HP has new ARM hyperscale servers are designed specifically for web loads like video streaming, or data analytics and even web server hosting. Using technology from partner Calxeda, HP presented that a typical web hosting site with 400 servers on 10 racks using 20 switches and 1,600 cables could be consolidated onto their ARM based Redstone platform which, even though it would require 1,600 servers for the same load, would only take up a half of a rack, two switches and 41 cables. Savings is massive with power requirements dropping from 91 kilowatts to 9.9 kilowatts and costs for the system dropping from $3.3M to $1.2M.
HP Labs said this is the first step to replace processor architectures, networking, and storage as we know it with a fabric based on their unique Memristor technology which is apparently close to initial test fabrication.
This would suggest HP is actually on the cusp of a revolution similar to the transistor. If properly executed, the new paradigm could put the company at the heart of an intense technology storm.
Memristors + Tiny Cheap Cores
What if you could break the storage, networking, and processor elements into tiny parts that could be reassigned and grouped in close proximity on demand?
Well, Memristors represent the best aspects of both magnetic media (they are non-volatile) and flash (they are fast to read and write, consume little power, and are solid state). So, what if you took these storage elements and put them in groups in close proximity, perhaps on the same boards, as ARM processors?
You’d then have ultrafast high-capacity storage in extreme proximity to power efficient cores. Meaning, half Memristor-powered racks would likely be equivalent to several racks of more traditional products. In addition, the close proximity, coupled with the high on-board speed and optical fiber connections between the boards, should result in not only a sharp performance increase but also facilitate massive power savings.
While the end products likely would initially look a lot like existing server blades or rack mounted servers, they could be built in almost any configuration; as while the circuit density is high, the thermal requirements are actually comparatively low. Since proximity will be the major problem – imagine servers that look more like balls or cubes than they do today at some future point to minimize the distance between components that may need to dynamically share loads.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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