HP goes all Gemini

The maker of expensive printer ink, HP, has been consulting its astrologers and decided that its low-power server platform should be called “Gemini”.

According to ComputerWorld, Gemini is the first implementation of which will use an upcoming Intel Atom processor code-named Centerton.

It seemed astrologers thought that Gemini would be a good name because they are supposed to be energetic, clever, imaginative, witty and adaptable.

They forgot to mention that Geminis are also superficial, impulsive, tend to want to move about, they can be devious and indecisive which is not the sort of thing that you want from a server.

HP said that its Gemini servers will be targeted at workloads that don’t need the muscle of an Intel Xeon and that run more efficiently when spread out across a large number of less powerful cores.

At a press briefing, Paul Santeler, general manager of HP’s hyperscale business unit said Geminis are good at serving up web pages, big data analytics, running a distributed memory cache and server hosting environments.

In those cases, Geminis will use as little as one-tenth the power and occupy one-tenth the space of a more traditional x86 server. Although he did not say if the server will get restless, dump its load and go off and join a commune in the North of Scotland for no apparent reason.

Geminis are famous for their refusal to be tied down to one partner. In this case, Atom is unlikely to be the only chip that it will be linked to. HP said the server uses processor “cartridges” that slot in and can support different processor types depending on the workload.

Gemini systems will be offered with ARM-based processors in those cartridges, Santeler said.

Carrying on with its astrological theme, HP is developing the low-power servers under a project it calls Moonshot. We guess this will use some waxing and waning power system and cause a deep emotional response in anyone who uses it. It could also mean that anyone who uses it is deluded and subject to illusion, but that is the danger of using astrology to do your marketing.

HP said it’s running its Project Moonshot website on a Gemini system. One Gemini server handles 300 concurrent sessions using 12- to 14-watts while a Xeon system doing the same work would consume 150 watts, Santeler said.