If you haven't heard about HP Moonshot, besides being an exciting name that steps outside the comfort zone of standard HP product naming convention, Moonshot is a new class of servers engineered to address the IT challenges created by social, cloud, mobile, and big data. Moonshot is processor-agnostic architecture engineered to flexibly accept the best processor (or FPGA, or GPU, etc or combo thereof) for a desired workload. The workload drives the configuration. Think about some of the biggest data centers on the planet and look at how they have approached the server tier. The typical example is how Amazon has baked its own servers and customized the server platform with components used to build and design a server. This approach may work for the big dogs that are designing their own software, but doesn't translate well to today's modern data center.
The HP Moonshot servers significantly reduce server footprint and consume less power. While this may seem boring, the exponential impact it could potentially have on the design and economics of IT transformation, cloud computing, and the next wave of modern applications is incredible. HP wants to surge into the market with the Pathfinder Innovation Ecosystem as an incubator for new solutions, and use the program to drive faster innovation cycles.
But Moonshot is not as interesting as how HP will leverage the technology to pivot the company beyond its ruthless news headlines. When I listen to Meg Whitman, besides the fact that she has a full plate and can't seem to catch a break, she is super focused on a better HP, or as HP likes to put it, "Make it Matter." Moonshot is going to be used as a pivot point in the company to demonstrate technology leadership, validate that HP can and will innovate in a rapidly changing market, and, if all goes as planned, execute in delivering a new breed of servers into today's modern data center.