved in all three elements of HP’s Moonshot programme to reduce both power and complexity in data centres.

The HP Redstone platform unveiled in Palo Alto showcases HP’s thinking around highly federated environments and Calxeda’s EnergyCore ARM processors. The Calxeda system on chip (SoC) design is powered by Calxeda’s own ARM based processor and combines mobile phone like power consumption with the attributes required to run a tangible proportion of hyperscale data centre workloads.

HP Redstone Platform

The promise of server grade SoC’s running at less than 5W and achieving per rack density of 2800+ nodes is impressive, but what about the software stacks that are used to run the web and analyse big data – when will they be ready for this new architecture?

Ubuntu Server is increasingly the operating system of choice for web, big data and cloud infrastructure workloads. Films like Avatar are rendered on Ubuntu, Hadoop is run on it and companies like Rackspace and HP are using Ubuntu Server as the foundation of their public cloud offerings.

The good news is that Canonical has been working with ARM and Calexda for several years now and we released the first version of Ubuntu Server ported for ARM Cortex A9 class  processors last month.

The Ubuntu 11.10 release (download) is an functioning port and over the next six months and we will be working hard to benchmark and optimize Ubuntu Server and the workloads that our users prioritize on ARM.  This work, by us and by upstream open source projects is going to be accelerated by today’s announcement and access to hardware in the HP Discovery lab.

As HP stated today, this is beginning of a journey to re-inventing a power efficient and less complex data center. We look forward to working with HP and Calxeda on that journey.

 

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