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HP’s Moonshot Could Lower Cloud Computing Costs

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Hewlett-Packard doesn't shy away from taking a few cheap shots every now and again, and its latest line of servers, called Moonshot, proves it.

HP has introduced a new line of servers that could be considered a major game changer in terms of power consumption and the cloud.

HP's new servers consume 89 percent less power and cost 77 percent less to purchase than comparable HP servers. The new line of servers, called Moonshoot, could help CIOs uncover greater savings from cloud computing, according to an article on PCMag.com.

"Finding more cost-efficient servers is key and vital to how we serve up our applications." said Brent Juelich, vice president of application services for cloud computing provider Savvis.

He has run Hadoop and other analytics software on the new Moonshot servers and said they perform well compared to traditional HP servers. He said he expects Moonshot could help Savvis pass along savings from power, heating and cooling costs to customers.

The HP Moonshot 1500 box delivers a "compelling new infrastructure economics by using up to 89 percent less energy, 80 percent less space, and costing 77 percent less, compared to traditional servers," according to the company.

HP has already begun utilizing Project Moonshot servers - which occupy "one-eighth of the space required by traditional servers - to support its own HP.com website, which gets about 3 million visits per day, according to the company.

The upshot is that HP now says it can run its entire site on the power used to light a handful of light bulbs.

"Testing results show that with Moonshot servers we can expect to run hp.com with the energy equivalency of a dozen 60-watt light bulbs, which is a game changer," said John Hinshaw, executive vice president of technology and operations at HP.

The 'Energy Monster' of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing has drawn plenty of converts to the technology, but it's also drawn something else: additional wireless power.

One of the biggest culprits of energy consumption in a cloud ecosystem is the equipment that provides wireless access to the cloud, according to the Center for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET).

The growth of cloud computing has meant more data centers are being built to supply cloud services. Data centers, in particular older models, are often cited as energy inefficient, although through new design principles, they are gradually becoming more power efficient, according to an article on ZDNet.com.

But what is often ignored is the trend of accessing cloud services wirelessly through mobile and wireless networks. According to The Power of Wireless Cloud report released by CEET, the IT industry has underestimated the energy consumption of cloud services delivered over wireless networks.

"By 2015, the energy consumption of data centers will be a drop in the ocean compared to wireless networks in delivering cloud services," CEET deputy director principal research fellow Kerry Hinton said in a statement. "The problem is, we're all accessing cloud services - things like webmail, social networking and virtual applications - over wireless networks."

U.S. Navy Issues New Cloud Computing Policy
The U.S. Navy is looking to enlist the cost-saving services of cloud computing.

In order to increase efficiency and find cost savings, the U.S. Navy is moving forward to put in place capable cloud computing solutions that meet mission and security requirements, according to an article on Forbes.com.

According to a memo from the U.S. Navy, "the decision to host the data in a commercial cloud environment resulted from an analysis of several factors, the most important being the type of data stored in the portal, hosting costs and security requirements."

At a recent Information Technology Conference in San Diego, Terry Halvorsen, the Navy's CIO, and Janice Haith, Deputy CIO, discussed the enterprise initiatives being implemented to leverage and streamline Navy IT capabilities to meet the $2 billion budget cut over the next five years. "The money has been removed," Halvorsen said. "We need to specifically look at IT as an enabler and also look at the business processes that, in combination, will lead to cost savings."

More Stories By Patrick Burke

Patrick Burke is a writer and editor based in the greater New York area and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.

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