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June 20, 2012

HP Unveils Low-Power Gemini Microservers

Online Sci-Tech Today reported on Tuesday that Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a new generation of low-power microservers called Gemini. According to HP, the new product line will use next generation Intel (News - Alert) Atom processor called Centerton, and will also feature swappable processor cartridges to allow use of other processors.

Gemini is the first commercial release of HP's Project Moonshot, an initiative launched in November that is designed to develop extremely low-energy servers, as well as reduce server complexity and costs.

Both, Intel and HP are jointly working to create more Gemini server cartridges, based on future processors using the Atom architecture, wrote Sci-Tech Today writer Barry Levine. In addition, the report says that HP is also readying Gemini cartridges using processors from other chip vendors , such as ARM (News - Alert)-based processors.

According to HP, major reasons for selecting Centerton for the initial server cartridges include support for 64-bit processing, hardware virtualization, error correcting codememory, low power, increased performance and a variety of x86 software, wrote Levine. Furthermore, HP said that these characteristics were perfect for hyperscale computing, which uses many very low-power servers working together.

Gemini is designed to handle such tasks as Web site serving, offline analytics or managing a distributed memory cache. The developer said that Gemini servers are expected to be available later this year, wrote Levine.

The Sci-Tech Today report quoted Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager of the Hyperscale Business Unit at HP, as saying, “customers who use hyperscale computing are expecting to "realize radical space, cost and energy savings." “And that the Gemini approach can transform the server industry by enabling customers to exceed the limits of what was previously possible in hyperscale computing," added Santeler.

The Sci-Tech Today report indicates that innovative Gemini servers will feature enclosures that can support thousands of servers on each rack by sharing this infrastructure. The result is more computing power for a given space, and less complexity, energy and related costs.

In addition, HP said that a Gemini microserver would require a 10th or less of the power needed for a Xeon system, with both running the same workload. Another major differentiating factor is that the Centerton needs only about six watts of power while a Xeon requires 17 to 45, according to Intel.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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