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HP claims Moonshot servers are more open than AMD's Seamicro servers

Touts the number of silicon vendors
Thu Apr 11 2013, 13:14
HP Moonshot enclosure and server cartridge

BLADE SERVER VENDOR HP has said that its Moonshot servers are more open than AMD's Seamicro servers that kicked off the microserver market in 2010.

AMD's purchase of Seamicro last year highlighted the potential of the microserver market just as Intel was talking up Atom based servers. With HP launching its second generation Moonshot microserver system earlier this week, the parallels to AMD's Seamicro products have led HP to claim that its Moonshot servers are "more open".

David Chalmers, CTO of HP's EMEA Enterprise Group gave credit to Seamicro for getting its servers out the door first but said the firm didn't work with as many partners. Chalmers said, "I would argue it's more closed.

"There's none of the ecosystem for example, there's no ability to have lots of different partners who are contributing to the piece. They if you like are the classic little start-up with a great idea and got it to market, but it is in a very narrow fixed box."

Chalmers continued by saying that HP's Moonshot is a more open system because customers can choose from multiple chip vendors. He said, "We came at this with a very different point view, we have engineered [Moonshot] to be a much more open platform, so multiple types of silicon, multiple partners involved, multiple people contributing to the [intellectual property], to what we think will be much richer, much more effective solution."

AMD's Seamicro servers make use of both Intel Atom and AMD Opteron chips, with the firm telling The INQUIRER that it is evaluating Intel's latest Avoton Atom chips. What makes things interesting is that AMD will supply HP with Moonshot cartridges and was present at the Moonshot launch with a prototype cartridge sporting its first server system on chip (SoC) codenamed Kyoto, and is expected to ship the cartridge in the second half of 2013.

Given that AMD is working on ARM server chips, it isn't a stretch to think that its Seamicro division will have access to both x86 chips and ARM chips in the near future. That will make AMD's Seamicro servers even closer rivals to HP's Moonshot units, but will have the advantage of having been in the market for three years.

HP's Moonshot server launch brought together Intel and several high profile ARM vendors such as AMD, Calxeda and Texas Instruments. However HP all but buried recognition of the ARM vendors under the announcements that it lead with Intel's year-old Centerton Atom chip and will have Avoton Atom based servers available in the second half of 2013. µ


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