HP Unveils ARM-Based Servers as It Focuses on Shift to Mobility

NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– HP (HPQ) unveiled two new servers on Monday that use chip designs from ARM Holdings (ARMH)  as the company continues to push the benefits of cost efficiencies and its shift into mobile technology and apps.

HP unveiled two servers as part of its Moonshot lineup, the HP ProLiant m400 and the HP ProLiant m800, with the ProLiant m400 being the first enterprise 64-bit ARM-based server, a product that should help businesses to get better performance from their applications. It should also help cut costs.

"We designed a new class of servers focused on specific targeted work load using low power components," Paul Santeler, general manager of HP's Moonshot Business Server unit, said in a phone interview with TheStreet. "With the space and density that this provides customers, it will allow us to address the new styles of workloads in IT, and bring them on very fast."

The HP ProLiant m800 will start at $81,651,while the HP ProLiant m400 server starts at $58,477.

Traditionally, servers have used -x86 (Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) chips) which have been known for their high performance, but also their high power usage, something HP is looking at cutting back on by introducing Moonshot servers with ARM-based chips.

The ProLiant m400 uses a system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Applied Micro Circuits Corporation AMCC along with an operating system designed from Ubuntu that allows a 35% reduction in cost to businesses, compared to traditional servers.

"ARM technology will change the dynamics of how enterprises build IT solutions to quickly address customer challenges," said Antonio Neri, senior vice president and general manager, Servers and Networking, HP in the press release. "HP's history, culture of innovation and proven leadership in server technology position us as the most qualified player to empower customers with greater choice in the server marketplace."

In addition, HP introduced the HP ProLiant m800 servers, which will help businesses process real-time data, including pattern analysis much faster. It uses a system-on-a-chip from Texas Instruments TXN, and is 32-bit, not 64-bit like the m400.

With HP and others continually focusing on power efficiencies, Sandler noted there may be some cannibalization for -x86 servers. "I think there is some cannibalization," Sandler said. "People's computing needs are not slowing down, they're expanding, and there's a requirement from a compute standpoint will continue to rise as a society."

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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