That makes sense, since the EnergyCore doesn't have a whole lot of processing power to slice up. But right now for mainstream data centers, virtualization management provides the means to scale applications, move workloads around, and even cost out the compute resources consumed by those workloads. Administrators have grown accustomed to managing virtual machines; outside of academia few have the software or skills to managing workloads across thousands of little physical machines.
But Redstone is at an early phase. Who knows what software may emerge? The Ubuntu ARM Server project began only last month, with the objective, according to the project's Web page, of answering this question: "Do Linux X86 software loads work the same on ARM CPUs, or are there differences?" That may take a while to explore. And HP has not even given a rough timeframe for when Redstone servers may ship.
Whether or not Moonshot gets lost in space, I admire its ambition. The data center architecture of the future is all about many little machines -- physical or virtual -- running many workloads with the lowest possible power consumption and wasted capacity. Even the specs just released by the Open Compute Project, which essentially detail Facebook's state-of-the-art data center, outline relatively incremental improvements in power efficiency.
HP is talking about reducing power consumption by a magnitude. Redstone may or may not be the vehicle that gets us there, but the destination is right on target.
This article, "Little machines and the future of the data center," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.